I have a system in discussing possible Telluride Film Festival selections with the publicists who represent then. A publicist can’t spill the beans so you have to be tricky about it. Here’s how I put it to a publicist friend the other day: “I know you can’t say anything but I think your film is going to Telluride. Do me a favor — if it’s not going to Telluride, please write me and ask if I have any extra tickets to the next Dodger game. Okay? I’ll repeat — if it’s NOT going to Telluride, please write me and ask if I have any extra tickets to the next Dodger game. Which means that if your film is going to Telluride, you won’t email me about Dodger tickets. Okay? Fair?”
I was thinking about that scene in All The President’s Men when Dustin Hoffman‘s Carl Bernstein tells a source to hang up the phone by the count of ten if a story about H.R. Haldeman is wrong. Hoffman counts to ten and the source doesn’t hang up. Before signing off the source says, “Okay…are we straight, man?” And then it turns out he was some kind of moron and didn’t understand what Bernstein was saying.