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A Market Badge of one's own

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T minus one paper to Cannes...

I have one more paper to write before I was going to allow myself to focus on my trip to the Cannes Film Festival. But I am failing miserably at this task and have been for the past couple of months.

Ever since I saw Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" at Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival here in Athens, Ga., my mind has been on one thing and one thing only -- Cannes, Cannes, Cannes and all the wonderful luxuries that come with it.

Watching Cary Grant and Grace Kelly walk around the Carlton Hotel and drive along the hillsides of Monaco would make anyone envious of the beautiful Mediterranean scenery.

Once the official line-up was released I couldn't help but indulge myself. At first glance I immediately noticed Jean-Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme," which is in the Un Certain Regard category.

Godard will be eighty this year and has fairly consistently been directing movies since the 50's. I've lost count of how many times I have seen his first feature, "Breathless." Knowing Godard will be in Cannes is very exciting and I would love to meet him, but perhaps I should lower my expectations to something more attainable, like getting into a screening.

I have been attending the Cannes Film Festival with my parents since I was about 10 years old, but in this sense, the definition of "attending" should be broadened. I'd be lucky if my mom could convince a stuffy French guard to let me into the Palais with her, much less into a screening. But even though I didn't get to experience what the traditional film festival-goer was doing, Cannes was always my favorite place to go. Everything was about movies -- buying movies, selling movies, making movies or just loving movies -- everyone was there and I could feel it. The atmosphere of Cannes during the festival is like no other, and from year to year it has yet to fail me. I can safely say that I was addicted to the Cannes Film Festival by age eleven, and long before I had even seen a film in one of its many theaters.

The first time I did finally see a movie at Cannes, I was sixteen. The movie was "Lying," directed by M. Blash, and I saw it in a side theater, sitting only a couple seats away from Gus Van Sant. Van Sant quickly became the highlight of the screening, as the movie fell short of my expectations, which had grown quite high over the previous six years.

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Last year was my first year with a Festival Badge. I probably saw around twenty films, ranging from terrible to spectacular. I tried to utilize the badge to the best of my abilities and discovered that a Market Badge would work much more to my advantage, as it is hard to get into a market screening without one.

When I was younger I would wear my mom's badge while strolling down the Croisette, and I felt like the most important person in the world. This year, I am so happy to say that the Market Badge I'll be wearing will finally have a picture of me on it!

I am less than a week away from all things Cannes, and now that I've gotten a bit of the excitement out of my system, I will return to the Word Document that sits behind this one, containing half of a sentence of my comparative literature paper. Bon Voyage to all traveling toward the red carpet this weekend!

   

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