Friday, 15 May 2009


Sponsorship is 45 per cent down, and you can park on the boulevard. If you want to be a big noise in Cannes, come now! The festival isn't exactly a washout, but clouds are definitely gathering. There are a few plus points - you can walk on the pavements, you can get a hair appointment when you want, and judging by the number of idle waiters, you can get a last-minute table at any of the grand hotels. Their rooms are all still booked, though. The Carlton is full - I tried to make a reservation and they said I should ring back each day to check for availability - and as usual, my hotel reigns supreme. it is not only five stars, but is rumoured to have five stars in residence.

Last night, I went to the 'Villa UGC', an amazing penthouse suite of rooms overlooking the Croisette and hung with Basquiats. Enrico Navarra holds court here, selling pieces of art to those left with some cash. 'The set-up is amazing,' he says. 'All we need are some customers.' Are most of them are sitting tight on their boats in the harbour? Plastic boats just don't do it for me. But since the cost of taking one 100 yards is about 15,000 pounds, there will be fewer and fewer.

Later, at the Martinez bar, someone says that Cannes is dull this year - 'a whole lot of agents and film distributors with non faces' -but I need so little to amuse myself, I'm quite happy observing the only attractive girl in the room: black and statuesque, with big round earrings. Then - light on the horizon - I bump into my old friend Simon Brook, who is very cheery. Making films and living in Paris suits him. As son of Sir Peter Brook, the most talented of directors, everything shines for Simon.

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