Postcards From Cannes 2012…
Every year we ask a few attendees at the annual festival cum market cum beano that is the Cannes Film Festival to give us some to send us their imaginary postcards from the event. And here’s the first batch from this year’s events, including comments from writers, PR mavens, design agencies and distributors and labels… It makes for a fascinating snapshot of not just the films on offer, but also some of the events, the parties and the life behind the A-list glamour of the event you’ll see elsewhere. So here are our Postcards From Cannes…
Cannes 2012 was, for me… a decent year but not quite as strong as the amazing line-up had indicated. With new films from the directors of some of my past Cannes favourites A Prophet (Jacques Audiard), Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone), 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Cristian Mungui) and Import/Export (Ulrich Seidl), plus new work from Michael Haneke, Carlos Reygadas, Thomas Vinterberg, Abbas Kiorastami, and some sexy looking North American productions with major cast names – it looked like a really strong Official Competition, balancing world cinema auteurs with entertaining, star-packed treats. I guess some disappointment was inevitable. With a couple of weeks’ distance, it was in reality a solid year. My highlight was Rust & Bone by Audiard, and hopefully StudioCanal will have a big success with it later this year. I also enjoyed Jeff Nichols’ Mud, which had acquired some negative buzz from market screenings, but received the warmest applause experienced at any press screening when it showed on the last day. In non-competing title The Sapphires, Chris O’Dowd delivered a breakout performance that will continue to propel him into leading-man territory, and a push in the US from The Weinstein Company won’t hurt. Trends of the festival: white stretch limos (Holy Motors, Cosmopolis), A-listers urinating (Cosmopolis, The Paperboy) and dead dogs (Moonrise Kingdom, Sightseers, The Hunt).
Film critic and writer, Heat, The Guardian, Sight & Sound etc.
Cannes 2012 was, for me… my first in many years and my first with Aim Publicity, it was a great chance to catch up with clients, make new contacts, party with old friends and new, strangely I even bumped into someone from my gym! I ate many a pains aux raisin, dodged many a rain shower and had a fine old time. I even caught some films, another first.
Cannes 2012 Was For Me a great opportunity to join Alex (Agran) and Tom (Stewart) on the ground at screenings, meaning we were able to cover more ground and be as effective as possible. It was great to pick up so many quality films at my first market with Arrow Films – films such as Susanne Bier’s Love is All You Need. To work on a release you first saw at a market screening and then went on to buy makes it all the more special – like you were there at the scan and then the birth! It was also great to attend the Gala screening of The Hunt, despite torrential and unending rain – an unforgettable experience.
Cannes 2012 Was For Me… a massive lack of sleep and too much drinking courtesy of Robyn Larkin’s What is Bobo.
On paper going to the film festival looks like an easy life and yes it is a huge privilege to have someone pay for you to be out there – but there is a skill in surviving it.
Some 76 of the 96 hours available I was awake, working and probably with an alcoholic drink in my hand. In that time I managed to make my way around the market at least 10 times, meet 90 per cent of the people on my “Must see out for Bobo” list and take a few photos for my Kidzcoolit site.
At night The Grand became our home. We did pop over to the Petit Majestic for about 10 minutes – but when we couldn’t get a drink and I was forced into a stinking, scuzzy area as the designated peeing area, decided this place wasn’t for me.
The Grand is superb – although I guess at £12 a pint of beer it should be. Every mate you have from the industry tends to be there from about 10pm till 4am. Its really hard to naturally know the time of night as it always feels like 3pm in the afternoon. I do love the nights though – there’s a great romance connected with working with this industry when you’re out there and catching up on the day’s festivities.
Robyn hated our hotel room. Quite frankly it was a shit hole compared to our normal dwellings and what ticked me off the most was the coffee machine always produced poxy hot chocolate in the morning. But overall, on three hours sleep a night it was fine.
Also – I had a whacking great big Rat jump out on me when walking back one night – it scared the living crap out of me! (Robyn called me a wuss.)
Our highlight was the Jackie Chan Experience. On the morning of the 18th I was invited to the press conference for Jackie Chan’s last action film Chinese Zodiac. Not only did I get to ask a question, but I also met the great man and the organisers gave my son Jackie’s name card.
Then that night Robyn and Louise Rivers (Showbox) went to Jackie’s very exclusive VIP party – they came bouncing back after clutching photos and stories of exclusivity for access. They were on the list – ooh get them.
Meanwhile Jerome Mazandarani (Manga) invited me to a beach party for new sci-fi movie Scavengers. They gave out some cracking torches to promote the film. Easily the most popular gifts me and Robyn brought back for the kids.
The evening ended with us meeting up with Mrs The Raygun – Debbie Murray – where we blagged our way into a Cocktail party and watched the Beautiful People pretend to be important.
The last day and night was a long-un’, 8am till 6am. They day started with back to back meetings and a very chilled lunch with the lovely Tony Taglienti (4 Digital Media). Then came the Champions league final final where I decided to put my ‘White Flag’ down for a night and support our little brothers Chelsea for the sake of Mr Colin Lomax (Anchor Bay). This was a fab match – although I was pleased to be a neutral, Colin was struggling a little bit throughout the game. Being a Fulham fan I know what it’s like to lose a big game now. I’d hate to support a big team that challenges so often – it can’t be much fun.
Then it was back to the Grand to complete our four day Cannes adventure.
When kicked out of the Grand – there was just enough alcohol in our system to make the Petit Majestic that little bit more bearable. So me Robyn and Spencer Pollard (Kaleidoscope) went there for one last night cap and headed home at 6am.
It was a great trip and very successful – but I always like getting home. Even if the first questions is “What did you buy us?”
At least it comes with a cuddle I guess.
Nick Gibbs McNeil
What Is Bobo
Cannes Film Festival 2012 was for me very hectic and short. I only attended for two days…
Anime licensing is not cool or sexy as far as the Cannes crowd is concerned, so while the cream of UK indie film fights it out over the latest Michael Haneke yawnfest or Terrence Malick glorified screensaver, I am busy crawling through the trenches of the Marche du Film battling it out with the most ruthless agents in the business… The Japanese.
Luckily I have mastered the art of Bushido and have not had to fall on my sword yet. I closed a number of important deals and am happy to announced that we will be re-releasing the anime classic, Ninja Scroll on Blu-ray in October thanks to TOHO. That’s our big news from Cannes.
I aslo managed to sneak into the Martinez for a drink at the bar where I got in some fantastic star-spotting; Ewan McGregor, Jane Fonda, Bill Murray and David Walliams and his super model missus. So I left happy. I even had enough time to clean up the apartment and wash up… Twice.
Head of marketing and acquisitions
Manga Entertainment Ltd.
Tweets by @theraygun