The world premiere screening of Explicit Ills, written and directed by oh-I-recognize-that-guy actor Mark Webber, was tonight at the new Alamo Ritz. And while it may well be a fantastic movie, I'm afraid that's going to remain a secret for the time being, because only a couple dozen people not connected to the film were allowed into the theater.
I was with a few Cinematical crew members and other friends of ours near the front of the badge-holders' line. Badge-holders get in first, after the festival staff has admitted whatever "entourage" people are there with the film. Sometimes there are no such people; sometimes, for the high-profile debuts, there are as many as a few dozen.
For Explicit Ills, there were at least 125.
We stood there as cluster after cluster of people -- cast members and friends of cast members; crew members and friends of crew members -- filed into the theater. Finally those of us in line were allowed entrance, and our group barely made it in. Aside from the very front row, the only empty seats remaining were singles scattered around the theater. I heard them let in another seven people after us, and that must have been about it. The theater has 165 seats, and I estimate only about 30 of those wound up being occupied by actual festival-goers. The other eager would-be attendees -- and it was a long line -- got turned away.