Synecdoche, New York
If we don't "go to the movies" in any form, our minds wither and sicken.
Glitz and glamour are in the air when night falls at the Cannes Film Festival. The streets are jammed with tuxedo clad men and women trying to make the red carpet shine with their ravishing and glowing outfits. This was my last night in Cannes and I was hell-bent on making the most of it.
I definitely felt the glitzy vibe as I walked to the premiere of the only Indian film in competition, "Udaan." The scene was straight out of E!, with glittering lights shining bright enough to make every corner of the south of France sparkle. Certainly a fitting end to my last night at the festival.
Above: The "Udaan" team on stage. (Photo by Anita Chatterjee)
The serenity of crystal clear blue water and majestic purple mountains serves as backdrop to the hustle and bustle of all activity at the American Pavilion in Cannes. I had the pleasure of enjoying the panoramic view of the Cote d'Azur, honored to be in the company of Roger and Chaz Ebert, as well as their dear friends, Uma and Gerson De Cunha. Being in such esteemed company and immersed in the energy of what for the next few days would be the equivalent of the nucleus of the American film industry, was enough to give me goose bumps. However, the warmth of our conversation and the positive vibe all around made me feel right at home.
Oh, Bollywood! The Indian film industry is definitely showing off its presence in Cannes. And why shouldn't it? After all, it is the largest entertainment industry in the world! Today I visited the Indian pavilion. A nice space but it is quite small and bare, not doing justice to the powerhouse that the Indian entertainment industry is. The pavilion does light up, however, with parties and receptions.
Left: The royal couple of Bollywood, Abhishek and Aishwariya Rai Bachchan.
Before attending the many scheduled events sponsored by the Bollywood fraternity, I began my day watching "A Proper Violence." The story of a husband and brother-in-law plotting to kill their wife and sister's rapist . I must say watching the film was like being on an emotional roller coaster, as you navigated through the suspenseful plot. I spoke with the director Chris Faulisi from Albany County, NY, who was just an intern at Cannes last year. It looks like Cannes opens up a lot of doors for youngsters who are interested in pursuing a career in cinema. I absolutely love it!
Crowded with festivalgoers, Cannes is full of noise and excitement. It is everything I expected it to be. I watch as diverse groups of people fill the streets and lobbies. I look into the kaleidoscope of cultures as the sounds of at least 100 different languages fill the air.
The ordinarily drab looking Palais des Festivals comes to life amid scantily dressed starlets and flashing paparazzi bulbs. However, in the midst of the glamour, some exhibit a down-to-business attitude that I had not expected.
Red carpets, glitz, glamour, and path-breaking works in global cinema are what I expect out of the 2010 Cannes Film festival. With this being my very first time at the event my expectations are based on years of reading articles about the festival in magazines and newspapers.
It is surreal that I am a part of this event and am able to gather my own impressions of it. Two films that I am really interested in this year are "Another Year" by Mike Leigh and "Udaan" by Vikramaditya Motwane.