1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Day 6: Howard, Geena, Renny and Me
CANNES, May 12 -- Making it to the door was enough for me. I should just
go back to the hotel now, I kept repeating to myself. There's no way I can
My humblest apologies for the unchecked braggadacio, but securing an invite
for any Cannes party can mark quite a personal achievment for anyone not
connected to the large studios, PR firms or the press.
Somehow, some way, thanks to some random act of kindness, this Cannes virgin
got an opportunity to attend the much anticipated New Line Cinema bash Monday
night, so anticipated, in fact, that most were referring to it simply as
And it was all they said it would be. That was apparent from the moment
I handed my copy-proof mylar invitation to the beefy French bouncer with
the overactive thyroid gland. As soon as I walked up to the door, the camera
lights flashed on. The sharp-elbowed papparazzi began jostling for position.
I could already see myself in the Snapshots section of next week's People
magazine. I had come to Cannes, and I had officially made it.
Well, not really. Turning around to strike a pose for the E! television
crew, I caught a quick glimpse of a shadowy figure behind me. Shadowy, about
6-foot-6, long black curly hair, black clothing. Looked a bit like a cross
between Joey Ramone and Big Bird. Looked a bit like Howard Stern.
And, behind him, another lanky long-hair with a beautiful, bleached-blonde
escort. Looked a bit like the director-actor team behind that piece of dreck
known as "Cutthroat Island." Looked a bit like Renny Harlin and
Not bad for my first Cannes party experience. Howard, Geena, Renny and me.
Together at last.
The rest of the fete was, pardon the ill-timed cliche, like something you'd
see in a Hollywood movie. Costumed monsters greeting visitors. A long corridor
showered in green laser beams. A VIP room with humorously oversized bottles
of champagne. The vintage funk band War ("Low Rider") performing
on one stage. L.A.'s Pimp Daddies spinning discs on the next.
And the stars. This was a bona fide celebrity event. Rubbing elbows with
Christian Slater. Breaking bread with Tim Burton and John Waters. Shaking
a tailfeather with Gina Gershon and Billy Zane.
I tried to take a sip of my dry martini but was too overwhelmed to even
swallow. This was a real Cannes party. This was Hollywood on the Riviera.
What was I doing here? I need a reality check, so I headed back to my one-star
hotel to finish the crumbs of the stale, three-franc baguette sitting on
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