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1996 Cannes Film Festival Buzz
Gill Holland's Buzz #4

by Gill Holland

Thursday, May 16th

Everywhere, everywhere, people scrambling for the elusive "Stealing Beauty" tickets. There was even a good 100 people turned away for the 2pm screening. Instead we went to the 7th floor of the Martinez to visit the "Espace Libre" which is a terrasse and open bar sponsored by Radio Nova for the young talent in French cinema. Walking through the throng to get into the hotel I cross Elsa Zylberstein, the beautiful actress from "Farinelli" who was off to a "Un Certain Regard" dinner for her latest film. In the lobby was the irascible Richard Bohringer of "Diva" and "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" fame (I call him the Jack Nicholson of France). The elevator door opens and out emerges a camera following the lovely Line Renaud, one of France's national treasures, who had been such a great host/emcee at last year's Sarasota French Film Festival. Already this is turning into a serious French star-spotting event and I haven't even made it to the party. There under a thatched roof, we drank Pastis and talked with among others, the incomparable Bulle Ogier, who was so good in so many of the New Wave films and just wrapped a American indie film shot in New York called "Somewhere in the City". I have to say that this event, while very tough to get in for the Americans, was one of the nicest spots of the whole festival, and we ended up talking to French producers and actors for 5 hours! I do not think that ever at Cannes have I spent so long in one place.

At around 9pm the music started up - a great rap band, and people danced, and we enjoyed the scenery until we had to meet some of the locals at the hip "Farfalla" bar right in front of the Bunker. Later, 3am-ish, we spot Robert Altman, looking very dapper in a white dinner jacket at the Petit Majestic holding court to a bevy of admiring students and cinephiles. Seymour Cassel also makes a late appearance.

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