Cannes Diary 1 – The Caste System, And Phantoms From The Past

Posted on June 3, 2017


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On the first day of the 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, I became a victim of what long-timers here jokingly call the caste system. It has to do with the colours of the badges. The most coveted colour is white. You get a white badge, and you can swan in and out of screenings without waiting in line. Next, pink with a yellow dot. Then pink, blue, yellow, orange — the last two categories for bloggers and the like. I snagged a blue, which I was told wasn’t bad for a first-timer, but that only meant I got priority over orange and yellow. It still couldn’t get me into the screening of Sea Sorrow, Vanessa Redgrave’s debut as director, “a personal, dynamic meditation on the current global refugee crisis”.

Standing in line for the press screening of Arnaud Desplechin’s Les Fantômes D’Ismaël, the amiable man in front of me – a Turk doing his PhD in Film Studies in the US – narrated a horror story from a year ago. A white badger, climbing the stairs ahead of the others, actually turned back and clicked a picture of the long queues of the colours below him. Cannes snobbery? Or just the fist-in-the-air equivalent of a traveller who knows he never needs to fly Economy again?

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Foreign