I type from Mexico City, where we just did a special screening in aid of CONFE, the Mexican equivalent of Mencap.
Incredibly, a dynamic group of MexNYLonLA types put their heads together on Skype and email, and got this special screening sorted in just two weeks. My friend Kim Machray who does all this international music showbiz stuff for a living seemed to get the whole thing whipped up in five minutes, all I had to do was ask Lars if he would come and get on a plane and give myself DVT. We screened the film to about 600 people (an lot of them in black Metallica T shirts) and followed it up with a Q&A session.
We were extremely high fivesome when Lars agreed to join us for the panel at the cool Blackberry Auditorium. He came in with security a beautiful woman and his really beautiful and kind PA, and then proceeded to be incredibly nice and charming even though he looked pretty tired. Metallica are playing eight shows in Mexico City, straight, and two hours after leaving us he would go on stage for gig number five (more of which later). A police escort was going to take him from the Blackberry to the sports stadium where they were playing. Nice.
I was very tired after crawling off an 18 hour cheap flight from the UK just 18 hours before. Tired I could handle, it was the bloating that worried me the most. I planned to wear a white dress with a thin black belt round the waist, I feared my gassy overtraveled belly would pop out from beneath it like a late stage pregnancy. In the end, I got over it. No one was there to see me. I practiced my funny line to say hello to the crowd, but in the end I just said, Hola Mexico City. Apparently it's what James Hetfield always says, so I guess it was OK that I did it too.
Lars arrived and signing loads of posters for us, asking after Tom, and taking the piss out of how many crisps we had on our rider, but no booze. We had the crunchiest and least rock n roll rider, ever. I sort of post NA/AA trailer park feast with every fizzy pop made by coca cola.
The film went down well, the translation for the subtitles had been done quite quickly so they weren't perfect, but seeing 'one's' film subtitled, well, it does make 'one' feel quite highbrow. We are now a foreign language title. We had some chuckles and belly laughs fancying the dubbed version, using Colombian soap actors for our voices, Tom's first lines being Donde este Lars, said in a growly sort of a porno south american dubbed int actors voice. Ah, yes, how we chuckled.
Anyway, where was I?
Lars, as you do.
There were others there, all equally superior to me in achievement and notoriety, there was Olallo Rubio (who made one of the best documentaries ever in Mexico, called Gimme the Power about an insane band called Molotov - he's like a radical and left wing hybrid of Michael Moore and Howard Stern) and Raquel Jelinek who is the director general of CONFE, the Mexican equivalent of Mencap, and also an eminent academic. Here we all are below, from left Olallo, Lars, moi, and Raquel.
Cleverly, we did not let only Metallica fans ask the questions, so we did get to talk about some diverse things, and I got to pump my fist to my chest and say, 'learning disabled man from Exmouth (Effmuff as Tom calls it) or international metal hero, we are all the same people under the skin with dreams, feelings and needs', or something equally drenched in cheese, and everyone clapped. I also thanked Lars for showing Tom the respect that so often learning disabled people are not afforded. I was not a complete oily schmooze (though I did mean everything I said, very much), I said that we had hoped (secretly) sometimes before we got to meet him that Lars might turn out to be an a'hole so that our film might have some Borat magic.
Lars said a whole heap of stuff and as soon as the video is posted to YouTube I'll post it here so you can fast forward through the bits of me guffing and get his pearls of wisdom.
People asked him why he had done the film and part of his answer was that perhaps because now he is a parent he is much more compassionate or something. I think that's someone most parents will get, I found it strangely touching though it was not an unusual thing to say. (He said between them the band had enough kids for a football team now. That day Mexico had beaten Senegal at the Olympics. Random unconnected factoids for you there). He had three wristbands on, they were from a trampoline place he takes his kids. That night after the show he was going to fly back to SF to see one of his children on their birthday.
They are rehearsing the sets for their new film, which will be them live and in, get this, 3D. It's going to work, you just know it, it's going to be Spinal Tap meets Monsters of Rock meets Jaws 3D. I can't wait to see it, for the chuckles and thrills. Perhaps Louise Mensch will do a screening for MPs in the Commons, we could do a double bill with Mission to Lars, in all its 2D lo-fi glory.
It was a good night and I think we did a good thing. Hopefully we'll get distrbution in Mexico soon and we'll be back for a premiere soon.
Meantime, I could like to thank the following people for making this screening the amazing, unique and meaningful event it was
Raquel Jelinek, director general of CONFE
Pepe Nacif, producer at Amateur films
Lars Ulrich, heavy metal megastar
Kim Machray, freelance global music pr strategist
Rodrigo Hernandez Stockder, producer at Amateur films
Olallo Rubio, film director, renegade
Alejandra Hernandez Stockder, freelance event planner
Diego Jimenez Labora, owner of Blackberry Auditorium
Everyone was well cool. And Mexico City, what tiny fraction I've seen and drunk in, is a can do creative sort of a city with blessed little red tape.
We will be back.