Wow. To say the last few days have been a blur would be an understatement. Until yesterday, our days involved quite a bit of strolling through Juan-les-Pins and eating Master Burger. Here are some highlights:
After walking around some on Monday, we had a welcome dinner in the classroom. It was deeee-licious. Even better was the fact that we got to take home the leftovers. Sadly, the good stuff in my fridge didn’t even make it past the night.
We had class on Tuesday morning with Dr. Kohn and went over the film review requirements briefly. After some more Master Burger, we ventured into CANNES for class number two. We had class in the park, immediately in front of the palais. The palais is the red carpet area in front of the major theater, the Lumiere. The blue sign behind me and Blake is part of the massive festival billboard above the carpet that has all the names of the major directors whose films are competing and recognized.
After class we headed into the palais to get our badges. The badges are basically ID cards that get you into various screenings, and the best of those are the market badges. For the first time ever, our program was able to acquire market badges this year–HUGE DEAL. These badges mostly go to people in the market aspect of the biz–financiers, distributors, agents, etc.–who use the access they have to negotiate the funding, production, distribution and purchase of films. In other words, these passes are hard to get for little guys like us. The badges also get us into everything except the special screenings in the Lumiere theater, but we can get into those screenings if we find tickets.
The feeling I had of wearing the badge around my neck and carrying around the bag of Cannes info books, packets and freebies from various nations (incentives to film there?) can be described no better than complete euphoria. It was a truly surreal experience that I can only hope I have the chance to repeat in the future.
After getting our badges, we walked around Cannes, ate at a cafe, spent roughly three hours with the incompetent employees of the Monoprix (a French version of Target), and headed home.
Today, however, was an especially exciting day. It was the first official day of the festival, so Cannes was a completely different environment. My roommate’s alarm didn’t go off properly so we missed the market screenings this morning, but we went into Cannes early to hang out at the American pavilion, a tent-like place on the beach that’s somewhat like a lounge. Later on we walked around to find the other, smaller theaters showing movies during the festival and changed into our dresses in a hotel. Like I mentioned earlier, we have to find ways to get tickets for the big premieres, and “Robin Hood” premiered tonight to open the festival. Starting about two hours before the premiere began, I held up a sign that said in French “One ticket for ‘Robin Hood,’ please.” I was harassed a bit, photographed a great deal of times, and interviewed by some TV station, but it ultimately paid off. A man whose daughter is an actress escorted me onto the red carpet, and we walked behind one of the stars as the photographers’ cameras went off. Such a ridiculous feeling. Afterward I took my seat on the balcony and found my friends while we waited for the opening ceremonies to begin.
This is the most beautiful movie theater I’ve ever seen.
The red carpet came to a close, and the emcee introduced the festival jury, which includes Kate Beckinsale. I don’t like girls, but she is fineeee. The jury is headed by American director Tim Burton. The entire jury was introduced, and Cate Balnchett and Russell Crowe came out to declare the festival open and to introduce ‘Robin Hood:’
After the premiere we took the train to the wrong station, walked from Antibes to JLP after getting a bit lost, and got late-night pizza. A man attempted to pick a group of us girls up using the pickup line “I have some really good ice cream. Give me two minutes of your time.” Needless to say, it did not work.
I’m too tired to adequately convey how happy I am, but today was wonderful. I have nothing else to say, except wait until “Robin Hood” comes out on DVD.