It was touch and go for a while but finally my badge for the Cannes Film Festival came through and I headed to Cannes to pick it up. Just as the counter lady typed my information into the computer she frowned. Another assistant come rushing over and explained that the computers were down. As we waited for them to reboot, I asked the woman if the storms from last week were continuing to gum up the system. No, she explained. It was the volcano that was disrupting arrivals.
It seemed a little quieter than usual but hardly DOA. Cote d’Azur tourist officials announced a banner weekend of hotel reservations partly because of the Cannes Film Festival.
After depositing my 10-ton bag in the cloakroom I went to the movies! Since I didn’t have time to research, I took the path of least resistance which led to an Agnes Varda film, the 1969 hippiegram “Lions, Love . . .and Lies” starring the luminous Viva of Warhol fame and the two guys who came up with “Hair”. Looking very much the aging hippie with her bi-coloured hair, Ms Varda was on hand to present her film.
Then it was time for Happy Hour! The Short Film Corner sponsors a 5pm Happy Hour which attracts a young crowd, mostly from the American Pavillion. With my prestigious badge, I was quickly targeted by a nervous young guy who wanted to know who I was “with”. He was “with” Sprankle Studios and had directed a short film for them. No sooner had I edged away than another young man rushed over to introduce himself and his short film. “It’s about sign-spinners.” “What?” “If you have seven minutes you can see it!” “Well, I. . .” He whipped out his Ipad which immediately piqued my interest. Before I knew it, I had headphones on and the opening credits started to roll. Human Traffic King was the catchy title and it was about, well, those people that spin signs out there in America. Who knew? Grade: A+ for hustle; A for originality and a solid B for execution.
I finished off the day with a short documentary about Catherine Destivelle, the world champion rock climber. It made me want to visit the beautifully-photographed Alps that was a setting for her exploits but stay far, far away from those horrid, steep cliffs.Follow me!