Early this morning I was late to my 8:30 screening of Emanuel Parvu‘s Three Kilometres to the End of the World, a small-town Romanian drama about homophobia and a hate crime. But I had 15 minutes to make it to the Salle Agnes Varda, a relatively short distance from the pad, and figured I had a fighting chance. I had my laminated pass, my bar-code ticket…this could work.

But I didn’t have a fighting chance…not really…as the Cannes Film Festival security guys have set up too many blocking gates, lines and security checks.

I tried to walk directly to the A.V. from the Place Maritime entry gate, which I’ve done dozens of times in the past. Nope — your press pass isn’t sufficient, go around the Grand Palais, enter from the other side. But after doing that I was confronted by a long, terribly slow, shuffling-nightmare line. After getting through that soul-suffocating gauntlet and climbing the A.V. stairs I was blocked yet again by security staff. After being allowed to pass I was blocked a fourth time from entering the theatre.

And this wasn’t just me — a sizable crowd of credentialed journos had the same beef and were trying to beg, argue and cajole their way in. They all failed.

It was that beefy Place Maritime guard and that long behind-the-Palais line…the one-two punch that killed my spirit and sent me plunging into the pit.