Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Day 7 (later): Suddenly Speeding Up

by Henri Béhar

CANNES, May 13 -- Leaving the French Vogue lunch and speeding down the Croisette on my scooter toward the Hotel Majestic where Stephan Elliot and a whole bunch of Australians have just arrived. Tonight, the "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" helmer is presenting his new movie, "Welcome to Woop Woop" (out of competition). Silly question. Where do Australians get that energy after a 20-hour flight?

At the 7th floor of the Carlton Hotel, Johnny Depp is almost wrapping up the series of interviews that have kept him busy for the last three days. In one corner of the private club, waiting for the time to go catch her plane, director Jane ("The Piano") Campion describes with verve and gusto the debate that she just took part in (the same as Bertolucci). Has she ever met Depp? No!!???. We must rectify this immediately! "Not under these circumstances," the New Zealander protests in an unusual shyness attack. "Come on!" "No, no." We all swear Depp is very nice, very polite, very shy, very this, very that. Campion is adamant: "No."

Brazen like Cher and energetic like Anna Magnani (both of whom she resembles), super-PR Simona Benzakein grabs Campion by the hand and draws her near the table where Depp is saying goodbye to an interviewer. Seeing her approach, Depp blushes, springs up, and before they're even introduced, his head slightly tilted, he says, "I'll sweep the floor. I'll carry pails of the water if you're shooting in the desert. I'll do anything to work with you." Fifteen minutes later, they're still chatting - and still standing: neither has thought of asking the other to sit down. "You were right," Campion mutters as she leaves. "He's very very very."

Why is everything suddenly speeding up? Back at the Majestic bar, a quick drink with Kevin Spacey just in from Savannah where he's shooting the new Clint Eastwood movie, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Spacey's in town to present in-competition "L.A. Confidential," based on a novel by James Ellroy. We promise, we swear we will find a moment to have a longer drink - or maybe even dinner?

Twenty seconds to don the black tie and jacket for the dinner honoring Marcello Mastroianni. Sitting next to Anna Maria Tato, the late actor's last companion for 22 years and the director of "I remember, Yes, I Remember" [out of competition, special screening], Robert Altman, who directed Mastroianni in "Pret-a-Porter" chats with Vittorio Gassman, whom he directed in "Quintet" and under whose aegis Mastroianni made his acting debut.

At another table, Gina Lollobrigida tells director Alan Rudolph that once upon a time Orson Welles, who was smitten with her (of course), had shot a portrait of her for television. For years she's been trying to get her hands on it and buy the rights. She hasn't found it yet, but she's still trying.

2:00 a.m. Those who after the screening of the Mastroianni movie had gone back to the Majestic for a drink meet with those that come out of "Welcome to Woop Woop", and the entire caravan heads for the beach where the Australian party is taking place. Do these people ever sleep, Probably not. Or maybe, because of jet lag, they think it's midday.

The dark eyes from yesterday are still in Cannes, but another pair, misty-grey, seems more interesting. Wind in the trees, waves on the sand...

Previous Installment | Next 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.