CANNES — “The Da Vinci Code” is about riddles, secrets and confusion. So, in that sense, the pic’s opening night was totally in synch with the film.
Sony spared no expense for the film’s Cannes debut on Wednesday, flying in 150 marketing people to assist with the screening, dinner and party. So far, so good.
Ticketholders had trouble cracking the code of the screening. Trying to queue up for entrance to the Palais’ Lumiere theater, many were directed to the Debussy theater to the north. Naturally, that line was forming on the south. Doors closed at 6:20 p.m. for the 7:45 screening.
Only a fraction were invited to the official dinner in the Palais following the screening, but the few treasured guests wandered around looking at the numbered tables, trying to figure out which number was theirs. And woe unto anyone who sat at the wrong table, because they were instructed, mid-forkful, to move. Not a lot of Mona Lisa smiles at that event. (Some top Sony execs skipped the dinner in favor of restaurant La Maschou.)
Under the gigantic, specially constructed pyramid near the Old Harbor, for-hire security were so super-scrupulous that a few high-ranking Sony execs were refused admittance. Those lucky enough to get in were delighted to enter an overheated, unventilated mystical space filled with cigar smoke.
One partygoer described the event as “party apartheid,” since there was “the most pronounced difference between the VIP party and the commoners’ party I’ve ever seen.”