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Cannes Diary

Entry Three: Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Day One of the Festival -- Opening Night
Movies: Her Island, My Island and Hollywood Ending


Well, this entry begins as a "new day," but let’s not kid ourselves, this is really just the continuation of the long, long day that started on Tuesday. I somehow manage to drag myself out of bed and, after sneering at a comfortably sleeping Shreevar, get dressed and head out to McDonalds to meet Lisa and Lauren. At this point begins our frustratingly long struggle to figure out where the hell to get the premiere tickets.

We wandered over to Unifrance, figuring that the booth would open around 9:00am, like we originally heard from someone or another. We get there to find a sign saying that the booth is currently closed and will open up for the Festival today at 2:00pm. Yeah, and there were zero people there at the time. Needless to say, we were more than a little confused. We figured, "Opening Night tickets, first day of the Festival, there would have to be a few other insane people up at this hour." We amble over to the Palais, where a group of people are waiting, but they tell us that they’re waiting for the opening of the Marketplace, not for tickets. Still confused, we head back over to McD’s for breakfast and decide to walk over to the Majestic, one of the huge hotels nearby with celebrities and, more important to us at this moment, huge amounts of trade magazines available to pick up to try to figure out what we’re supposed to be doing. We pick up the trades, which tell us approximately nothing, but as we’re leaving, we run into Beth and Whitney, who are rushing back to the Palais after picking up magazines also. We tag along with them and learn that their ticket area is inside the Palais and opens at 9:00am. Figuring that this was the best info we’d heard yet, we head over back with them and cut in line, desperately trying to figure out what we’re supposed to do. After getting up at 6:30am, we were not about to screw up and miss our chances at getting Opening Night tickets. So yeah, no idea what we’re supposed to be doing, but we figure that at least now we’re with other Penn people. While in line, though, we overhear the people behind us talking about the exact same problem we’re having.

9:00am comes along and the mad rush begins. As soon as the doors open, everyone around us begins frantically shoving their way into the Palais to find their booths. The girls scramble around, unable to figure out where they’re going from here (beautiful system the Festival has, isn’t it?) and they take off. Lisa, Lauren, and I ask everyone we can what they know, but everyone is equally confused. We attach ourselves to the two guys behind us, though, who are also looking for Unifrance. We figure out that we’re not supposed to be here, so we run out the back of the Palais and back towards the Pantiero. It amazes me that, despite all of these people here, no one really seems to know what they’re supposed to be doing. What I figure is that the Festival started years ago and a small group of people knew exactly how everything was supposed to work. Each year, they come back and pass on their knowledge to a couple of others and they know what’s going on. No one else knows anything, though, and the key is just to search as much as you can to run into one of the few people around you who has any idea whatsoever. We never found any of those people (who usually have enough clout that they don’t have to mingle around the booths themselves to get tickets anyway). Who we did find, though, were two other people just as determined as we were to get these premiere tickets. We figured there was no way that all of us could fail in getting these tickets. Well, hopefully not.
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