The trip to Paris last week was short, fast and intense.
Started press with John Densmore a few hours after I arrived, took a break, had dinner with MK2, the French distributors, and then went to the premiere.
The 450 seat theater was full. The translator introduced me as being from Iceland. I have no idea why. I then introduced the film, thanking MK2 for an amazing promotional campaign and reminding everyone the footage was all real. Then I introduced John and he told the story of how Jim wrote "People Are Strange."
We were quickly ushered into another theater downstairs where an overflow crowd was waiting. These were mainly fans who'd waited for hours trying to get in. John and I were asked to introduce the film again. I looked at the group of long-haired young French kids sitting in the front row and their eagerness was so contagious I asked them if they'd brought a joint for me.
Then I thanked MK2 again, but said I was a little disappointed because originally they'd told me that as part of their promotion they were going to pass out doobies at every screening. In closing, John told his Jim and "People Are Strange" story and as we walked back up the aisle the group of kids were all swaying and singing the song in unison.
On my way back to the hotel I spotted this ad for a magazine MK2 put together for the film.
The entire issue is about When You're Strange. A friend of mine took the picture. The poster was on a moving roll with three other ads. A moment later a guy arrived in a van to change out the roll. He put in a new roll, again with a poster of the magazine. My friend told him I was the director of the film. The guy immediately took out a razor blade.
Then he lay the old roll of ads on the sidewalk, cut out the poster for When You're Strange and gave it to us.
The next day I did press from 11am to 8pm. And the next morning I flew home. But, before I headed to the airport I decided to run into the subway and see if I could find any posters of the film. I entered the subway station and saw nothing. I figured the posters were deep in the subway system and I'd have to buy a fare and ride around until I found one.
Then something caught my eye. I turned around and saw this behind me; looming right at the entrance to the subway.
I asked an old guy just getting off a train to take the picture.
Please forgive me for these two shots. I was a little...happy. Based on my experience here in the US part of me just simply could not believe there were actually posters for the film put up where people could see them.
THIS JUST IN:
When You're Strange opened in France today. The official word from MK2 is very good. Just got this email from them:
Hope you are well, I have great news for you! Today is the first day of release and the film is doing really good: 5, 500 admissions in Paris today and around 10, 000 in the rest of France (at least $100, 000!).
Reviews are very good, admissions too, we are so happy !
All kind of audiences: young people, elders, teenagers… The film is the event of the week here. It is currently the number two highest grossing film in the country, just behind a French comedy. Everybody is here at the MK2 office celebrating and share with you a glass of champagne!
Well, well. Vive les Doors.
What “not my decision” means is that someone at the UK distributor apparently decided my presences was not a. necessary, b. within their promotion budget.
I wanted to let you know this asap. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be coming over to the UK at all. This is not my decision.
Yeah, I don’t know where the guy got the idea I was from Iceland. I wasn’t even wearing a sweater with snowflakes on it.
That’s a great link to the interview. The woman really knew a lot about the Doors and I really appreciated the way she showed so clearly the HWY footage was REAL.
I’m glad you’re finally going to get a chance to see it projected.
Listen, here’s my advice for you. Try to clear your brain of everything that’s been said about the film; even stuff I’ve said. Give yourself a few days beforehand where you kind of try to rinse your brain out. And then just go to the screening and try to let the film just live in front of you.
Just let it be.
That will be the best way for you to see if anything in it touches you.
Thanks so much for your passion and your enthusiasm. Response to the film in France continues to be very strong.
Really great to hear from you. Sorry for the delay in the response. Again, your essay on the film after seeing it on PBS was a real pleasure to read. I sincerely encourage anyone reading this to head over to Larry’s site and let his words wash over you they way they did for me.
Again, I know this is a late reply. Been a little crazed. Yes, the news from France is incredible. But, like you, I can’t help but compare it to what happened here and feel a sharp twinge of disappointment.
Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I’m hoping the success in France will inspsire some of the other European countries to build their promotions like France did.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I really appreciate your comment and your support. You’re right; I do feel a bit of healthy vindication. The French showed that there was a good film there. They spent some time, some money and some thought on their promotion and the results are right there at the box office.
Were you at the French premiere?
Regarding the DVD, the French have a completely different system–regulated by the government actually. There is a law that says films cannot be released on DVD or TV until a full year after their theatrical release.
The narrative of your life continues to amaze me. I loved your revelation here that you spent time working as a hairdresser. Now you’re going back to college?!
Well, you know, hair today, gone tomorrow. I had short hair all my life, up through highschool–thanks to my father who was a Colonel in the Marine Corps. So the first chance I had to grow it out I went for it–and never looked back.
See the light, babe
Ms. Ann Onimuss 🙂
Again, congratulations, and the pictures are very cool too, thanks for posting them.