Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What if they held a Festival and nobody came?

Well, I'm here. I even managed to watch a film on the train (Sandrine Bonnaire's Her Name Is Sabine, which had me surreptitiously wiping away tears) and go through the programme marking up my schedule. I've identified 52 films that I really want to see, so that's the goal this year: 52 films in 11 days.

Some random thoughts:

1) Hardly anyone is here so far. Okay, so the festival doesn't officially start till Wednesday but the press deskers looked a little spooked that no-one had turned up yet, as if they were wondering whether they'd got the dates wrong and had turned up early by mistake. I would imagine there's a lot of anxiety this year about whether people (both journalists and audiences) will turn up in sufficient numbers, given the controversial decision to move the Festival away from August.

2) Sadly, I can't stay with my friend this year, so I'm staying here instead, for 11 nights. It's alright so far. Very friendly staff. Few too many Gemermans for my liking, mind.

3) What the bloody hell is the point of making a big deal about your "Free Wi-Fi" if you're going to block all the FUCKING power outlets? The FilmHouse and the Cameo, I am looking at YOU. Grrr.

4) One delightful difference this year - they've changed the system for requesting public screening tickets. Previously, us lowly green pass holders had to fill out a lengthy form and hope for the best, while smug gold pass types (you know who you are) queued up in the morning and got whatever their hearts desired, just like that. However, THIS year, it's a veritable free-for-all (perhaps, again, because they're worried about bums on seats) so, to all intents and purposes, green = gold. Brilliant.

5) And finally, a bit of pedantry. Normally, I would call the first day of press screenings "Day One", but that's confusing when the festival actually starts a day later. This year, my first day of screenings will be "Day Zero", which should clarify things a bit. I think I may have stolen this from the Empire Cannes Blog, but I'm not sure.

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