Champagne and Politics

        When it’s hot in Cannes, France, it’s sticky hot. Even when the sun submerges below the horizon for hibernation, Cannes still got hotter when the big parties started last night. In these identical tents with name-tags designated to different countries, small parties form along the beach every night, and it’s not exactly all the rage, but festivities are festivities—the spirit of Cannes engorges with each pounding bass beat on the streets. These parties aren’t keg-stands; these may be a little more tamed for kids my age, but they’re usually bases for politics instead of debauchery.

Last night, New Line Productions held a swanky party for their 40th anniversary along with promoting their next hopeful Lord of the Rings-type-movie. The movie being promoted was The Golden Compass—word is New Line is hoping this becomes the next big science-fiction trilogy. To be over the top and portray luxury, massive buses were assigned to pick up the cocktail-attired guests from a spot, more or less, 4-5 blocks away from the party. Obviously, these buses were necessary since most of these guests were dressed in clad-formal wear. Jeans and t-shirts weren’t appropriate, but let’s say I was accidentally rebellious the other night. The party was held at a chateau with plastic ice-bergs scattered around the front field, including a nine-foot plaster polar bear. The funniest part of the party had to be the finger-food bar, which was made out of ice by the way. The guests were left with decorative baby crabs, along with crawfish and gigantic sea-water escargot. Basically, if you weren’t a shell-fish fan—you’d be thinking about moving onto the next party. It might’ve been reported not too long ago in the New York Times that production companies were cutting back on expenses with promotion parties. A couple familiar faces showed up, rolling immediately into the VIP section to avoid contact with the reporters and publicists: Sam Elliot and Kevin Connolly.

                                  (Kurt Russell in Death Proof)

The second and final stop of the night was a promotion party for a movie that would surely be more gritty and bourgeois—AKA more fun: Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. Death Proof was previously apart of the Grindhouse double-feature with Rodriguez’s Planet Terror. However, since the movie flopped because of the three-hour length and excessive gore, and well, Rodriguez’s burdensome movie, Harvey Weinstein of Miramax didn’t want to give up on the expensive project, and hopes to re-release each movie of the double-feature individually. Because Tarantino’s Death Proof received much better reviews, it’s being re-advertised with an extra half-hour at the Cannes Film Festival. From what I’ve heard, the movie isn’t all that much different, except for a longer lap-dance sequence; which isn’t a bad thing. As expected, the Tarantino party was a ying-yang contrast from the New Line promotion by way of cotton candy, hot-dogs with buns too hard to bite into, and ice-skating. Miramax knows how to party. Arm candy women casually strutted across the dance floor wearing skimpy bikinis. People actually danced. Kurt Russell and Tarantino and their entourages, of course, made quick sweeps through the crowd to their VIP refugee rooms as soon as they got past the red-carpet paparazzi. If Miramax and New Line were competing for political standing, cotton candy and hot-dog incentives would always win. Again, Miramax knows how to party.

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