I tried to cover last night's New York premiere of United 93, which doubled as the official opening night of the Tribeca Film Festival. I tried really hard. First, I tried to get tickets to the event. When my requests on that front were denied, I RSVPed to be part of the red carpet press line. But when I got to the Ziegfeld Theater last night, I was told that I wasn't on the press list. Already exhausted, just two days into the Festival, from arguing with publicists and volunteers, at that point I slunk off to watch the proceedings from afar.
Most of the red carpet real estate seemed to have been given to publications like Extra and Entertainment Tonight. The crowd seemed about half-and-half split between black-tie industry types, all smiles, patting one another on the back in between introductions to heavily-iced female escorts; and casually dressed, slightly befuddled-looking everyday citizens brandishing green slips of paper. I asked a Festival volunteer if these were the victims' family members; she told me that I couldn't "stand there," and asked me to cross the street. It was at that point that I decided to give up and go get a drink.
But as I was leaving the area, I walked straight into a small protest, one which the media at the event has so far seemingly ignored.