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Movie magic in Cannes

Since I can remember, I have been in love with the magic of the big screen – the magic of movies.   I love how characters come to life on the screen, how their hopes become my hopes, how their happily ever-ever-afters make me feel like such a thing might really be attainable.  I love the high stakes, the excitement, the magic.  That’s what brought me to Cannes.  That is, I believe, what is at the root of why most of us are here working during the film festival. 

Many filmmakers come to Cannes hoping to find their big break.  Other filmmakers have already caught that big break and yet are risking getting their heart broken all over again as their films compete for the Palm D’Or.  And within the hordes of industry members, journalists swarm around in search of the next big story while paparazzi throng the streets and the entrances to the town’s many five star hotels hoping to snap a photo of someone famous. 

The first day of the festival I found myself giving way to my own curiosity and joining the rapidly growing crowd of paparazzi and onlookers outside of Hotel Martinez along the Croisette.  I stood for several minutes, pressed behind  police barricades with the rest of the crowd, until I finally turned to the man next to me and asked which celebrity we were waiting to see.  “Anyone,” he replied.

Tourists and locals alike flood the streets around the Palais, all donning ball gowns and tuxedos, all hoping for their own magical moment in which they manage to receive a coveted last-minute ticket to the night’s premiere movie.  And later at night, when many of the hopefuls are feeling a bit disenchanted, they can be seen queuing outside McDonalds, as the train of their gowns flows ironically in the light sea breeze or as they bite into a Big Mack while trying not to drip ketchup on their tux.

And just when it seems like magic might only be for movies, something happens.  A surprise fireworks show erupts over the Mediterranean, distracting celebrity-watchers and club goers alike, capturing the hearts of the crowd.  Or the sounds of “Ai Se Eu Te Pego” are heard streaming from speakers up and down the Croisette as Michel Telo performs on the beach at a special live taping of Canal+.  And at moments like that, living in Cannes is like living in a feel-good film.  Happily-ever afters seem not just possible, but probable.  The magic of the movies has temporarily permeated the glossy fine line between the screen and the day.












- Molly S Kruser


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