10 February, 2010

Back-B-Log: 1990: Cannes - Dread And Victory (V Retreat and Victory)

[From the 2nd and final issue of the Tuesday Express/American Voyeur Paris/Cannes Issue! 1990]

Sunday, May 20th: Retreat

I wake first and, after a shower to remove the crud of another Mediterranean swelter night, I head off to the bakery to find goodies. Back in the apartment we manage leftovers breakfast and coffee. I step out on the balcony, complete with its trellis with fake plants and large plastic crustaceans (a wall which would have been at home in any Seafood Shanty restaurant). I survey Cannes below me, an overblown dream; harsh, Sunday morning sunlight glancing of beige yellow and white condominiums. After cleaning up breakfast, I head out, arranging to meet Angela and Barrett at lunchtime.

I laze my way through the streets, I can hardly be bothered. I've peaked and the festival is winding down around me. I try to go into the Carlton to visit their booths, but suddenly there is security, and they won't let people in - there was no security before, and by now everybody except the judges and the competitors have left town. I go to the American pavilion, looking for Int. Her. Trib., I scrounge the last one for the crossword. I look over the last of the promo materials, on one table I see a postcard announcing 'Nazi Zombies - we have the title, we have the story' and a contact for interested investors. I go by the Palais, but I don't bother getting a daycard. I've decided to change my plans and leave as soon as possible. I meet up with Angela and Barrett to say goodbye, they're on their way to lunch with the Navy guys. Barrett says she'll contact me when she got back to London, I never heard.

Trained to Juan Les Pins, changed flight. Haggled with the hotelier as I'm checking out late. I don't pay the extra, but the French hotels get their own back when I arrive in Nice too late to retrieve my deposit for the hotel there. Grab lunch at Freetime (the dubious bernaise burger). I make the airport with so much time to spare, I change my flight again. Nothing to do but browse the airport shops, I see the commemorative festival watch, ridiculous (film canister face, movie clapboard hands), but handsome, I buy it, my last strange souvenir.

Boarding the plane I argue with the guard who insists on putting my loaded camera through the x-ray machine, I want a handcheck in the end he tears it from my hands and throws it onto the conveyor belt. I relent, the French thug cops. (a photojournalist friend of a friend has an unpublishable photo he took of a French cop shooting and killing an unarmed suspect falsely accused of shoplifting)

I sit next to an elderly couple from Boston on the plane, they spend time in Nice every year, they don't know anything about this 'festival thing.' I turn to the last daily festival issue of Variety. The back cover has a still from Basketcase II, a picture of the gloopy monster grinning, large caption underneath 'GOODBYE'.

Epilogue: Victory
Safely ensconced in my apartment far from the madness, after an exhausting day back at work, I tune in the very end of the presentation ceremonies. I see 'Wild at Heart' Win the Palme D'Or - now I know how it feels to see your team win the World Series....

Never saw Barrett again. While when I wrote this I implied that I hadn't heard from her, I vaguely recall finding out, too late to matter, that she had left a message for me at my work in London, which I didn't receive until I returned from Paris.

My beloved Cannes watch stopped working after about five years, and even after the drastic replacement of its workings it still is only correct twice a day. Attempts to find other copies on Ebay have been fruitless.

The Fourth Reich strangely has disappeared from IMDB, although this article (The Cinema of Manie van Rensburg) esteems it one of the director's best films. This may be an oversight by IMDB, but perhaps it is an issue of data confusion as there is a new film by the same title coming soon to our screens which is not about South African National Socialists, but is about.....
Nazi Zombies! (The 4th Reich at IMDB, not to be confused with the 2009 Norwegian skiing Nazi Zombie flick Død snø). Even great ideas take a long time in the movie business.]

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