Friday, May 21, 2010

Anna Reports from Cannes: Walking the Red Carpet and Antibes Adventures

This is the fifth post from BMFI's own Cannes Film Festival correspondant, University of Pennsylvania student Anna Adler. Enjoy!

Yesterday, the program I am on took us on a road trip to Antibes to meet with Lorraine Carrady Quinn, who is also a Penn alum. The bus took us on a beautiful ride along the shores of the south of France. Lorraine talked to us about what she does for her family-owned movie exhibition business, which manages many theaters in numerous countries throughout the Caribbean. While I have learned a lot about the production, distribution, and exhibition processes in my courses at Penn, Lorraine really went into detail about the challenges she faces as an exhibitor, specifically in this region of the world. In order for movie theaters to make a profit and also stay in business, Lorraine must choose a unique lineup of movies for each theater so that the audience of that particular area will want to come and see them. While a majority of these films come from Hollywood, Lorraine said that the ones that are the most successful are the highly "visual" films, such as action movies or 3D ones like Avatar.

Afterwards, I thought I would try my luck at getting into the premiere of Doug Liman's Fair Game. I waited outside the line to get in the Lumiere for over an hour, and my attempts were really starting to look hopeless. It was about five minutes before the doors opened, however, that someone handed me a type of ticket that allowed me to go in with someone with a "better" pass than my student one. The guard pointed to a line to the far left, and it turned out to be the line that goes through the entire red carpet. As I walked down the line, I realized that I was going to have to walk past all of the cameras and main actors/actresses posing for them. At this exact moment, I realized I was directly in front of Naomi Watts and the real Valerie Plame (whom Watts plays in the film). I successfully walked down the right side of the red carpet quickly (without tripping), and my friends who got in before me saw me on the big screen that shows this action before the movie begins. I will never forget these few seconds of "fame" for the rest of my life!

I wanted to see this movie because I had written a paper on the Plame affair for my Media Law & Ethics class, which I took abroad in London this past fall. While I liked the movie because I knew the historical context behind it, I feel that I wouldn't have had the same reaction without my previous understanding. At times in the film, I felt a little confused about what was happening, and I had to "Wikipedia" the Plame affair on my Blackberry in order to be able to follow the rest of the plot of the movie. Despite this, I felt that both Sean Penn and Naomi Watts did an outstanding job in their respective roles.

Later that night, a friend of mine from Penn (who is not participating in the program but happens to be here this week) called me at 1:30 a.m. to tell me that she had some extra tickets to the amfAR charity event after party at the Hotel du Cap in Antibes. I thought this opportunity would too be good to pass up, despite my visit to Antibes earlier that day. When we arrived, my friends and I saw that some of the guests who were exiting were wearing black tie and floor-length dresses, and we were casually dressed in jeans! While most of the encounters I have had with security during this trip have been stressful, the woman working the door last night instead laughed with us and let us go right inside. Overall, I can say that this was my favorite day of my Cannes experience thus far!

Tune in for more of Anna's adventures on the Riviera, coming soon!

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