My final invitational Cannes activity was trying to attend the Inglourious Basterds party, which began under beach tents opposite the former Noga Hilton (now called the Palais Stephanie) around 10 pm last night. A dense pack of tuxedoed, dressed-to-the-nines types who’d just come from the Basterds screening at the Grand Lumiere were packed around the entrance. It looked like a mound of termites except for the size of the termites and the quality of their apparel and coifs.

Except there was no entrance — the security goons had every everything thoroughly blocked off — and even people with hard tickets were looking anxious and desperate. I scrunched and winnowed my way through three separate lines, each time being told to go to the other line. At least one Weinstein Co. publicist (i.e., Emily Feingold) stood in the entrance area but told me she couldn’t do anything to help. Indiewire‘s Eugene Hernandez was standing and surging alongside; Variety‘s Sharon Swart and Michael Fleming joined the throng at a later point. “Emily Feingold…your friends are suffering!”

When it comes to ritualized humiliations I’m at a slight disadvantage because I have a threshold of dignity — a line I will not cross. I hit it after a good 20 minutes of trying to get in when word came down for the fourth time to try another approach and that “anyone without a hard ticket will have to wait.” This despite several of us having been told to come with the assurance that our names would be at the door. That was it. I walked down the Croisette a free man — liberated, breathing clean air, Papillon reborn.