Celebrating Film

By the time you read this, the 68th Cannes Film Festival will have packed up its wares and the pantechnicons will be back on the road. The awards will have been handed out and celebrated at illustrious parties, Elton John will have hosted his annual Aids event, and the stars will be on planes flying off to their various countries of residence, while this coastal city of Cannes, once a humble fishing village, will be preparing for its next onslaught of visitors: the summer tourists.

I am writing this blog hours before l’ouverture du festival. Excitement is riding high as all has yet to be revealed. This year, the American filmmakers, the Coen Brothers, are jointly heading up the jury for the Official Competition Selection. They say they are delighted to be here, to be able to take the time to sit back and watch some movies! Last week in Paris, I went to see a re-run of their wonderfully anarchic film, The Big Lebowski. Their take on life and cinema should make for a fascinating and, hopefully, surprising choice of award-winning features.

Strolling the famous Croisette at this time of year, it is impossible not to pick up on the excitement, the anticipation, as Cannes readies itself to receive 25,000 visitors over the next two weeks. The festival always commences on a Wednesday evening and concludes ten days later on a Sunday night with an out-of-competition screening that follows the awards ceremony.

The restaurants have been glammed up, prices hiked, all shops have evening wear displayed in their windows; the beaches have been cleared of all flotsam and jetsam, decorated with potted palms and new sand trucked in. Meanwhile, on the city side of this glamorous promenade, the rental of a three-bedroom apartment with sea views will set you back somewhere in the region of 30,000 euros for the ten days! Don’t worry, it usually includes daily cleaning services.

The Cannes Film Festival is seriously big business for those living and operating in this seaside resort and for those flying in with high hopes of selling their films, pitching their projects to distributors and investors or, for those chosen few, to bask in the glory of…

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