Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000

2000 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Power in Cannes

by Cari Beauchamp

Film Scouts on the Riviera 2000 is presented by:

One thing you can count on in Cannes is that the movies are going to start on time. But at today’s press screening of James Grays’ The Yards, due to start at 4:30, it 4:35, then 4:40 and the lights were still up. The audience start to hiss, then clap in mass, all to no avail. Then in sauntered Roger Ebert, a true big foot of Cannes, and as soon as he took his sealed off aisle seat, the curtain pulled back and lights dim. Now that’s power.

Speaking of power, back in 80s, Menahem Golan and his Cannon Pictures ruled Cannes – their billboards covered the major hotels and Menahem himself held court from his bed in his suite at the Carlton. Apologizing to no one for his trashy, money making films, he enjoyed the hell out of himself.

Today, walking through the new market place building, with the screening rooms upstairs and the main floor featuring hundreds of open cubicles each rented to various international production companies, I came across Menahem Golan. Sitting in a plastic chair, in sharp contrast to his past Carlton luxury surrounded by minions, he was regaling half a dozen people with his plans for the future. Waving his arms to point out the various productions he had in the pipeline, he took particular pride in pausing at the largest poster: Elian – the Gonzales Boy Story Tag line: From Cuba to Miami…And Back??? Shooting now in a secret location – Delivery in September. Delivery to whom is of course an open question, but leave it to Menahem to grab at any straw to keep him making movies. His enthusiasm hadn’t dimmed and he still had nothing to apologize for – by all appearances he didn’t seem to care if it was a plastic chair in an open cubicle or a suite at the Carlton. He was back in Cannes and that’s all that mattered.

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