Those of us in the press office knew things were going to run a little differently for the “press line” when three birds parked across the street an hour before Marion Barry was due to arrive for the World Premiere of THE NINE LIVES OF MARION BARRY. RSVP? Are you kidding, this is HARD news. Carpet, smarpet. Mr. Barry had his own plans, like walking the rush line that wrapped around the block greeting his admirers and detractors alike, and doing his live feeds across the street, so that the hubbub would be well captured in the background. You couldn’t plan this, er, well, actually, he did. There was a moment where one protester was shouting “shame,” (um could you be a little more specific please?) while Barry enthusiasts clapped, cheered and strained to shake his hands, the perfect metaphor for the movie. We enjoyed the ride along with him, finally getting to the official photos and patient festival press dutifully waiting at the presser inside. Our favorite moment, was when Barry and entourage crossed Colesville Road into oncoming traffic, which parted like Moses parting the red sea. Of course it did.
Once inside, Barry was not going to sit in the upscale, reserved “captain’s chairs” in the back of the theater, instead he sat down in the center of the theater with his people. Post screening discussion was terrific, covering all sides of the man and the movie, before hizzoner took the mic, for a (suprisingly concise) observation that media doesn’t tell the whole story, and while they can be very bad, he loves them anyway. Clearly, they love him back, whether reporting the good, the bad or the ugly, in a sweetly symbiotic relationship. Post event there was a private dinner at Jackie’s Restaurant, while the Festival’s party for the night was next door with Go Go band Trouble Funk playing into the wee hours. Hizzoner did manage to shake some moves on the dance floor before heading off into the sunrise. Select pics below: