Going to Cannes for only a few days was a terrible tease, though we’re hardly complaining. Orange France, which provided internet access at our hotel, did not get along well with our blogging tool, so we have a few late, backlogged reviews to post shortly.
We were given the okay to go far too late to apply for a press badge from the festival’s famously draconian press office, but IFC did provide us with a bluish badge, the mysterious nature of which we did not manage to divine, as every time we used it to get into a screening we were told to stand in a different line. Once, waiting for what turned out to be the premiere of Hou Hsiao-hsien‘s "Flight of the Red Balloon" as well as the opening night of Un Certain Regard, we were let in first and ended up sitting across the aisle from Juliette Binoche and co. It was all very bewildering and exciting.
We mooched into the first press screening of "My Blueberry Nights" via a means we were too chicken to repeat, and so on Thursday morning with no screenings open to us we wandered over to the Carlton to watch, with dozens of our peers and the slightest amount of malignance in our heart, as Jerry Seinfeld, clad in a Styrofoam bee costume, slid down a zip line accompanied by "Flight of the Bumblebee" to promote "Bee Movie."
Seinfeld went down once, arms flailing, went back up, and went down a second time, clearly a little sooner than he had planned — he looked stricken as they unhooked him on the dock to head to the press line, but valiantly pulled himself together while others headed off to eat the buffet lunch provided by DreamWorks. Those we spoke to about the stunt were mildly impressed, if also curious about the insurance costs of slinging a famous comedian off a ten-story luxury hotel.
We were given the opportunity to attend one red carpet premiere, for "Les Chansons D’Amour." If you’ve been watching the Cannes Cam at all, you’ll have a sense of what that was like — everyone piles into cars to be driven to the Palais, which is, naturally, only about a five-minute walk from all of the major hotels. When you exit at the entrance of the red carpet, there’s a flutter from the barrage of amateur photographers and fans gathered on the median until they realize you’re no one of importance, at which point you can meander around the red carpet until a polite Cannes staff member observed that you perhaps would like to go inside and take a seat and leave some room outside for the talented and famous. Our experience was considerably improved by the fact that we were walking next to a French starlet named either Alice or Alison, and so could pretend we were walking away from hoards of tuxedoed paparazzi yelling our name.
The red carpet for Cannes anniversary anthology film "Chacun Son CinÃ©ma" was, we were told, a madhouse, though it will probably be outdone by Thursday’s premiere of "Ocean’s Thirteen." Still, no one’s made a bigger entrance yet than Alain Delon, who appeared late and set the crowd screaming with excitement. Here, the "Chacun" directors gather on the steps to the Palais:
The most interesting thing we learned at Cannes is that it’s very not in vogue to be fond of the Coen brothers. We’ve heard, either directly or indirectly from three different critics that "No Country For Old Men" is good, but that they just don’t like the Coens. Who knew?