June 22, 2015

Le Cinéma de la Magie

In the middle of the most prestigious cluster fuck in the world (thank you to Aaron Hillis), the Cannes Film Festival offers magical moments of the human experience. As I sat down to watch an Iranian film Nahid  in Un Certain Regard, I noticed Isabella Rossellini was directly behind us. I had to stifle my giggles as I kept imagining Dennis Hopper breathing into an oxygen tank whining "Daddy likes to fuck." Icons walked among us and became regular people looking to share a dream in the dark. This is the magic of cinema. 

There were also events outside the palais des festival that were available to the public. Larissa and I checked out the cinéma sur la plage and watched the classic film "Le grand blond ave une chaussure noire" (The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe - 1972) directed by Yves Robert. What an incredible experience to take in a screening on a white sand beach with a complimentary snuggle blanket. We kicked our shoes off and laughed hysterically at the most hilarious sex scenes ever. 

The magic of the collective experience.
I took in many films with my Frankfurt Crew & Creative Mind compatriots. I got to experience a theatre with leather reclining seats while watching Louder Than Bombs (starring Issabelle Huppert, Jesse Eisenberg, and Gabriel Byrne). I cried my eyes out at Mia Madre (directed by Nanni Moretti) and promptly called my mother to tell her I loved her. I laughed so hard at the plights of being single while watching Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster, where single people are kidnapped and turned into a animal if they don't find a mate in 45 days. And my absolute favourite film, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda, had me reflective, grateful for longing, memorized by picturesque Swiss landscapes, and falling in love with love and life... Do not miss Youth when it comes to town. Paolo Sorrentino has quickly become my favourite new director and this film expanded my heart. 

But of course, it wouldn't be France without a dash of crushed dreams and rejection. Even though we had our Marche du Film pass, we still waited in lines forever only to be turned away. I would have given up entirely if Mr. Hawaii 5-0 wasn't such an amusing companion. Jake would get so angry that his 'Murican accent actually got thicker and his crude perma-frown rants became a source of entertainment. Hearing "rusty cunt bucket" in a Minnesota drawl is now in my Top 5 favourite things of all time. Looking back, I think exclusivity is necessary part of the experience. The festival gets you all revved up and leaves you with cinephile blue balls so when you finally get access, it's all the more special. 

Which brings me to Gaspar Noe. A major buzz surrounded the director's film LOVE, an explicit porno (with a plot?) in 3D that premièred in Cannes and would promptly be banned or re-cut for North American audiences. To experience the sexual tension of over two thousand perverts packed into the Lumière to see 3D ejaculation... I mean, how do you not sign up for that? Unfortunately, 400 lazy journalists interceded our plans and bumped us out of line, and I say lazy because if I can already catch reviews on twitter from the night before it's over you irrelevant bastard. 

The Red Carpet

Red carpet screenings are invitation only. There is a lottery system and le bullshit algorithm that theoretically processes your requests, yet what it seemed to process best was rejection. Determined to make the trek up the stairs in our uncomfortable heels, Sofia and I used our Marche du Film passes to get in the rush line for tickets. It was a gamble and a potential waste of a cute dress. Other red carpet hopefuls made punny signs and waited for someone to take pity on them. Initially, I assumed this "hitch-hiker" method was too vulgar, but the French have taught me that even begging is acceptable if you do it in style.

Our goal was to attend the première of Marguerite & Julien, a French incest love story directed by Valerie Donzelli. We waited anxiously on the sidelines and met a fellow participant in Creative Minds hoping to see the film. The sun was going down, guests were being led up the stairs and it looked as though we weren't going to make it. Then, as compelled by the Gods themselves, I reached into my sparkly clutch - a useless accessory only capable of holding a lip gloss and a few Euros - to discover my French cellphone was ringing. A frantic voice on the other line told me an intern posted on Facebook that she had two tickets for the film, first come first serve. We dashed madly out of the line, begrudgingly abandoned our new companion and pushed our way through the crowd in our stilettos to find a complete stranger by the Merry-go-Round. Dreams come true, just like that. And they say everything comes in threes. As we frantically rushed back to the entrance, a blur of a tuxedo appeared before me. "Miss, do you need a ticket? I have only one." So we hauled ass back to the rush line to pass it forward to our new friend. It felt pretty good. With a good sweat on, our arms linked and squealing with delight, Sofia and I sauntered through the crowd of beautiful, important people and stepped upon the red where Charlize stood just the night before.

The Grand Theatre Lumiere in Cannes has a capacity of 2,300 people. It's monstrous. The balcony has a downward slope of about 240 degrees, so you have to find your seat and stay put - otherwise you fall to your death. From the theatre, we watched the broadcast of Valerie Donzelli strut the red carpet with her stars Anais Demoustier & Jeremie Elkaim. So very glamorous. We loved the film and stayed for the 10 minute standing ovation. What an amazing scene to witness.  

On the last night of the festival, I busted out my Canadian charm to score two back-to-back invites and FINALLY had the opportunity to twirl in my red carpet dresses. Another magical moment of feeling like a complete movie star with my Frankfurt Crew. 

I drooled over Michael Fassbender, took off my heels as we watched Justin Kurzel's Macbeth, devoured a burger in-between the films and promptly fell asleep in Valley of Love. Which is too bad, because the film was weird and mysterious and Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu... you can't finish a French festival in a better way. But the espresso had run out. I was gonzo. I realize now that no matter where we are, we're all just aching to get into a pair of sweatpants at the end of the night. 

The final chapter on Cannes.



  1. Wonderful post Lindsey! You took my mind on a fabulous mini adventure.

    1. Glad to Mary! It was quite the adventure!

    2. Glad to Mary! It was quite the adventure!


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