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Premieres & Events

"How Much?": Borat Opens CMJ FilmFest

The FilmFest arm of CMJ's annual Music Marathon launched last night with a preview of Borat: Cultural Learnings From America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, to which star Sacha Baron Cohen showed up -- in character, of course -- to greet a standing-room-only crowd at Walter Reade Theater. The place was a mob scene, with no fewer than 1,000 people queueing through Lincoln Center as showtime approached; I got in by sheer luck (hat tip to early-arriver Jamie Stuart). Organizers set up a second screening to accommodate some of them, but first-come/first-served no doubt had some fairly dire implications for many who hoped to glimpse the Kazakh madman.

(Photos: STV)

"Now there have been much controversies about my movie film, particularly because of the amount of anti-Semitisms [sic] in it," Cohen said in his introduction. "However, eventually the Kazakhstan (government) said there was just enough of it and allowed it to be released."

He gestured to a woman in the front row. "How much?" Her date spoke up. "She is yours?" Cohen asked. "No problem. I will negotiate."

I'm sure he wrote this material just for the CMJ crowd, but that didn't make me feel any less touched by the sloppy air kisses bestowed on me during the star's grand entrance. Stunningly, it's on the wires this morning (see below), and now my therapist won't stop calling.

Sacha Baron Cohen, as Borat, greets your humble editor at Tuesday's CMJ FilmFest screening of his character's eponymous film (Photos: Eugene Gologursky/WireImage)

Anyway, CMJ FilmFest continues today with screenings of The Vice Guide to Travel, Wild Tigers I Have Known and the documentary Fuck all taking place at the Walter Reade; this week's other films include The Fountain, Stranger Than Fiction and the long-awaited (by somebody, I presume) Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny. And bless CMJ's heart, they are co-sponsoring the Reeler (Re)Launch Party set for this coming Friday, Nov. 3, at the Parkside Lounge. Click here for a glimpse at the invitation, and please do feel free to drop in if you can. I can't promise Borat, but I can guarantee cheap drinks. Which, at least in the short term, ain't so bad a trade.

Posted at November 1, 2006 10:22 AM

Comments (1)

Admit it, Stu... you just sat on the aisle seat because you hoped to find out if that moustache tickled! :) (I can't believe you didn't mention this last night, this is hilarious!)

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