After work in the morning, I got to go to a couple really interesting panels here at the American Pavilion. The first was a round-table discussion with an entertainment lawyer from Los Angeles. He talked a lot about copyright issues, how to safely get investments for your film, and how to avoid huge legal problems before you start your film.
The second event I attended was a panel with the producers, director, and main actress of Shit Year, an American film here at Cannes.
I wish I’d seen the film before going to the panel, but even so, it was really interesting to hear about the creative process of the film. Most of the panel was a discussion about the collaboration process between the director and the main actress, Ellen Barkin, and while neither directing nor acting are my areas of interest, I feel like I learned a lot about how actors view/accept roles, etc.
After those two panels, I went back across to the other side of the Pavilion to listen to a female producer talk about how to get funding for your film. This was a panel that I really wanted to listen to, but unfortunately I made the mistake of sitting down. And of course, after getting about fourteen hours of sleep in the last five days (including two the night before), I sat down and fell asleep almost instantly. In my defense, I was in the warm sun and it was so comfortable.
So while I’ll value whatever sleep I can get, I’m also really disappointed, because this woman would have been an invaluable resource, I think. I would have loved to pick her brain and ask questions at the end, but I didn’t know what she’d already covered during the discussion.
These panels and discussions are one of the best things about the Cannes Film Festival. I’ve decided that one of my main goals for this festival is to learn as much as possible about producing independent films (and the independent film world in general). So far, I’ve been doing a pretty good job attending really interesting and informative events. I’d like the opportunity to talk to more producers, but I still have seven more days to do that.
After the discussions, I went home to the hotel and took a deliciously long nap. I think I slept about two hours, and I’ve never felt better.
Then it was off to the screening of the new Woody Allen film, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger. We got there two hours early, as the theater only sat 400 people, and we didn’t get there a minute too soon. Not even ten minutes after we’d arrived (and gotten in line with only about twenty people ahead of us), the line swelled to over a hundred, wrapping around the corner.
The two hours passed quickly (as we had a “picnic” dinner and chatted about many things, including how California teaches sex ed differently than the midwest– very informative stuff), and we were soon in the theater and ready for the film to start.
Overall, I liked the movie. I think that perhaps it was a little too short, because I felt very unsatisfied at the end. In the end, it was really a humorous but short look into the lives of three disfunctional couples and their subsequent divorces, affairs, and remarraiges.
Woody Allen directing Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Watts
(father and daughter) in You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger
We got out of the film at 11:45 pm, and as the theater is on top of the Cannes Market building, we stayed up there a bit to admire the lights of Cannes. Suddenly, as if the gods knew we had prime viewing real estate, a small tug boat in the bay began setting off fireworks. It was beautiful. And it was quite an impressive show to be coming from such a little boat. Sitting there, I kept thinking, Wow, I am in the gorgeous south of France, watching a fireworks show in the warm breeze atop a building overlooking the Mediterranean. This doesn’t happen every day.