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C’est mon dernier soir ici à Cannes. Je suis triste. C’est difficile de dire au revoir – à Cannes, à mes amis, à la langue… C’était une expérience inoubliable, cette semestre… C’était comme une grande vacance, comme une rêve.
Ce soir, je dois dire au revoir à mes amis. Ça sera triste, aussi. On va sortir pour diner dans quelques minutes.
J”ai pris cette photo ce matin. Il faisait tres beau.
Je ne veux pas partir.
It’s my last evening here in Cannes. I am sad. It’s difficult to say goodbye – to Cannes, to my friends, to the language… It was an unforgettable experience, this semester… It was like a grand vacation, like a dream.
Tonight, I must say goodbye to my friends. That will be sad, too. We are going to go out for dinner in a few minutes.
I took this photo this morning. It was very beautiful.
I don’t want to leave.
This Thursday was the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS soirée at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes. (This hotel is basically like Eden. It’s probably the nicest hotel in France. Maybe all of Europe. I can’t really say. Check it out for yourself.) Anyway, many of my friends and I volunteered at the event. We were so excited for it, especially my friend Alli and I, because we were told we were going to have a really cool job. Unfortunately, it was completely disorganized and didn’t go at all how we expected. But I can’t complain, because it was such an interesting night!
Without much direction, Alli and I went to the tent where the dinner/auction was to take place, and were helping out setting up tables. Suddenly, I received a phonecall from this guy, Alex, who works for amfAR and likes the two of us a lot. “What are you doing right now?” he asked. “Helping in the tent with Alli…” I responded. “You need to leave,” he said. “We need you and Alli at Registration with Duncan ASAP.”
Next thing we knew, Alli and I were running across the ground of the Hotel du Cap, ending up in front of the black carpet, sitting behind mini HP computers, learning how to check in the guests to the event. Suddenly, celebrities, models, designers, socialites, and loads of other people with a lot more status and money than I, were streaming in front of my computer. The night was so stressful, especially when a guest didn’t have photo ID (which was necessary for check in) and therefore thought I was a giant ass for asking, because of COURSE I should recognize the face of this beautiful model, and how could I possibly hold them up when they are SO important? It was embarassing.
The highlight of this job, however, was when I was speaking in french to this lovely couple (who first addressed me in French, of course… I was switching between the two languages all night…) and asked them for ID, a credit card, anything with their name. The nice gentleman handed me his credit card, and when I read “Damien Rice” (a wonderful Irish singer of whom I am a big fan…) I was in shock. Needless to say, they were quickly checked in… AND, I got to touch his hand (wrist) when I was marking the invisible X for security. It didn’t sink in until afterwards how amazing that really was.
Once check in was finished, Alli and I finally ate, and then went into the tent during the auction to watch a bit (they had nothing for us to do, but we were lucky to be two of the few volunteers who were allowed in the tent.) We unforutnately missed Bill Clinton’s presentation and Annie Lenox’s performances, but we did see a lot of other celebrities. Some of my favorite sightings: Mike Myers, Josh Hartnett (he walked so close to me!), Emile Hirsch, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Hurley, Paris Hilton… and loads of cool designers.
Unfortunately, the evening wasn’t as successful as the amfAR team had hoped… barely anyone was bidding in the auction, and it was really sad. I feel like a lot of the guests forgot that the event was about raising money for AIDS research, and felt like it was just another chance to flaunt their latest beautiful dress (cough – Paris Hilton – cough cough).
But what an amazing (and exhausting) experience it was. I’ve never had a night quite like that one.
Today is the fourth day of the film festival. Since my grand entrance on the red carpet, I have to say that the excitement has dwindled a bit. Last night, my friends and I waited in line for two hours for the film “Precious,” and were met with the disappointing news that it was “COMPLET” (full) when we were merely 15 places away from getting in. It was such a let down, because some other students who arrived there just moments before us, did get in – and we later found out that both Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz were there. And Nick Cannon, but that’s not quite as exciting for me, personally. Anyway… it was upsetting. But it’s hard to complain, since we’ve already had the privilege of attending a red carpet premiere. That’s enough coolness to last me for two days.
So, today, my friend Alli and I volunteered for amfAR again (an organization raising money for AIDS research… we will be volunteering at the prestigious soiree on next Thursday as well which will have guests including Bill Clinton, Annie Lenox, Sharon Stone… and the list will go on). Anyway, Alli and I have lucked out. Since we volunteered both Thursday and today, we have made a good relationship with our bosses and they seem to really like us. So they are giving us more responsibility! On Thursday, we will be working all morning helping out as receptionists as they are at the Hotel de Cap preparing for the soiree. Then, in the evening, they told us they would try to give us one of the better and more exciting volunteering positions since we’ve been working so hard! We are both so excited, and are hoping to be able to help out on Monday or Tuesday of next week as well.
