Where’s the party?

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I’m just back from my first Cannes Film Fes­ti­val, and boy, was that exhaust­ing. My friends told me: “Dar­ling, you’ve been par­ty­ing too much!” Hell, no! I haven’t been par­ty­ing at all and the rea­son is sim­ple: I haven’t been invit­ed any­where. Yet, life dur­ing the fes­ti­val is exhaust­ing. Espe­cial­ly when you’re not a star. When you’re just a nobody like me, you usu­al­ly live quite far from the Palais des Fes­ti­vals, which means you walk kilo­me­tres every day, and I have nev­er cursed my high heels as much as when I was there. When you’re not a star, you have to wake up ear­ly to get tick­ets. Which means you walk up La Croisette when tuxe­doed par­ty peo­ple are still vom­it­ing on the side­walks. And when you’re not a star, you spend your day chas­ing after an invi­ta­tion to THE party.

Let me explain. Every night in Cannes, a dozen par­ties takes place every­where, from the pri­vate beach­es to the gigan­tic out of town vil­las. But of course, not all of them are inter­est­ing. Usu­al­ly, peo­ple want to go to the offi­cial par­ty that fol­lows the screen­ing of a film. And some par­ties have more hype than oth­ers. Exam­ple: peo­ple would kill to get into the Da Vin­ci par­ty while no one cared much for the Ken Loach’s par­ty (well, was there one?).
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not fas­ci­nat­ed by stars and I wouldn’t fight to get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to bump into Audrey-daugh­ter-of-Jesus-Tautou. The only rea­son I want­ed to get into at least ONE par­ty was very sim­ple: free food and drinks! Prices are crazy in Cannes dur­ing the fes­ti­val and I was so tired of eat­ing ridicu­lous­ly-priced bad piz­zas that I was crav­ing for a free peanut. At long last, fate decid­ed to be kind to me and I got invit­ed to a small par­ty for a French film. OK, it was filled with nobod­ies like me. But it was kind of fun and I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to drink some cham­pagne and eat a few straw­ber­ries. And since the film deals with fire­men, some reel ones were invit­ed. How charm­ing that was. I just love fire­men. At least, I had the chance to meet reel peo­ple. Plus, they save lives every day! How cool is that?

For those of us who have for­got­ten, Cannes is also about films. And I got to see a hand­ful of ones. Although I missed the Dream­girls pre­sen­ta­tion (I was at the Volver screen­ing, a few rows away from Pene­lope Cruz, well, OK, a few floors away), I tried to do my duties as a musi­cal the­atre fan. So I attend­ed the screen­ing of Short­bus, writ­ten and direct­ed by John Cameron Mitchell of Hed­wig and the Angry Inch fame. This film was already large­ly talked about way before it start­ed shoot­ing. Mitchell was very clear that he want­ed to shoot explic­it sex scenes (the film was known as The Sex Film Project before it found its def­i­nite name) and chal­lenge the lim­its of what have been shown in “main­stream” films. I’m not sure this film will reach a main­stream sta­tus but it has already hit a cult sta­tus. Sex scenes are very explic­it indeed and for those of you who want to know… there is no musi­cal num­ber in-between. Some peo­ple were shocked but I don’t real­ly under­stand why. Is it shock­ing to use a penis as a mike or to sing the Amer­i­can anthem into an anus? Don’t you do that once in a while? Any­way, shocked peo­ple were a minor­i­ty and most of the audi­ence gave John Cameron Mitchell and his teary-eyed team a stand­ing ova­tion. In the end, every­one was delight­ed by the way sex is depict­ed… as it should be depict­ed more often: some­times crude, but most impor­tant­ly fun­ny, touch­ing, car­ing and nev­er asso­ci­at­ed to any kind of guilt.

For those of you who read my last col­umn, you might remem­ber that I want­ed to meet Zhang Ziyi. But meet­ing and talk­ing to a Jury mem­ber is as dif­fi­cult as try­ing to get your hair fixed in two min­utes. But I don’t care, my new Asian idol is Sook-Yin Lee, the Short­bus actress. I want­ed to ask Ziyi for some beau­ty tips, now I want to ask Sook-Yin for some oth­er kind of tips. I real­ly won­der how she man­ages to… Oh, well, just see the film when it’s released. In the mean­while, I’ll try to book a flight to New York City and find where this Short­bus venue is. Looks like peo­ple real­ly know how to par­ty there.