Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Day 6: Howard, Geena, Renny and Me

by Richard Schwartz

CANNES, May 12 -- Making it to the door was enough for me. I should just go back to the hotel now, I kept repeating to myself. There's no way I can top this.

My humblest apologies for the unchecked braggadacio, but securing an invite for any Cannes party can mark quite a personal achievment for anyone not connected to the large studios, PR firms or the press.

Somehow, some way, thanks to some random act of kindness, this Cannes virgin got an opportunity to attend the much anticipated New Line Cinema bash Monday night, so anticipated, in fact, that most were referring to it simply as "the party."

And it was all they said it would be. That was apparent from the moment I handed my copy-proof mylar invitation to the beefy French bouncer with the overactive thyroid gland. As soon as I walked up to the door, the camera lights flashed on. The sharp-elbowed papparazzi began jostling for position. I could already see myself in the Snapshots section of next week's People magazine. I had come to Cannes, and I had officially made it.

Well, not really. Turning around to strike a pose for the E! television crew, I caught a quick glimpse of a shadowy figure behind me. Shadowy, about 6-foot-6, long black curly hair, black clothing. Looked a bit like a cross between Joey Ramone and Big Bird. Looked a bit like Howard Stern.

And, behind him, another lanky long-hair with a beautiful, bleached-blonde escort. Looked a bit like the director-actor team behind that piece of dreck known as "Cutthroat Island." Looked a bit like Renny Harlin and Geena Davis.

Not bad for my first Cannes party experience. Howard, Geena, Renny and me. Together at last.

The rest of the fete was, pardon the ill-timed cliche, like something you'd see in a Hollywood movie. Costumed monsters greeting visitors. A long corridor showered in green laser beams. A VIP room with humorously oversized bottles of champagne. The vintage funk band War ("Low Rider") performing on one stage. L.A.'s Pimp Daddies spinning discs on the next.

And the stars. This was a bona fide celebrity event. Rubbing elbows with Christian Slater. Breaking bread with Tim Burton and John Waters. Shaking a tailfeather with Gina Gershon and Billy Zane.

I tried to take a sip of my dry martini but was too overwhelmed to even swallow. This was a real Cannes party. This was Hollywood on the Riviera. What was I doing here? I need a reality check, so I headed back to my one-star hotel to finish the crumbs of the stale, three-franc baguette sitting on my dresser.

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.