Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Diary #8: Exhaustion & Gossip

by Karen Jaehne

May 17, 1996

People are getting punchy. Sleep deprivation. Watching other people's dreams on the big screen. Eating cous-cous and drinking too much of the local rose. Parties deep into the night. Writing even deeper into the dark.....the festival is winding down.

When you're too exhausted to read anything in the Daily Variety put out here, and you just stagger from screening room to screening room, you're happy to know that those fixed constellations in cyberspace - like Filmscouts - will be awaiting you when you get home. Then you can find out how much fun you had.

In a low-key year, the lowest point according to the handful of scribblers invited to Liz Taylor's AIDS-benefit dinner was that dinner. Groans and complaints about boredom - from the movie they showed, "Emma," ("Was Jane Austen the most prolific screenwriter ever, or what?") to the dinner itself. "It's hard to believe that Liz and Cher could get together like a pair of tea-drinking spinsters and put us all to sleep, isn't it?" asked Derek, one of the lucky critics invited to the $2500 a plate banquet.

Put Liz together with the Press and somebody always gets screwed. Liv Tyler is very angry with the Daily Telegraph for doing a story about how the virginal Liv is the "Young pretender to Liz Taylor's throne." Yup - that's the headline, and it didn't set well with the pretty young thing who is really not likely to be putting out her own perfume soon. She's here with her mother!

Gossip: Folks speculate about whether the director of Cannes, Gilles Jacob, will gracefully step back after next year's 50th Anniversary Shebang. See, some people think the same little French mafia chooses the same pictures year after year. "You're either in the club or you're not," said one director here - who himself is in the club. "If you're not taken seriously by French film critics, then you may as well not exist." Is Jacob aware that there are those who would like to see him out? How could he not know? How could it not get back to him that French film critic and editor of Positif Michel Ciment is looked at as a logical successor? There are others, but Ciment is the only one that makes sense. What does Ciment say to this? When I said something to him yesterday, he laughed and thanked me - "I'm so flattered."

British director Peter Greenaway has grown increasingly unpopular. He's been heard to say that his film, "The Pillow Book", cannot be understood, because there's nobody here intelligent enough to understand it. I hope he's including himself in that, because he's admitted he doesn't know Japanese or Chinese and half the damn film is in ideograms.

Makes me want to play hooky again - but it's off to a party for "Crash," David Cronenberg's kinky movie. They were expecting finally to have some scandal or something. (The movie starts with a woman pressing her nipple to the nose of a plane and getting taken from behind.) But the evening audience in their tuxes and sequins just applauded politely - and quickly left the Croisette. (In the last scene, the gal gets it again, this time just after she's rolled her Miata over an embankment- one of those little movements that excites her guy.)

Previous Installment

Back to Cannes Film Festival Diaries

Look for Search Tips

Copyright 1994-2008 Film Scouts LLC
Created, produced, and published by Film Scouts LLC
Film Scouts® is a registered trademark of Film Scouts LLC
All rights reserved.

Suggestions? Comments? Fill out our Feedback Form.