Film Scouts Diaries

2001 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Classic Geek Columns: A Scientist on the Riviera, Part 2

by Philipp Hoschka

Cannes, May 13, 2001

As predicted, nearly no Internet company marketing in sight - although there was some guerilla marketing by dot-coms. For example, Lycos had a bunch of people in Lycos T-Shirts walking black Labrador dogs along the Croisette - not sure what the hidden message was there - do they need the Labradors to protect themselves against disgruntled investors?

Other Croissette sightings include Quentin Tarantino walking all alone on the Croisette heading for a party, Francis Ford Coppola leaving another party surrounded by a crowd of photographers, and (warning: steep decline ahead) a Swedish Director running around naked to publicise his movie ... "Naked Again". Comment of a middle-aged French lady: "Let's walk on - he's not very handsome."

Coppola has a "redux" version of "Apocalypse Now" in the Festival that is not "reduced" but actually extended by another 50 or so minutes. The movie will be shown today in an open-air screening accessible to tout-le-monde. It will be interesting to see how many people sit through this until the end, since the extensions bring the duration to over three hours ! The original plan was to show "Amelie from Montmartre" - a new French movie that has been a big hit here since it opened a couple of weeks ago - but the film was withdrawn at the last minute. Rumor has it that this was because it had not been selected for the Festival. The official reason is "bad lighting of an open-air screening" ...

Overall, the Festival seems pretty quiet this year - every day feels a bit like the final day, which traditionally is very calm. The calm seems to be well-planned, though - the new Festival Leaders wanted to bring back the elegance, and "not see Cannes as a launch platform for soccer stars." There are certainly less street vendors this year and there seems to be more police (Giuliani tactics?). Still, quite a few youth gangs dressed in "Lacoste" sportwear (well, they're French homeboys after all) roam the Croisette at night, providing a strange contrast with the Tuxedo-clad crowd going to the evening screening, and reminding people that Cannes and the French Riviera are not a Fred-Astaire-and-Ginger-Rogers movie set after all.

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