Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999

1999 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
A Festival Wine Diary, Part 2

by Amy Reiley

Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999 is brought to you by:

Another night, another soiree. The name of the game at Cannes seems to be scoring tickets to the parties serving the nicest wines. At least, that has been my strategy in selecting from among the countless events hosted during the Festival.

Last night the winner was an intimate gathering thrown by Empire Magazine at a private villa in the hills above Cannes. The setting was magical and the buffet of food stretched for what must have been the equivalent of a city block. This was the elegance I've always imagined of a party on the Riviera. The subdued crowd, entranced by views of the city lights and the glittering inky blue Mediterranean beyond, sipped local red, white and rose wines. With my salad of frisee and duck confit, I enjoyed yet another Provençal rosé.

The night's big loser was an event thrown by New Line Cinema to promote the upcoming release of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The four thousand invitations were probably among the hottest property at the Festival. Hopefuls actually lined up outside the Casino, which hosted the event, attempting to buy party passes.

No food, bad wine - who can drink wine out of a paper cup? In the VIP room, there was champagne in actual glasses, and the luxury of chairs, but the very important persons were obviously not important enough for food or entertainment, leaving celebrities such as Kristen Dunst and Mathew McConaghey milling around like sheep in a pasture of crab grass.

The scene among the not so beautiful people was no better. Although the entertainment of a eardrum shattering band and pedestals of go-go dancers added color, the party was more like a well decorated high school dance than a promotional event thrown by a major film studio. As the French would say, "c'est dommage."

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