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Doing the Cannes Cannes.....from 5000 Miles Away


For several personal reasons, I am not attending the Cannes Film Festival this year, a sojourn that I have taken more than 15 times in the last 20 years. So, here I sit nearly 5000 miles and six time zones away, remembering previous Croisette crawls and still feeling the rumblings of an event like no other in the film business.

I remember the long, meandering walks along the famously crowded Croisette, the flop sweat of rushing from one meeting to another interview, the exasperation of negotiating crowds of tourists, straining to see at least one movie star for their efforts.

And I remember the cast of characters.....first time visitors attempting to understand the vagaries of French politesse, the overanxious film sellers held up in their office lairs in the Carlton, Majestic or Noga Hilton, the overly cynical press ready to skewer a film director whose work they deemed not up to snuff, the local Cannois in their folding chairs looking on with delight as the gods and goddesses ascended the only red carpet that really matters.

Whether one is a director with high minded purpose, or a film buyer looking for a bargain, or a film critic sharpening his claws, or an industry go-fer trying to crash a high-end party, the cast of characters thrown together for the pagan ritual of the Cannes Film Festival is a novelist's (and psychiatrist's) dream come true. Jealousy, spite, guilt, envy, and what the Germans call schadenfreude (relishing other people's mistakes and misfortunes) are all on marvelous display, along with the Armani tuxedos and the haute couture gowns.

After nearly 60 years, the Cannes Film Festival remains the zenith of the dream and the promise of the film world....a place where stars are born, auteurs are lionized, buyers and sellers circle each other in mutual distrust, and journalists comment on the tragedy and the drama of this very human spectacle.

In these blog entries, I will offer a different kind of perspective on this glittering event. Rather than being up close and personal, my physical distance from the events unfolding on the Cote d'Azur will give me a different view. As mediated by video images on television and the internet, content and opinions in blogs and news stories, and the pr emails that are clogging my mailbox on a daily basis, I will attempt to describe the echoes and reverberations of the Cannes experience....from a distance.

In the silence of my writing room, I can almost hear the distant thunder of all that activity....a Richter scale earthquake of ambition, desire, dreams and even some glory. The plot thickens. Stay tuned.

Sandy Mandelberger
24framespersecond

Comments (3)

mandy sandy I seem to know u

mandy sandy I seem to know everyone here! Cannes is a big family Did you enjoy the coverage Bruno (the editor here)

Why weren't you there!?

Hi Sandy Mandy,

Why weren't you there? I didn't see you at any of the functions. You weren't squishing sand between your toes on the beach. Where were you and why?

Could it have been the escalating airfares as a result of oil prices? Could it have been the strong Euro to the weak Dollar? Could it have been that every Hotel Room and Apartment was way over priced?

Or could it have been that you found something more productive and interesting to do?

Look forward to your response.

Mandy The Second

Not at Cannes but still writing about it

Hey,

Not sure who is writing this, but I was not in Cannes this year because I was dealing with some health issues at the time. That luckily has now passed and I am back in the fray. But I thought it would be interesting to try and be a part of the Festival from a distance by looking at the print, broadcast and online media.....what little there was in the US.

OK, reveal yourself, Mandy the Second

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