There are 12 or 13 movie journalists (including MCN’s David Poland, Thelma Adams, First Showing‘s Alex Billington, The Playlist‘s Rodrigo Perez, Collider‘s Steve Weintraub, Coming Soon‘s Ed Douglas) staying at the Grand Windham Berlin. A slightly earlier time has been set for tomorrow’s round-table interviews of the Grand Budapest Hotel guys at the Hotel Adlon, and so earlier today Weintraub asked Fox Searchlight publicists, “What time should we meet in the lobby for the shuttle now?” The instant I read that I quietly harumphed and shook my head.
The Adlon is about a 20-minute walk from the Windham. (Okay, maybe 25.) It’s not that cold out and it’s a pleasant and scenic stroll. And Lord knows writers need all the exercise they can get. But Weintraub wants to be driven over in a van, surrounded by warm friendly bodies and relieved of the responsibility of using his smartphone GPS to find the Adlon on his own. We were all included in his email so I sent this response: “Or…you know, some of us could face scary Berlin all by our lonesomes and walk over to the Hotel Adlon. I mean, there’s that option.”
The truth is that for some people it’s not. The urge to huddle and protect ourselves from undefined threats is built into our genetic code. I’m not saying it’s “wrong” to want to be driven everywhere and be surrounded by pallies, but it’s a little wimpy. My instinct, no offense, is always to avoid vans, tour buses, guided tours of museums, big cruise ships…anything that involves being led around. Even if the Adlon was two or three miles away I would want to get there on my own.