Monday, May 25, 2009

Hey Joe, Cannes The Snow

It was about 6AM when I took The Boys out for their early walk. Cannes was most definately in the throes of the morning after. The sky was low and pale blue, the air fresh and delivery trucks jammed the roads. La Croisette had shed last night's glamour to pack it in for another year.

One block away is The Carlton Hotel, one of the grande dames of the Riviera and a big participant in the Film Festival. The front door has been made into a GI Joe movie parade while outside, it is Christmas. Actually, when we arrived yesterday it was Christmas-- complete with snow, Christmas trees and a billboard about A Christmas Story with Jim Carrey. This morning, they were blowing the 'snow' away and washing down the sidewalks.

We spent a somewhat frustrating evening last night-- unable to get any live coverage on TV or perhaps unable to properly manipulate the fancy TV. We fell asleep watching Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson speaking French after a room service dinner.

It was close to 100 degrees late afternoon yesterday, so we did not envy those in penguin suits or fancy dress. This was my first time as a spectator, whic I found hot, cruel and silly. But looking at the other guests in the streets was far more fun that watching out for film stars and jury members I would not recognize anyway.

For the most part, Sarah and I could shout to each other-- 'Silver gown!' Followed by "look at that red one!" and a little bit of "Oh my heavens!". There was a 50-50 blend of long to short dresses and then a 50-50 blend of black to non-black. The most prevelant color was raspberry with a few hussies dressed in red.

There was one slim column of red silk, ala Valentino, on a woman I think was a Jury Member but the other ladies in red were just revealing their need to have people stare at them.

Most women wore very high heels; the strapy ankle boot sandals seem to be the rage. My feet get hot just thinking about it. I have also walked up the Red Carpet and know that inside the theatre, there is a six-story high movie screen projecting each and every person as he or she ascends. This means if you even wobble in those high heels, the audience will be snickering.

The scene in the streets was hilarious. Most of the action took place behind barricades at Chanel and Hagen-Dazs. Ice cream cones were being munched; some lay splattered on the pavement. Several singles-- men and women-- were dressed in their Sunday Go to Meeting finest and carried signs in different languages, asking for a spare ticket or 'invitation'. I didn't see anyone I'd share my tickets with...if I had any.

Sarah and I did make it to the Offical 62nd FIF Boutique where very expensive merchandise was being grabbed up as if it was the last night of the Festival (which it was). I considered the official cap for a friend of mine, but it was 20 euros and I think he's happy with his official cap from Fiesta 09 San Antonio. The key chains were 15 euros (12 across the street at the non-official store) and the beach towels were a staggering 45 euros each.

I tried not to be rude and refrained from taking many of the shots I wanted-- the very louche Russian TV sound man with boom in one hand and cigarette in the other, the woman in the crimson lace-up corset with the Carmen of the Bizet opera hairstyle (finished off with giant red flowers, of course)who raced across the street in a wake of waving taffeta while the city-employed garbage man, in neon green, swept up behind her. The fat lady, who would probably sing later, in spandex and leopard print.

There were mothers with strollers and little girls in pink tutus. There also seemed to be a line of 9 year old ballerinas on each of the steps going up into the Palais des Festivals. I'm not certain if they represented some marketing aspect of a film or were put there by the local mayor to remind people that all politcs are local.

When I turned on the news in my vain attempt to get information or the actual awards ceremony, I thought they said (my French is weak, especially when others are speaking) the awards would be televised Monday evening. Later in the evening, as I browsed my magazines on fashion at the Festival, I found a TV schedule for the week and noted that on Monday night (tonight) there's a Johnny Hallyday special. I'd rather watch that any day.

And yes, PS- critics said there were scads of excellent movies this year and it would be impossible to guess the winner. The Austrian film , The White Ribbon, did win--it is at least not a Holocaust film but takes place immediately after World War I and is said to be quite moving. As it should be.

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