Memories are fading faster than flights during a strike. After two days at the world’s biggest bow-tie gathering, all that remains of the sequins and stardust is the music playing in my head. It’s better that way anyhow, because it would take pages and pages to tell you about Cannes and the festival. So I’ll just play you the soundtrack.
Cab Calloway – Here I go dreaming again
Bolt-on sunglasses and greying hair, George Clooney style. Patrick’s not an actor, but he clearly plays in the same league. Our chauffeur plays us jazz, under the sun, then under the firework display that greets us as we arrive at the famous festival stairway.
Drake – Hold on we're going home
Patrick leaves us to face the battery of photographers waiting as we alight at the red carpet. We grab the commentator for a photo. Not quite sure who he is. No matter.
Rapper’s Delight – Sugar Hill Gang
Is this real? Are we expected to get a move on? Didn’t I eat a little too much at that fancy restaurant? Are you allowed to take selfies here? Why are there so very many people? Why I am asking myself such stupid questions?
Sven Kacirek – Mariae
Abderrahmane Sissako’s film Timbuktu: a two-hour interlude in a world as far removed as we can imagine from the sparkle of Cannes outside. Poignant. When the film ends, everyone’s on their feet. What an ovation! The film-makers embrace each other under the eyes of a visibly moved audience.
Craig David – Re rewind
Le Silencio, a Parisian club designed by David Lynch, has a branch near La Croisette in Cannes. The DJ is getting the haute couture dresses swirling, the champagne glasses chinking, the bow ties loosening, and the feet tapping on the two rooftops with views down onto the city below or skywards to the stars.
Serge Gainsbourg – Black trombone
The next day, Patrick takes us to a We Love Words master class at Ciné Guingette. The sun is up before we are. The people here know what they’re talking about: issues such as brand content and talent recruitment. Dominique, community manager with Renault, is there. It’s like sunbathing for the mind, under the specially shaded glazed ceiling.
Philippe Sarde – La grande bouffe
That’s not the sound of waves breaking on the beach, but the gurgling of satisfied stomachs. Lunch at Villa Nesspresso, a festival in itself for the tastebuds. Foie gras and lobster, where the land meets the sea. And prawns lavishly embracing the ravioli.
Alain Chabat and Gerard Darmon – La carioca
There’s no time for the iced coffee to warm up. On the air-conditioned terrace, Dominique Besnehard makes a much-noticed entrance. Handshakes, precious advice, welcome encouragement, and plain speaking all round. Under these circumstances, everyone loves words all right: the kind words Dominique writes for us in the copies of his book, large as life as we read them back.
Eddy Mitchell – La dernière séance
Final photo session with New Twingo. We’d almost forgotten it was thanks to this very special car that we got here in the first place. Even though she’s not officially on the road yet. There she is near the Festival Palace, posing just like a film star under the admiring eyes of passers-by. But it’s time for us to leave, suitcases packed with gifts, fuller than those before our eyes right now. Time to sleep.
Hats off to the organizers.
And, hey, Cannes, I’m coming back next year. Take care of yourself in the meantime.