1996 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Diary #8: Exhaustion & Gossip
May 17, 1996
People are getting punchy. Sleep deprivation. Watching other people's dreams
on the big screen. Eating cous-cous and drinking too much of the local rose.
Parties deep into the night. Writing even deeper into the dark.....the festival
is winding down.
When you're too exhausted to read anything in the Daily Variety put out
here, and you just stagger from screening room to screening room, you're
happy to know that those fixed constellations in cyberspace - like Filmscouts
- will be awaiting you when you get home. Then you can find out how much
fun you had.
In a low-key year, the lowest point according to the handful of scribblers
invited to Liz Taylor's AIDS-benefit dinner was that dinner. Groans and
complaints about boredom - from the movie they showed, "Emma,"
("Was Jane Austen the most prolific screenwriter ever, or what?")
to the dinner itself. "It's hard to believe that Liz and Cher could
get together like a pair of tea-drinking spinsters and put us all to sleep,
isn't it?" asked Derek, one of the lucky critics invited to the $2500
a plate banquet.
Put Liz together with the Press and somebody always gets screwed. Liv
Tyler is very angry with the Daily Telegraph for doing a story about
how the virginal Liv is the "Young pretender to Liz Taylor's throne."
Yup - that's the headline, and it didn't set well with the pretty young
thing who is really not likely to be putting out her own perfume soon. She's
here with her mother!
Gossip: Folks speculate about whether the director of Cannes, Gilles Jacob,
will gracefully step back after next year's 50th Anniversary Shebang. See,
some people think the same little French mafia chooses the same pictures
year after year. "You're either in the club or you're not," said
one director here - who himself is in the club. "If you're not taken
seriously by French film critics, then you may as well not exist."
Is Jacob aware that there are those who would like to see him out? How could
he not know? How could it not get back to him that French film critic and
editor of Positif Michel Ciment is looked at as a logical successor? There
are others, but Ciment is the only one that makes sense. What does Ciment
say to this? When I said something to him yesterday, he laughed and thanked
me - "I'm so flattered."
British director Peter Greenaway has grown increasingly unpopular. He's
been heard to say that his film, "The
Pillow Book", cannot be understood, because there's nobody here
intelligent enough to understand it. I hope he's including himself in that,
because he's admitted he doesn't know Japanese or Chinese and half the damn
film is in ideograms.
Makes me want to play hooky again - but it's off to a party for "Crash,"
David Cronenberg's kinky movie.
They were expecting finally to have some scandal or something. (The movie
starts with a woman pressing her nipple to the nose of a plane and getting
taken from behind.) But the evening audience in their tuxes and sequins
just applauded politely - and quickly left the Croisette. (In the last scene,
the gal gets it again, this time just after she's rolled her Miata over
an embankment- one of those little movements that excites her guy.)
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