I cannot remember the last time I’ve woken myself up at an ungodly hour of 6am to go and queue up for a film screening. Not ever in my lifetime so far. I consider this actively insane. But this is what cinemagoing in Cannes meant to people here, and it’s beyond pure bloody determination. Waking up early is one thing, but to line up in the rain is entirely another semblance of insanity. Which was exactly what I did on my way to François Ozon’s Jeune & Jolie. For some reason, the Côte d’Azur decided to open its heavenly tap and pour buckets of rain over Cannes.
Gladly, the latest from Ozon was worth every bit the effort. There’s nothing quite like seeing a film with plenty of naked people doing shenanigans of the raunchy sort on an empty stomach. It makes one all the more ravenous.
And then I went to another queue afterwards for Sofia Coppola’s heist movie featuring rich, privileged, white upper-middle-class bratty teens stealing Paris Hilton’s Loubotins and Lindsay Lohan’s knickers called The Bling Ring, only to completely miss it. The Salle Debussy was already packed. I fell forcefully on my knees, throwing vicious curses at the sky, with pellets of rain hitting my face like bullets on ground…
But that didn’t happen as I got into this year’s Sundance winner, Fruitvale Station, as a consolation. At the halfway mark, I felt the urge to walk out, but was met with the conscience of sitting at the middle of a row. Disturbing a bunch of ageing, critics is not something I dream of doing. Fruitvale hit a bum-note in my chords, a butt-numbingly dull and banal social drama masquerading as a topical, racial issue film with lashes of police brutality.
More of that to follow later, as I happen to stumble into the Opening Night of the Un Certain Regard category with The Bling Ring. The personalities of Sofia Coppola and Emma Watson were in the house, and so were the jury Thomas Vinterberg, Zhang Ziyi and Ludivine Sagnier. I have a photo to prove it to you that I’m not making this up.
The Bling Ring is what you’d expect from Coppola, but with a satirical edge. Watson, along with the crew, excels as a hyper slack-jawed, fame-starved teenage hypocrite. It’s less melancholy and more bite. I didn’t get back to the flat until almost midnight, which exhausted me to the bone, with roughly six hours away to queue for next day’s The Past, the new Farhadi drama. Somebody wake me up.