What Would You Do To See Wes Anderson Speak?

September 27, 2007

This past Tuesday night I seriously underestimated at least one of two things. First? The number of die-hard Wes Anderson Fans in New York. Second? New York City’s unemployment rate. Perhaps? Both.

Fox Searchlight organized a screening for Hotel Chevalier, a short film being billed as a prologue to Mr. Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited, at the Apple store in SoHo. I arrived at the corner of Prince Street and Greene Street at 7 PM, two hours before the given start time of 9 PM. I was obviously a minimum of 3 to 4 hours too late, though, because the line was already about 250 people deep. And thats not including all those who, like me, saw the line and immediately walked off in search of food.

(This is not an exaggeration. Pull the area up on Google Maps, and just imagine the line starting on Prince Street, stretching north up Greene Street, and ending within spitting distance of Houston. I assume it got worse in the remaining two hours before the event.)

Given the average age of the line, I can’t fault anyone who waited in it. Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, and Natalie Portman all were scheduled to be present for the screening. If I was still in college (like most of the NYU students whom I’m implying probably comprised the line), I’d probably have cut a class and brought a book too.

Still. A 5 to 6 hour wait for a 13 minute movie? Moreover, it’s a 13 minute movie which would be available on the internet and for free within 24 hours. It’s a bit tough to find on iTunes, but the link here will take you right to it.