There’s a reason why most folks stay within 1-mile radius from the Cannes centre ville, because not only it’s convenient to the heart of the buzz but also most screenings for In Competition films take place at a very unsociable hours of the morning. I had the most genius idea of staying at a neighbouring town called Mandelieu-la-Napoule (pretty, decent and decently priced) with the compromise in taking seemingly endless bus trips back-and-forth to the hub. At least the flat has this view to calm my wits down:
This means getting up at 6am for a 45-minute transport and start queuing up for daily screenings. I did my hardest for Asghar Farhadi’s The Past (Le Passé), whose previous effort A Separation I consider a bona-fide masterpiece, and found myself at the very front of the queue. Take that, bitches!
Also thanks to the free espressos in the Palais, I would’ve been crawling around in half-slumber, drifting around in the corners of the Croisette, looking for a place to quickly get a nap. Instead I ended up hanging around between the Orange-sponsored wifi-café and a boulevard restaurant where I spent my entire lunch staring at a woman forking and knifing a club sandwich. Who the hell on Earth forks and knifes a sandwich?
And speaking of knifing, there’s plenty of that in the following film I caught up at the Debussy, Alain Guiraudie’s raunchy, naughty and deliciously dark Stranger By The Lake (L’inconnu du Lac), which features the most unapologetically blasé and graphic sex scene I’ve seen so far in Cannes. It involves cruising gay men around a lake, followed by lots of nudity, explicit penis shots, ejaculation, blowjobs – walkouts galore! The fiftysomething woman beside me was hyperventilating on several occasions as though she was having a mild heart-attack, who eventually walked out halfway through the film. Shame she missed out on the terrific noir-ish finale that’s both sparse and riveting. It’s a hot, erotic queer anti-thriller that’s intelligently, craftily handled.
Now, forgive me, but the sun’s out and I need to rush to the beach. Be right back for more infinitesimal Cannes updates.