Loving AFI Night at the Movies and Keanu

— by Caroline on Crack


I got to see my boyfriend in person again! It’s been a lonnng time but I was finally in the same room with gasp! Keanu Reeves. OK, it was for Target Presents AFI Night at the Movies on Wednesday as he introduced The Matrix to an eager audience at the ArcLight, but still!

And he wasn’t the only star in the building. Apparently there was also Annette Bening, Jim Carrey, Sean Connery, Cameron Diaz, Jodie Foster, Dustin Hoffman, Shirley MacLaine, Steve Martin, Rita Moreno, Mike Myers and Denzel Washington, all presenting their own films. I didn’t see them but I could feel their presence.

Photo courtesy of AFI

Photo courtesy of AFI

Oddly enough, all the movies screened at the same time so if you were a movie-goer excited about watching Diaz introduce There’s Something About Mary and Jody Foster talk about Silence of the Lambs, you were SOL cuz you could only pick one. One movie! I’m thinking if AFI wanted to make more money, they could have spread this event out over weeks and that way people could see all the movies and stars if they wanted to. Oh well. At least we got soda and a bucket of popcorn with our one movie.
The Matrix_, of course, was the first of the films to sell out. This didn’t surprise the ArcLight folk as Keanu always draws a crowd, whether on screen or in person. When he patronizes the theater, which he does often, he has taken to wearing his motorcycle helmet from the parking lot to the ticket counter, only removing it before he goes in the theater.

I thought that was weird, too, until it was explained to me that the few times he didn’t wear his helmet, he was mobbed. Understandably. But poor Keanu.

Oh and I’m not going to say which was the last movie to sell out (and really it didn’t sell all that many tickets) as it made me kinda sad to find out.

Anyway, back to my man. The producer of The Matrix, Lorenzo di Boneventura, introduced him first. He talked about how hard it was to get the movie made. That there was nothing else like it at the moment and that everyone involved with it had to really believe in it. And apparently Keanu did as he had turned down a number of movie offers for a year or so while the Wachowski Brothers and the movie producers worked to get the movie picked up.

And then Keanu was introduced. Le sigh! He wore a suit with a t-shirt and sported a sworly beard and looked as hot as ever. He talked about the first time he went to meet with the brothers about the movie and how they told him all about the new special effect they were going to use called bullet time and even showed him storyboards. And they then told him that he’d have to go through kung fu boot camp for four months and do shooting of principal photography in Australia for five months. They only had one movie under their belt, Bound, but that didn’t stop Keanu from signing on.

He said he found this sci-fi story appealing on so many levels as it had religious/philosophical undertones. He went on to list many of the themes it dealt with, on and on. And that’s when I realized that he could never be my boyfriend. He described everything with such intensity and spoke in prose. I’d be tempted to say, “Chill, Keanu! Talk normal!” He’s still cute though. I felt fortunate he spoke for as long as he did, about 5 minutes, considering that Denzel Washington’s intro was only about 23 seconds long. “I made this movie blah blah years ago…and enjoy…” Blah!

So, the AFI event, although it was a mob scene getting in was nicely run. Although initially the line to get in stretched into the parking garage and wrapped around, it moved quickly. The holdup was the security check at the entrance as guards made sure we didn’t bring in cameras. I know, otherwise, I would have posted a picture of Keanu at the podium.

I had avoided the highly successful AFI event last year because I didn’t think it was worth braving crowds for, nothing rarely is for me. But after checking it out for Keanu, it wasn’t so bad and I’d definitely go to the one next year, depending on who’s doing the presenting of course. Fingers crossed for Ewan McGregor!