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Post Card One - Ready - Steady - Go

Hello and Bonjour from the sunny dreary and very wet south of France and the 66th Festival de Cannes. It is the eve of the festival and as I sit and write this in our apartment, it is gloriously peaceful. Alan isn't telling Paul to stop smoking or me to stop drinking - water off of a duck's back - and there are no discussions, sometimes heated, about what film is in or out of the festival. Alan is out visiting friends and Paul has just headed out to catch up with some of his mates. I may go join him later, but for the moment I'm well set up here with a nice bottle of cheap but very drinkable local €2.50 red wine to ease the writing process.

I have to give credit where credit is due, the lovely Mr McEvoy, who in past years was never first in the volunteering stakes to do any of the routine domestic jobs that are required around the apartment every day, has this year been first up to the mark. As soon as any meal or snack is finished, he's up at the sink, dawns the marigolds and gives the dishes big licks. I see you in a whole new light Paul. Also, while I'm dishing out the brownie points, chef Jones has been keeping us well fed with a range of very healthy and tasty dishes.

We've been here since Saturday and we are now all well settled in. We're in a new location. It's a little bit further out of the centre in an apartment that was recommended to us by one of Alan's friends. Boy, have we lucked out. We are on the second floor of a private house. The owners have really made us feel extremely welcome. They invited us downstairs for champagne and pizza on Saturday and today, at lunchtime, when we came back having collected our accreditation, a pot a very tasty spaghetti bolognese and a delicious home-made cake was waiting for us. We have a small supermarket, a fabulous Artisan bakery, and a little Tabac where we can get bus tickets, the number 2 bus stops right outside, Paul can get is fags and I might indulge in the odd half pint of local beer near by. So, all and all a bit of a result. As I said we are a little bit further out and it is a good 15 minute walk into town to get to where all the action is, but it's gloriously quiet and we've got more space than we know what to do with.

The world’s most important cinema showcase kicks off tomorrow and Cannes has been putting the final touches in place. Do you know they repaint all the road markings every year. It is all these little details that make this Mediterranean resort so irresistible at this time of year. This year’s poster features Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward who were first honoured by Cannes in 1958, the year they married. More than 4000 films will unspool, be pitched, haggled over, sold or perhaps just imagined as belief is suspended and dreams are dreamt, by filmmakers and fans alike. Star spotting is part of the fun, although frankly, in the 20 odd years I have been coming here I can count my encounters with them on one hand. We just don't do the festival at that level.

The festival normally opens with a world premiere, but not this year. The curtain raiser is “The Great Gatsby” which I have seen and has already opened in America to lukewarm reviews, but what are we looking forward to seeing. Well, we have a list of nearly 80 films. They range from Hatchet III, VHS 2, Cabin Fever 3 - do we really need a third episode of this, and here's a bit of gossip that I picked up here today. A certain director, who's name I was told, but I'm not going to name here - he has had films featured in FrightFest in the past - was approached to make the film. He was told, make any film you like, but we are calling it Cabin Fever 3. Others on the list include Return of Nuke Em High - well maybe not - Outpost III and Zombie Fever.

We will be reporting back each day as the festival plays out with news and perhaps the odd little bit of gossip, so till the next time.


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