Distractions kept me from last night’s Runaways red-carpet photo op at the Sunshine Cinemas, so I went to the after-party at the Bowery hotel, hoping for a shot of Kristin Stewart and Dakota Fanning. It was a very nice gathering with tasty food, etc., but Stewart and Fanning decided to temporarily blow the party off by going somewhere else after the screening. (Young actors sometimes need to express disdain for publicity.) I knew they’d show up sooner or later but waiting around became interminable.

Falco Ink’s Janice Roland had graciously passed me into the event, but I was pretty much left to my own devices once I was in. Survival of the fittest, the scramble to survive, etc. There was the usual roped-off VIP area with two or three apes guarding the entrance. The party was filled with stylishly dressed, slightly desperate-looking people who had clearly attached great significance in their heads to being there. I began to feel badly about being there, and then really badly about it. I began telling myself that the people at this party were the worst people in the world. I was suddenly seized by a desire to talk to someone like Henry Fonda‘s Tom Joad character in The Grapes of Wrath.

Late in the game I chatted about the film with a hazel-eyed blonde who was sitting at the bar, and asked her at one point how she felt about Fanning’s performance as Cherie Currie. She said into my ear, “Do you mind if I don’t talk about that?” I said to her, “It’s okay — please don’t.” I gave her a look of slight contempt as I turned away and returned to the VIP area to wait with the other paps for Stewart/Fanning. It was a lot like standing around gate 225 at the Port Authority bus terminal.

After a while I just couldn’t stand it and left. I’m guessing that Stewart or Fanning or both eventually appeared, but it felt great when I finally left the party and hit the pavement and began walking north and breathing in the night air.

The only truly appealing part of the evening was speaking briefly to Apparition co-chief Bob Berney about everyone hoping to see Terrence Malick ‘s The Tree of Life at Cannes. Berney doesn’t expect the notoriously reclusive Malick to take part in any of the usual promotional exposures and appearances if the film plays there — no photo op gang-bang, no press conference attendance, no one-on-one press luncheon sit-downs, etc. Didn’t Malick go to Cannes in the ’70s for either Badlands or Days of Heaven?, I asked. Berney couldn’t remember but I think he did. I know that Malick won the festival’s Best Director prize in ’78 for Days of Heaven.