May 17, 2012

Cannes, Day 2: A Bit Rusty, but Ready for More

Today we set our alarms for 6:30. Yes, folks, you heard me right. I was out the door by 7 AM. A feat for me, but I can proudly attribute that to my dedication to the festival and getting in every possible screening.

Hayley, Sharon, Rawson, Arthur, Takara, Jaycee, Ari and I all sat outside waiting for tickets for the 8:30 screening of the Main Competition French film De rouille et d'os (Rust and Bone), a film by Jacques Audiard starring the wonderful Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts set to premiere later that night. Cotillard has already established herself as one of the top A-list actresses in the US and, with an Academy Award under her belt - a true force to be reckoned with. Schoenarts is Belgian and relatively unknown, but after this film, he can expect to find success.

I sat on the side, mournfully wasting away in my exhaustion, while Sharon, high on caffeine, rapidly grabbed three invitations to the screening and passed one to me. We begged for a bit, but ultimately surrendered, although everyone eventually got in via last minute access.

I'm so grateful that I remembered my glasses, because I would not have been able to read the subtitles without them. Here is a link to my review of the movie, which was bound to make a splash in France, where nationalism pervades the industry.

After the screening, we all met up and got free espresso at the coffee bar. Now, I hate coffee and have a mild phobia of hot drinks, so you can only imagine my desperation as I let the espresso cool and downed it for the bliss of caffeine. After, we began to look for tickets for a noon screening of Baad al Maakina (After the Battle), an Egyptian film set during and immediately after the recent revolution. I immediately found three tickets, but not many people wanted to go to this one, so a few of us gave up and went inside. I was a bit surprised, as this was a Main Competition film, and I am dying to see them all, but other people have different priorities. Hayley, for example, had just taken a class on Woody Allen and was desperate to see the documentary on his life. Which was a good call, as there was not enough time for me to get in line after the screening for the documentary.

I was the only one with an orchestra seat, and it was  a good one. Fourth row, center, with an empty seat next to me. I power napped until the screening began. You can read my review here.

After the film, I tried and failed to get into the Woody Allen documentary, which everyone seemed to really enjoy. Meanwhile, Takara, Jaycee, Ari and I grabbed some crepes as we planned out our course of attack. We opted to go see the new documentary Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir, so I ran out to see if I could get in.

I was one of the first people in line, so I got right in. I sat reading my free copy of Variety, when who should enter but Nicola and Gary! I hung out with them until Arthur, Jaycee and Ari came in as well. We chatted for a bit and then proceeded to see the movie.

I will not provide a full review of the film, but it is safe to say that it will most definitely not be one of the highlights of the festival. It was cool to see some of the people who produced the film there, but the film itself was merely a conversation between Polanski and his friend, essentially exonerating him from anything he has done. It was nice to see Polanski so modest and humble, and it was easy to believe the case he pleaded, but it barely overcame the dull format of dialogue behind still images and the extreme bias of the film.

After, we grabbed some gelato with Sharon, Hayley, and Rawson (I may or may not have had four scoops), and proceeded to try for another screening, which failed. By now, it was 8:30 and we decided to go back and change in order to go out. Hayley and Sharon had exclusive invitations to a lavish party (which I'm sure will be described in vivid detail in Sharon's blog), so Rawson and I met up with Zoe for food and drinks. We were later joined by Takara, Jaycee, and Ari, but yawsn quickly overtook our drinking, so we headed back to the college. An exhausting day, but truly exhilirating. Time for bed so I can be ready for another full day tomorrow!

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