Monday, September 29, 2014

Update: Cannes 2014

So its been a very, very long time since the last time I decided to start back up writing on here. I really do miss blogging on here, and feel much more able now to find the time to do so. But firstly, dear reader, let me fill you in on a few things.

I mentioned in my last post back in February that I was going to the Cannes film festival, which of course I got the amazing opportunity to do back in May this year. I don't feel I've properly been able to describe my experience yet in detail, despite it being the highlight of what turned out to be a mostly miserable summer.

Driving to Cannes on the day I picked up my ticket, I was yet to learn quite how hectic the festival can be, particularly to a newcomer arriving past even the mid-point of the festival due to my accreditation. As instructed, I picked up my badge and without any time to waste, and began to make my way to my first screening in the Debussy theatre. The first film I saw was a Chinese drama by director Wang Chao called Fantasia, a competitor in the 'Un Certain Regard' section of festival, which runs parallel to the official selection. Wang Chao has previously won the prize for the 'Un Certain Regard' selection in 2006 with his film Luxury Car. 

The film itself presented a pretty bleak start to the experience of the festival, and though the film itself was beautiful, its melancholy story of a family struggling to hold itself together during a time of hardship and illness in bleak economic times seemed like a lot to take in for a first screening, so as amazing as it was to attend my first screening in the presence of its cast and director, it also felt great to step back out into the sun again to meet the buzz of the festival at the bottom of the red carpeted staircase and decide what I wanted to see next.

The trick with this festival is to use your time wisely. I mean, of course it is, you're at the Cannes film Festival! What I mean, is that you need to know what you want to see and figure out when you can see it as soon as possible. Screenings happen constantly throughout the day and in order to get in at all, it's recommended you get where you want to go up to an hour in advance. Bearing in mind you also need to factor in your basic needs and thus find toilets, cheap places to eat etc.

All of this, and all the while it is absolutely crucial you check the official app in order to check the availability of tickets to red carpet screenings, as this is also something that varies from hour to hour and if its something you want to experience, you have to be on the ball. I had the chance to go to two of these premiere screenings, but was only able to attend one. Between the screenings I was able to attend, and a browse in the film marketplace, on my first day I was also lucky enough to get myself a ticket to a red carpet screening of Ken Loach's film Jimmy's Hall, which I would attend the next day.

The Red Carpet screening was one the most, if not the most memorable viewing experience I've ever had the fortune to witness, along with the beach screening of Pulp Fiction. In as brief possible detail as I can manage, on the 23rd of May I attended a free beach screening of Pulp Fiction hosted by Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman themselves. Again, the atmosphere was amazing, and knowing I was sat within metres of such big names within the film industry, that I was watching this iconic film with some of the people I look up to the most was breathtaking.

I don't want to babble on too much about it, though I felt I should cover the highlights. I'll be sure to bring things up again in the future, though for now I just thought this blog was in need of a little update. I plan to post more reviews and general film musings up here from now on. I'd also like to update the layout of everything somehow to freshen things up, though its been a while since I've used Blogger so that might take a bit of time. Still, in the meantime, know that this isn't the last you'll be hearing from me by any means. Due to complications last time, I was unable to keep the promise I made to myself of keeping this blog in full swing, but I'm making sure to discipline myself more in order to practice my writing and just generally to have an outlet in which I can talk freely about films the way I want to.

Okay, I'm cutting this short! Til' next time!