As a huge fan of the cinema, it has been a personal dream of mine to visit the Cannes Film Festival. I had been through Cannes before on a train to Rome, but I’d never visited the town. Since we are living just down the coast from for the summer, I figured there’d be no better opportunity to Cannes for the festival.
We drove into Cannes during the start of the second week of the Festival and walked down to the beachfront where we were met by swarms of people. There were hurried guys and girls in designer clothes wearing V.I.P. dog tags, loads of paparazzi, and of course, hundreds of eager fans waiting to snap a picture of Brad Pitt of Scarlett Johansen.
The energy was so exciting and wasn’t felt anywhere else in the city but within the harbor where the concentrated chaos lived.
We grabbed a quick bite to eat and then were lucky to come across our favorite gelato shop in France, Barbarac. If you like Snickers and Nutella, then this is the place to try them gelato style, and believe me, you’ll be reeling from the flavors for hours.
We then made our way to the front entrance and collided with the massive lines of people pushing and shoving their way into the screening of the new Terrance Malick movie, ‘Tree of Life’. We desperately wanted to get tickets but the entire event is reserved for industry personnel or by invite only. We walked past several people combing the streets willing to sell the deed to their own homes for the chance to score an invitation!
They didn’t seem to be having any luck, so we moved on to where the red carpet led up to the main entrance. Adjacent to the entrance and pressed up against metal barriers with their mega-lensed cameras were the paparazzi, waiting to capture the perfect shot when the actors finally made their way up the crimson path.
Security was grilling each person for tickets as they shuffled from one screening to the next. There were people in fine Armani suits, and some in flip-flops, but they were flocking side-by-side into the blocked-off street to head to the next event.
We wove our way through the crowd and over Cannes’ very own ‘walk of fame’ that started with Christopher Lambert of ‘Highlander’ fame before making our way onto the boardwalk. The beach was packed with scantily clad exhibitionists, mega yachts, and personal helicopters flying in and out of the harbor.
Not surprising at all were the hoards of people strapped with every kind of camera you can imagine waiting at each hotel and restaurant hoping to snap a picture of an actor or famous director. We even waited in front of hotel for about half an hour because we saw a bunch of other people waiting there…but, alas, we had no luck.
We saw a few ‘could-be’ actors with their entourage but the best part of the Festival for us was the interesting people-watching. Whether it be the guy dressed up in goth or the odd guy in silver paint who was a little too much into cats.
Ultimately, even without the ‘golden tickets’, The Cannes Film Festival was a great experience, and we hope that one day we’ll come back with tickets and create a little madness ourselves!