Cannes: Market, Nightlife Bustles Despite Torrential Rains (Column)
In Cannes, two powerful muscles are visibly at work: promotion and sales. The festival does promo like no other, and the Cannes Market is no slouch either.
The thousands of badge-wearing worker bees swarming the streets attest to the market’s vigor. But, when Saturday’s torrential rains wouldn’t abate, one of the market’s busiest days became a nightmare for those who had to rush from meeting to meeting. “Bad hair day!” shared IFC Films’ Arianna Bocco, who joked that the only deals going down at the market were those being made by the ubiquitous umbrella salesmen on every street corner.
After spending a day in soaked clothes and waterlogged shoes, most still made it out to the night’s soirees. The Hollywood Reporter’s fete honoring Chinese actress Fan Bingbing had to be moved to an indoor venue at the Martinez Hotel. Naomi Harris, Oscar Isaac, James Toback and Gurinder Chadha were among the crowd. Director McG, who was enjoying his first Cannes, sidled up to the bar and tried to order absinthe for CBS Films’ Terry Press, who apparently had requested it. Maybe she needed something strong to wash away the stormy day.
Lionsgate used the night to trumpet their upcoming sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. They sent cast members Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Sam Claflin and director Francis Lawrence up the festival’s red steps for a photo op and then trotted them around a splashy beachside bash (before they headed off to the Hotel Du Cap).
The party kept going with a steady stream of execs joining throughout the night, including Millennium Films’ Avi Lerner, CBS Films’ Scott Shooman, Lionsgate’s Eda Kowan, and Endgame's Jim Stern, who broke out some dance moves. When the popular tunes got cranked up to deafening decibels, Lionsgate's Eric Feig kidded, “If I hear one more song like this I’m gonna blow my brains out.”
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The skies cleared Sunday, and the dog-and-pony shows got back out in the open. Paul Haggis and Adrien Brody attended a party on the Corsan yacht to support Haggis’ upcoming Third Person, a drama about three couples that plays out in three cities. Haggis said the film is an investigation of “a lot of questions I’ve asked myself about love.”
Brody, who has seen an early cut of the film, said, “What’s wonderful is that it’s a thoughtful drama, and they’re making fewer and fewer or them. It’s inspiring to work on intelligent material.” The actor, who has attended the festival many times -- most notably with Roman Polanski’s Palme d’Or (and Oscar) winner The Pianist -- said coming with a market title is “far less pressure. This is a vacation, so to speak.”