Here is continuation from yesterday’s post on my internship at the Cannes Film Festival four years ago. Looking back at these pictures, I can’t believe how much younger I look.
This one was taken on my 21st birthday, while we were at the after party for the film Shortbus. Alex (left) and I were celebrating our “international birthday”, because there is a short window where her birthday (May 25th) and my birthday (May 24th) actually exist at the same time due to the time zones. Well, that’s what we told ourselves anyways. So do any of you recognize the quirky girl in the middle? Yep, thats Jenna Malone, the bratty little girl in Stepmom. We ran into her at the party and hung out for a bit, which prompted this “interesting” photo.
I also kept running into the French actor Vincent Cassel, who was the Master of Ceremonies for the Festival that year. Very dashing in real life, and his wife Monica Bellucci is absolutely flawless.
As beautiful as all the stars were, the city of Cannes is gorgeous enough in itself. I love the almost tropical feel of the French Riviera.
The Festival is the life blood of the city, so there are many murals and exhibits devoted to it. This one by the bus station was particularly charming. Its a tribute to the world of cinema, and was a great distraction while I was waiting for the bus every day.
While I was at the Festival, I actually lived in a town about a 45 minutes walk, or 20 minute bus ride away from the La Croisette (the main strip downtown). I couldn’t really complain about the commute, when I got to do it walking along the sea. However I did get more of a tan on my right side from walking east every morning to work (not even joking, it was pretty funny looking)
The building we stayed in was an apartment/hotel, so we did have some amenities, like this pool, a water slide and balconies, but unfortunately I was so busy that I never even made it in the pool. I did stick my toes in it a few times on my way back up to the apartment.
We had lots of adventures over to the local grocery store to try and rustle up some grub that we could make in our little kitchen. Alex wasn’t too sure about it…
..but Jamie dug right into pasta that you could microwave. She didn’t even have time to put it into a bowl, she was so hungry. With my peanut and nut allergy it was a little more difficult for me to find food, so I ate tons of fruit and veggies from the local fruit markets, and plenty of oatmeal packets and crackers too. What I wouldn’t have given for some of Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese! This is the trip where I learned the importance of packing TONS of food when you leave the country. Even more than you think you’ll need.
While most of our time was spent working, schmoozing or going to go see films, we did get to explore the area a bit as well. The islands near Cannes are full of interesting history dating back as far as the Romans. One of the islands,Sainte-Marguerit, was actually where the mysterious “Man in the Iron Mask” was imprisoned for 11 years. You can visit his cell at the Musée de la Mer (Museum of the Sea, formerly the Fort of St Marguerite) and also see Roman and Saracen artifacts and discoveries from shipwrecks in the area. Although we didn’t make it over to that particular island, I hope to go back and see it someday.
Instead we took the ferry over to a smaller island called St Honorat. Since 410 AD, Cistercian monks have been the only inhabitants, at one point owning Cannes, Vallauris and Mougins. We were able to take a brief tour through the remains of their 11th century monastery.
Many monks still live on the island and divide their time between prayer and producing incredible wines and honeys. I ended up purchasing a small bottle of their lavender honey and it was delish.
Heading back to the mainland we could see all the giant yachts anchored near the harbour.
We could also see the pavilions from the water. See the two largest ones in the middle? Those are the American Pavilion where I worked. Some days I would walk farther down to one of the beaches and lay out a towel to read in the sun for a bit before I started work. One day I was just getting settled into a good book when I heard this groaning noise a little ways down the beach and I see a man, full clothed in a tuxedo sleeping on the beach. He wakes up – missing a shoe, bow tie and looking like he’d been thrown in a dumpster – and then proceeds to dust himself off, look at his watch and then march up to the hotel across the street. Must have had a bit too much fun at one of the film premieres.
At night, that same beach was turned into an outdoor movie theatre where locals and festival guests alike could come and watch films. Air France set up these fantastic beach chairs, and Stella Artois gave out polar fleece blankets, which came in handy when it got a bit chilly.
One of the nights that we went, they were screening Daft Punk’s Electroma. It was a little surreal to have your feet in the sand while watching robots walk through the desert!
But the film wasn’t the only thing that caught out eye that night. Whenever I see a beautiful sunset like this it makes me think of my dear grandmother who used to always say:
red sky at night, sailor’s delight
red sky at morning, sailors take warning
My bunkbed roommate, Lauren, and I on one of our last days there. She is back at the festival this year working for the American Pavilion, and tried to convince me to come over with her. I almost went for work this year, but the company had to back out because it was just too late in the game for us to be prepared for it, but hopefully I get to go back another year. And hopefully Lauren will get to be there then too : )
We actually continued our adventure a little bit more and went to Nice after the festival was over. Then I stayed on an extra day by myself and spent the whole time here at the beach. After a whirlwind trip, it was nice to have a bit of downtime before the big flight back home.
Well, thats my trip to Cannes in a nutshell. If you ever get a chance to go to the French Riviera, I STRONGLY recommend it. The people, the food (from what I’ve heard), the culture and the beaches are phenomenal.