I just returned to the Park City Marriott - AKA Sundance Headquarters – from the Eccles theater, where the lines were around the block for the fourth public screening of Dito Montiel's A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. i had been told by someone in the press office that, even though I didn't have a hard-copy ticket, I would have no problem getting in with my press pass. That statement was wrong, wrong, wrong, and I knew it would be as soon as I got off the bus and walked straight into a scalper offering a pair of tickets for a hundred bucks. The parking lot looked like a rock concert. The two seperate lines - one for those poor, optimistic suckers who actually believed that if they waited out in the cold for long enough, they'd be rewarded – and each stretched almost all the way down to the street 45 minutes before show time. By the time I actually got to the box office (above: the view of the line from the front), I passed four seperate, desperate souls whispering, "Tickets? Got tickets? Got an extra ticket?" Though some people with press passes were getting in, I was told that my press pass was "the wrong kind", and there wouldn't be enough room for me. So I booked it out of there – but not before watching a guy fork over two fifties for a single ticket.
This is all very,very strange, because press reaction to Saints has been decidedly mixed. The film, which is in Dramatic Competition, also screened three times yesterday (well, twice at the Sundance Resort, but still). Based on Montiel's Brooklyn-based childhood, the film stars Robert Downet Jr, Rosario Dawson, and Shia LeBouf, who has been everywhere for the past couple of days. In the press room, a couple of reporters joked that after the screening, it's possible that Montiel couldn't pay anyone to line up for it – but with the kind of weight that buzz seems to have around here, we'll have to wait and see.