The Dark Side of the Earth: May 19th, 2011
Palais des Festivals, Cannes, Wednesday, 5:10pm
A quiet day. A lot of people have already gone home.
The issue of TV vs. film was raised again at a meeting this afternoon, the point being that I might get far more control over the project if I’m making it for a TV channel than if I have a bunch of production companies and distributors to satisfy.
A living statue on the Croisette was balancing cats on his head. Real cats. I guess the French aren’t big on animal protection.
UK pavilion, Cannes, Wednesday, 5:45pm
When I’ve got home and the dust has settled, I’ll break down what my final costs were for attending Cannes this year, but right now it looks like I’m on budget. I allowed myself a 20 Euro per diem, which was fine until I went out to eat with friends twice on Monday and racked up a 30 Euro total for the day. That means yesterday and today I had only 15 Euros each day. Hence the MSG last night. Plenty of people just live off canapes at the plentiful Cannes parties, but that’s not for me. What you can definitely do is avoid buying drinks, since these are all overpriced. Take a water bottle and keep filling it up from the coolers downstairs at the Palais.
Le Chateau des Artistes, Ranguin, nr. Cannes, 9pm
I bumped into Michael Booth, a filmmaker I’ve seen every time I’ve been to Cannes. His debut feature Diary of a Bad Lad was completed around the same time as Soul Searcher and we briefly shared a distribution company. The difference is: he’s made two more features since and I’m still stuck in No Man’s Land.
Carl and I went to a reception at the Luxembourg Pavilion. I made the massive faux pas of mistaking a Belgian producer for a Frenchman, to match with the one I made on Monday where I asked the Canadian Elliot Grove which part of the States he’s from. We talked to a woman who develops iPhone games and I realised again how technologically out of touch I am. There’s no getting away from it; I’ve reached the point in my life that we all reach some day or another when we regard everything invented after that point with a mixture of disinterest, contempt and/or suspicion. This is probably why I don’t want to make 3D films, why I can’t get my head around which hybrid DSLR or HD video camera to buy, why I don’t own a phone capable of taking pictures or accessing the internet, and why I prefer the soft, flickering images you get on a CRT television to the harsh, pixellated ones a flatscreen delivers. It also explains why I worship eighties cinema and loath CGI with a passion. I’m a grumpy old fart at 31.
So Cannes is over for me for another year. We’re unlikely to be back next year. Either we’ll be too busy making The Dark Side of the Earth, or we’ll have put it on the back burner. We have made progress over the last few days, but as always with Cannes the proof is in the pudding, the pudding being whether people follow up positively in the coming weeks or not.
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