Thursday, 20 May 2010•
I am continually gob-smacked by the wealth on the water and that of those treading up and down the Croisette. It is a daily feast for the eyes. This seaside town is dripping with style. I want to photograph them all.
The elderly French ladies up on the avenue de grasse where I have been staying have the most amazing sunglasses. When I catch the bus to go down to the Palais in the morning we mutually congratulate one another with sign language on accessories. I have taken to changing sunglasses to mix it up and compete with them not to be outdone and am wearing hats daily as it is easy to get sun burnt walking the kilometres that you do daily here. Feet take a pounding at Cannes. Mine have held up surprisingly well with only a few blisters which I feel attests to my first time mettle. There are those beauties brave enough to parade and sun bake on the beach whilst walkers by stop and gawk. Not much is real or at least that is what I tell myself. Makes me feel better.
Julie Marlow has shown me the vintage stores which are conveniently close to the apartment I am now in to be closer to the action. Oooh the temptations. Of course they are expensive with retro gear from all the French designers. I am coveting and visiting daily a John Galliano coat (think Sly and The Family Stone). It is unique and very me and fits like a glove. Is it meant to be? I have guilt and I haven’t even bought it yet. It is expensive in Australian terms.
Onto music: I managed to pop out for a wee bit from the daily meetings with Philip Cheah (APSA Nominations Council member and serious music collector – no I mean serious! Whatever you think – think more) and do our ritual music purchases. Got some great cds. The usual jazz (Coltrane this time), Sun ra and his solar myth-arkestra, French artist Brigette Fontaine and because I am old school Joan Baez live, Velvet Underground, Bill Withers and Talk Talk (don’t hold it against me!). Now how to fit them in my luggage. Mick Jagger was in town yesterday for the premiere of Stephen Kijak’s Stones in Exile. The film is about their time in the south of France in 1972 when they commenced working on Exile On Main Street.
I hit the Riviera booths again today meeting with Mrs Shirin from the documentary and experimental film centre in Iran. Again someone I have emailed for years and have finally met. They have some interesting films.
Also went to the Iranian independents stand for their catalogue and screeners and the Russian pavillion. Much for the APSA Chairman and myself to watch back home.
Here is some news from Iran on the Free Jafar Panahi facebook site:
Subject: One Step Forward!
Jafar Panahi in his 5th day of hunger strike was finally able to meet with the judge, his lawyer and family. While still not free from Evin Prison, it’s a small step towards it. The campaign to support him has paid off. Every time we draw international attention, the regime in Tehran reacts. UNITY and SOLIDARITY works. Thanks to all people anywhere in the world!
He is still on hunger strike as his third request is not yet answered. His case has been passed to Revolutionary Court and he might go to court next Saturday.
Meanwhile after great effort of Iranian and French artists in France there will be a group of 4 people representing France Ministries of Culture Foreign affair are going to Iran to submit the formal request for Panahi’s release. It appears the press conference held here has paid some dividends. We have quite a way to go.
Juror Kate Beckinsale is enjoying watching the two or three movies a day and reports that Tim Burton is very relaxed and they meet every 3 to 4 films to discuss. She has also been reported as saying that the jury experience is very coloured by who is the head and she doesn’t think they could have been luckier. It is an all male competition lineup this year with seven men on the 9-person jury. More tomorrow.