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A(n) (Un)Usual Day in Cannes

Posted: 21/05/2012 00:00

It's not uncommon to be asked what it's like to work at the Cannes film festival, and I usually reply that "it's really quite exhausting."

However, what I'm reminded of today is that it's also completely weird in an insane banana type way.

I wake up around 9am and 90% Rosé from the evening before and get myself together to face the day, starting off with a complementary breakfast.

Several journalists are sitting quietly around a table in the Majestic Hotel and then we remember why we're there - to ask questions about analogue photography - as you do - and its future with marketing managers from Lomokino and MUBI, as well as former Cannes winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul - try saying that after a few glasses of...actually just try saying that!

As soon as the last croissant is munched, it's time to rush down the Croisette through all the staggeringly beautiful people (where do they all come from?!) to the famous wedding cake shaped hotel, The Carlton.

Inside the illustrious and presently rather dark Grand Salon, the place is teeming with Asian journalists and a press conference is droning on in Mandarin, or at least I think it's in Mandarin.

I'm struggling to follow anything for around 15 minutes until they finally show the trailer for the movie, Painted Skin II. I'm not sure what happened in Painted Skin I but if the weird and wonderful fantasy footage of a strange ice lady putting her hand into some other woman's spine is anything to go by, I expect it was quite interesting.

As soon as it finishes there's a round of applause and I hot foot it out of there to get to my next appointment - an interview with Gael Garcia Bernal.

I arrive at the Shivas beach and am in the process of checking in with the publicist for the film, when my eyes and mouth drift away from the conversation.

"There's a giant rhinoceros head on the wall with yellow boxing gloves."

"I know" replies the publicist. "We've been having sandstorms (?) so we're going to do the interviews inside."

I sit and gawp at this strange fixture for a while before being told I'm to be "loaded" into a room to await the Mexican actor.

There's a friendly bunch of journalists in the room and we talk about eye surgery among other things until Gael arrives.

It's at this point I notice there's a bath in the corner of the room, when my brain should be fixed on the film No - the true story of the advertising executive who developed the campaign to defeat Pinochet in Chile's 1988 referendum. But there's a bath in the corner.

And before I know it, all of the other five journalists and Gael are involved in a discussion about the pros and cons of democracy, while I'm trying to interject a question about his first festival experience but instead find myself making strange interrupting sounds, like "Eeeh" and "Aaah." I become aware that I seem to be coming across more like a Tellytubby than a professional journalist.

When that was all finished, it was time for Plan B. The music star has turned director for the upcoming movie Ill Manors. I don't think I'm allowed to say anything yet about this amazing and super-slick movie as I've agreed on an embargo. Oh whoops. Does that count, Sam?

As I wait for him to finish up a previous interview, I can't help but notice a man with a hugely oversized doll on his head. He appears to be having great fun, but I am utterly bewildered.

Anyway, I like Mister B. He's not only an obviously talented musician and film maker now, but also he's got a great heart, mind and soul, so when I leave I feel like a failure of a human being, and when I reach the Croisette again I look at all these hot people and feel like I've been whacked with the ugly stick. Ouch.

I think it's time to cheer myself and who better to do that than the zany ITV star Keith Lemon? He's in town for Keith Lemon the Film (not 'Movie' as "that's American") and by the sound of it, it's going to be a winner.

As I walk around a mile to the apartment to interview him, I pass two sexy nuns, the Mario Bros, Spongebob Squarepants and a man dressed as a lion.

I tell him a little bit about my surreal day and he thinks there's nothing better to perpetuate this than to smash some crisps. So we go about punching the bowl of crisps in front of us and talk about Yvette Fielding and the lack of her in his film ("She was out ghost-hunting"), while the publicists outside are probably wondering what the hell is going on.

We finish the conversation with him talking about semen and penises although other words are used.

And as I wave goodbye to Keith, I realise the day isn't quite over,

Because somehow I've found myself at the American club Nikki Beach in a kind of orgiastic rave with banging house music and with so many of these beautiful people with buns of steel, gravity-defying breasts (both male and female), and uber-designer sunglasses. The drink bills are as expensive as their clothes and now I feel like I've been bludgeoned to death by the ugly stick and had 'POOR' tattooed on my forehead.

And someone has just been sick on my shoe.

Just your average day at the Cannes film festival and it isn't over.

The sun hasn't even set but fortunately my Rosé levels are on the rise and life is good.

 

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