Wednesday, May 14
First day. Got up, felt slightly hung over, ate a bowl of granola with strawberries and bananas on it, felt like a champ for buying those things the day before (or having roommates who did) and headed out into the market. Outfit was professional but comfy. Hair was windswept. Sunglasses were definitely on.
First day of the market, so it’s a good idea to take a stroll around, check out the Palais, visit some booths, orient yourself. Pick up the daily market editions of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Screen Daily and feel the pulse of the market. I did a little bit of that, and registered for the Canadian Pavilion (they gave me some guff about not being one of the “officially recognized Canadian companies” but at least they didn’t try to charge me €150 to join, like the Americans do).
Saw two films on the first day. Well, one and a half, because they were slightly overlapping so I had to leave the first early to make it to the second. I’m kind of sorry I did, because the first was a real winner – a Dutch kids’ film called A Christmoose Story about – what else?! – Santa’s talking moose! You see, the reindeer pull the sleigh on Christmas, but the moose does the test runs. Or did, until he crashed into a little boy’s shed, flinging poor Santa across town into a garbage dump. Believe me, I could talk about this movie for an hour, but you should probably just watch the trailer. Or here’s an English dubbed version, if you go for that sort of thing. The second film was Debug, the sci-fi directorial debut of David Hewlett, one of my fave Canadian actors. Daily Can-con is important.
Dinner was an absolutely lovely homemade affair with some friends who cleverly rented a villa just outside of town so that they could bring their families. Two couples and three very cute little girls make for a fun household. There was a gorgeous full moon and even an unexpected blackout (dinner by candlelight, excitement). Who could really ask for anything more?
When one of the people you’re dining with is Tim League, you kind of assume that hijinx might ensue, so instead of getting dropped off at home after dinner, we all made a late-ish stop at Petit Majestic (surprise!) and went home at 2am swearing, swearing not to repeat that performance again the next day. The hijinx weren’t over the top or anything. It’s just that when your days start early and end late, the last thing you want is to make your mornings even harder by adding a hangover to the mix. Oh, and apparently I got “whiny” about “snacks” on the way home. So says Colin.
Pro tip: if you are staying at a place that has a fridge, make sure it is stocked with snacks. Future drunk you will thank you! So will “in a hurry in the morning” you and “home to change clothes and dump my stuff at 3pm” you. Meals are sporadic in this town. And dinners don’t really happen before 8pm.
Thursday May 15
I’ve taken to logging into the online ticketing system constantly, so by Wednesday I’d already managed to snag myself a ticket to the Mike Leigh joint, Mr. Turner, which was playing on Thursday at 3:30pm. Unfortunately I didn’t take note of the fact that this was actually in conflict with another film I desperately wanted to see on the big screen, so I ended up having to return the ticket.
Important tip: if you order a ticket for an official screening in Cannes, you can cancel your reservation online before you go to pick the ticket up at the box office. But if you go and get a physical ticket, and then decide not to use it, you absolutely have to return it before a certain hour (or find someone else to go in your stead) or you will be penalized in the points system and it’ll screw up your chances of getting tickets to other things in the days to come. They scan those tickets on the way in, so they know if yours has been used.
Anyway. Returned the ticket to for Mr. Turner and went to see the 1992 Quebecois film Leolo instead, which was recently restored and being showcased in Cannes Classics. What a gorgeous and shocking and heartbreaking and extremely funny movie. Loved it. Went with my friend Simon, from Fantasia, who told me in advance that it was one of his faves, so I was prepared to love it because he’s got great taste. But man! Can’t recommend highly enough.
Dinner was with a wonderful, dear friend and a couple of new folks that she introduced us to at a place at the top of the hill in the old town, where they had a live Mariachi band playing. You heard me right. Authentic French cuisine and Mariachi. They were very spirited.
On the way home we swung by the Petit Majestic (what is wrong with us?) and were once again somehow hoodwinked into staying well past 2am. It was worth it though, because we got to catch up with Chad and hear about his first couple of days. I get the feeling he’s having a good time.
I, for the record, am having a great time.