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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Security risk frisked and searched

So there I was, on a windy, wet Friday morning in November, waiting to get inside when two burly security men, dressed all in black, ask me to step aside so that they can check my bag and belongings. "Have I any equipment inside my bag?", they ask, rummaging through my things. "Why do you...?", I begin to ask before it dawns on me. "Oh right, because of the...", I say and the bouncers nod solemnly.
"Can I see your mobile phone please sir?", one asks. I produce it for them. Mine is a phone with a video camera. "I'm going to have to ask you to turn that off and keep it off for the duration", he says. I do so. He hands me back my bag which hold nothing more than a newspaper, an umbrella, a notebook and a bottle of water. I'm clean. I'm not a risk to the enterprise.

"Enjoy the movie", he says cheerily.

The movie in question is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I was at a press screening yesterday morning and because it's not released generally until next Friday, the distributors are deploying severe measures to prevent any leaks or bootleg copies getting out before then. In fact, I don't think I should even be talking about it now! By sending my review to my editor yesterday afternoon, I may be liable for prosecution for writing a word about it before Nov 18!

Harry Potter mania has unquestionably reached its zenith. The kind of insane security measures that accompany the launch of the books is now part and parcel of the movie adaptations. It's all about creating a sense of event - and Goblet of Fire is arguably the event movie of the year so far. The studio is trying to drum up an air of suspense about everything from the injection of hormones into the Potter story to how Ralph Fiennes looks as Lord Voldemort - and I'm not going to reveal anything.

What I will say is that it is extremely dark, quite frightening, unexpectedly sad and incredibly long, clocking in at two and a half hours. It's all I need to say about Harry Potter from here on -
the rest of the world can take it from here. Roll on King Kong I say!

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