23 April 2001
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`Rouge' Screening Unfashionably Early
By Tim Swanson

Call it a special screening. Or a charity event. Just don't mention the word "premiere."

More than a few eyebrows were raised when 20th Century Fox and Vogue magazine's fashion/ charity event showed "Moulin Rouge" on April 17 at Gotham's Paris Theater, with many questioning Fox's decision to offer a high-profile preview weeks before the pic's Cannes "world premiere."

Although movies often screen before appearing at the Palais, "Rouge's" celeb-studded screening could steal some thunder from the upcoming fest.

The screening grew out of an agreement by which star Nicole Kidman appeared on the cover of Vogue December issue, which was to coincide with the pic's then release date. Fox likely could have pulled the pic from the party. But the event was a key opportunity to build buzz among Gotham's hip set.

Helmer Baz Luhrmann told attendees that the pic, which ran with no credits, wasn't completely color corrected or sound mixed. An impromptu 12-minute intermission hit when the print broke. Still, it reportedly received several standing ovations.