As Cannes kicks into action, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the WFF, Meira Blaustein, sends i-D online her well-qualified thoughts from Day 1 at the world’s most glamorous film festival.
As an American who has repeatedly attended many film festivals in the US, including Sundance, my first day at Cannes was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Surrounded by the spectacular beauty of the French Riviera, its sparkling blue sea dotted by endless white yachts and framed by countless white party and media tents, Cannes beckons you to let your guard down, take a breath and relish in the sights, smells and sounds of this enchanting Mediterranean town. For two weeks in May though, Cannes becomes the center of the universe for many of those in the film and entertainment world. With so many thousands of people descending upon the center of town, the calm beauty suddenly turns into excitement and chaos, which is why my first day at Cannes was a mixture of all the above – hectic, confusing, exciting and blissful all at the same time.
Going into the Palais this morning I was struck by how enormous and complex this space is, with its multitude of floors, theaters, bars, cafés, verandas, offices, and majestic sets of stairs leading to everywhere. A sea of staff filled the space, yet it took me going through well more than ten separate staff members before I could begin to get my bearings and find the few basic things I was looking for. But, after spending the day there, I feel that tomorrow I will already have the lay of the land. By the time I leave Cannes I should be a pro.
I did get to see Cannes’ Opening Night Film, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, which should open theatrically via Focus Features end of May. Took me a bit to get into the film’s storybook style, but soon enough it swept me into it and won me over. A charming, heartwarming film that is well crafted with attention to details and a sweet and compelling story, interwoven colourfully and carefully by Mr. Anderson who seems to be touched by a bit of magic here. MOONRISE KINGDOM is a family film with all the quirkiness, chaos, individuality and unique style that we are used to seeing in Wes Anderson’s films, but this one has this sense of discovery and sweetness that should appeal to many across the board.
And what is Cannes without a party? I enjoyed a lovely party on the riviera before calling it a day. Bonne Nuit mes amis. A demain.
Text: Meira Blaustein
Images: Cast film – Photocall – Moonrise Kingdom © AFP / Marion Cotillard – Path – De rouille et d’os © FIF/CB / Bill Muray – Photocall – Moonrise Kingdom © AFP Cast film – Photocall – Moonrise Kingdom © AFP/ The film cast – Red steps – Moonrise Kingdom © AFP