Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999

1999 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
#1, En Route to Cannes

by Richard Schwartz

Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999 is brought to you by:

SOMEWHERE ABOVE THE ATLANTIC, the wee hours of May 13 - Here we go again.

In the beginning, it was all fairly innocuous - a curious sojourn to the Riviera as part of a hastily extended episode of undergraduate backpacking across the continent. Having already purchased the cheap leather goods in Florence and taken one of those goofy "I'm-holding-up-the-leaning-tower" photos in Pisa, I had felt it was time to step off the beaten path and try something new.

The exotic-sounding "Cote D'Azur" looked to fit the bill. And with the Cannes Film Festival taking place the very moment, it seemed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...

But funny enough, here I sit at the back of an Boeing 747, en route to Cannes once again. This time, though, I've eschewed both the bulky rucksack and the smoking car of a Lyon-bound train for a seat in the smoke-free coach section of Air France. Originating from Los Angeles. And so it's slightly different this time around.

Rather than finding myself surrounded by a horde of traveling Canadiens sporting Maple Leaf flags on their backpacks, I enjoy the take-off along with such cabinmates as actress Daryl Hannah and funnyman Pauly Shore (okay, so they're sitting in first class while I'm in coach, but it's still the same plane). Not to mention a couple of well-coiffed agent-looking guys barking into their Starcom cell phones in spite of our pilot's orders.

And instead of subsisting on a lunch comprised of a rock-hard baguette and nutella spread, I'm served a genorous portion of beef with buttered tagliatelle. It all oes down very easily, and, for that matter, so do I, snoozing through John Travolta in "A Civil Action" for the second time around.

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