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Cannes is about seeing new films before everyone else, before the press release their first impressions and before there is a body of public opinion in favor or against a film and this is no less true among festival programmers from around the world who search through the Cannes titles for films that will populate their festival’s selection or—if they are among the lucky few who work for festivals (Berlin, Toronto, Venice) which present mostly world premieres—they will use Cannes as a gauge of the year.  Cannes has designed a complicated pecking order of access that has become a sport among accredited attendees (or maybe just among our staff) to decipher whose badge color coding means what.  All I know is that I don’t have Bob’s (Koehler) coveted press badge which grants access to the morning press screenings at 8:30am and 11:30am of the Official Selection films which are presented each evening at a black tie screening in the Palais.  To gain entry to the Official Selection films, I must  submit my ticket requests online into a system that looks like this:

Here is what I got:

This evening’s 10:30pm Palais screening of THE HOUSEMAID by Hansoo Im which has already gotten mixed reviews including this one by Screen International’s Lee Marshall.  I must see it for myself if only to watch Jeon Do-youn who won the Best Actress prize in Cannes 2007 for Lee Chang-Dong’s SECRET SUNSHINE and tomorrow’s 8:30am screening of Mike Leigh’s ANOTHER YEAR.