And the Golden Gaffe goes to...

Click to follow
The Independent Travel
The Festival invariably produces a gaffe or two. None will ever surpass the one by Stephen Dorrell when he was Heritage Secretary two years ago and came here and referred to the beautiful French actress Jeanne Moreau as "that distinguished Frenchman". If they nearly ended any hope of European unity, this year's Festival director, Gilles Jacob, went for intercontinental conflict. Reacting furiously to Ingmar Bergman refusing to come to Cannes to collect a special award, he said "What does he think this is, some little Japanese Festival" - which went down well with the Japanese contingent here.

But winning gaffe this year stays with Britain. Simon Perry, head of British Screen, invited 20 of Britain's leading young actors and actresses here to parade British glamour and talent before the world. He left off the list Marianne Jean-Baptiste who would not have only been the sole black face, but more pertinently was Oscar nominated for Secrets And Lies. She had never been to Cannes and was both angry and devastated - and rightly so.

Can't sleep. Get up at 5am. Even then pitchers are scurrying by. I stop one. It is Amanda Brown, who made a Carlton TV documentary on cinema organs last year. She says she has to get up this time to get in line outside the Paramount office to pitch a new script to an executive eight hours later.

"They'll probably listen, and take the idea back to LA and give it to someone more experienced," she sighs. And when she gets back to England everyone will envy the glamorous time she had.

A lesson for impromptu performers on the Croisette. What people want here, what they really, really want, is to catch a glimpse of movie stars and movie directors. When the Spice Girls broke into a beachside performance for French TV a crowd gathered, watched, glimpsed Tim Burton standing on a balcony on the other side of the road. The crowd frowned, wrestled with the consciences, then made for the director of Batman and Mars Attacks. Its director power, girls. Don't worry; it hasn't caught on in Britain.

Comments