Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999

1999 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
#7, Weather Report

by Richard Schwartz

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

CANNES, May 17 - After two days of much sun and temps in the mid-70s, a rain fell on Cannes Monday. For a moment, one could walk down the Croisette without getting caught in a bottleneck of tourists, paparazzi and cheap-sunglasses salesmen. Instead, the tourists were huddled inside McDonalds reviewing newspaper accounts of yesterday's Grand Prix, the paparazzi holed up near hotel room lobbies hoping to get that elusive shot of Selma Hayek, and the cheap-sunglasses salesman, well, they were selling cheap umbrellas.

The rain soon gave way to a strong wind, and plastic patio furniture blew about the beach pavilions and hotel terraces of Cannes. An interview with director Chen Kaige was almost interrupted after a ten-foot potted plant blew over and nearly hit this reporter. I survived and so did Kaige, although the reviews for his competition epic "The Emperor and the Assasin" have been less than flattering. Meanwhile, all the talk is still centering around Pedro Almodovar's "Todo Sobre Mi Madre," which showed Saturday and quickly jumped out to front-runner status for the Palme D'Or. Little else has wowed audiences, with a few accolades going to "Kadosh" and "Wonderland." Atom Egoyan's "Felicia's Journey," which debuted today, received generally positive response at its press screening although its dark subject matter (it is pure Egoyan) might be a turn-off for some. The next few days will be a tad heavier on the American "star" quotient, with films by Tim Robbins, Spike Lee (out-of-competition), Angelica Huston, Sofia Coppola, Jim Jarmusch and David Lynch.

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