After our day for amfAR, we headed over with our invitations to the film, Jaffa, but were once again just a bit too late. A let down, yet, but we have invitations for a film this evening, so we will be sure to arrive WELL in advance and hopefully we can finally get into this one! We shall see!
Old news! Finally!
So, for those of you who don’t know, I was in a play. It took place last Monday and Tuesday, and I was the “premier personnage!” (main character!) The play was called RETOUR (there is the poster, above,) and my character, Manon, was a sort of “damsel in distress” – her exboyfriend, who she hadn’t seen in over a year after he left her without warning, returns during a small rendez-vous with her best friends when she is about to tell them big news (clue – it has to do with going to Australia…hence the Kangaroo). They play was entirely in French, and lasted a little over an hour. And it went well! I successfully learned and remembered all of my lines – and even did a bit of acting! Manon had to be very angry throughout the play, which was interesting for me – because, as many of you probably know, I’m not typically an angry person. I also got to faint! That was fun. Anyway, I will have a copy on dvd, so for those of you who would like to watch it at some point, let me know!
All in all, I am happy it’s over though. It involved 2-3 hour rehearsals every night, and well, I’m not used to that. But it was a really fun experience, and I think it helped me improve my speaking, and especially my pronunciation.
There they are! The cast of “Chun feng chen zui de ye wan,” directed by Luo Ye (“Nuits d’ivresse printaniere” or “Spring Fever”), climbing the red carpet just moments after I DID!
There I am! It’s too bad my photograph didn’t come out a little sharper, but it’s the best that I had the chance to get with my tiny old camera (I wish I could have fit my good caemra in my purse!) before I was ushered up the stairs and into the Palais. Thanks Ryann, for letting me wear your beautiful dress!
We were so lucky last night. The College receieved 15 invitations to the screening at 5:30, and the screening was at 7:30! I was one of the lucky 15 who lined up to get them in time, and then got ready for this amazing event in less than a half an hour! I’d say I did a pretty good job looking “belle,” considering!
Climbing the red carpet was such a cool experience. I think it may have been the coolest I’ve ever felt. Photographers everywhere, snapping pictures, and to top it off, one of my favorite songs, “In the Waiting Line” by Zero 7 was playing as we walked. My friends Bre, Alli, Janet, and Mark were some of the lucky ones as well.
Inside the palais, I was lucky that no one noticed I still had my camera. I was able to get a few pictures (though blurry.) Here is how it looked and where we were sitting!
I was sitting on the right, and the screen is to the right of the photo.
The film was, in one word, bizarre. But I don’t think one word will suffice. Intense? Emotional? Sexual? Beautiful? Explicit? Moving? I’m not sure which word is the right one to describe it. The film is actually banned, in China. It commenced with an explicit homosexual sex scene that put the “taboo” of “Brokeback Mountain” to shame. In a review that I read today, the word “cru” (french for “raw”) rightfully described how I feel about that scene. But as the movie continued, we got to know other characters and relationships, homosexual and heterosexual, tragic and beautiful, and in most cases, surprising. The film was in its original version, in Chinese, subtitled in both French and English. I had fun switching between which subtitles to read, but I have to admit, the French subtitles were more well done (they included more detail, and well, French is just prettier to read.)
After the film, everyone stood and clapped, and turned towards the cast and crew who were there, in the center of the theater. They were so happy to be there – some of the actresses were crying… it was just such a moving experience to not only be able to see a premier like this, but watch it in the same room as the very actors I was seeing on screen.I have a blurry photo, but the gentleman hugging and the woman in the white dress were all a part of the film.
After the film, I went out for a nice dinner to celebrate the exciting evening (and because we had to miss dinner at the college in the rush to get ready for the film), and walked home in my stiletto heels and floor length gown… what an experience. And today is only day three!
Tonight my friends and I are going to try to see the American film “Precious” starring Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey, which is premiering in the Salle Debussy at the Palais. It’s not an official “red carpet” premier, but should be exciting if we can get in nonetheless!
I spent the day volunteering for amfAR which was awesome – more updates later, but most importantly…
I JUST GOT TICKETS FOR THE RED CARPET AND I HAVE 15 MINTUES TO GET READY!
Going to see: “Nuits d’ivresse printaniere” (“Spring Fever”) which is a Chinese Film by Lou Ye.
Today is the first day of the Cannes Film Festival and Cannes is charged with this amazing energy. I just returned from a great afternoon downtown, hanging around the Palais de Festivals… no celebrity sightings today, unfortunately, but I did sight quite a few lucky people dressed to the nines with their tuxedos and “butterfly ties” (that’s what they call bow ties in french…) I am so jealous! The new Pixar film “UP” premiers tonight!
I am rushing off to dinner – but from now on I will try to update more often on the exciting happenings here in Cannes!