Friday, 6 September 2013

FESTIVAL FUN


Having been to my fifth film festival this year, and, in my life hundreds, I am still looking for a eureka moment. What does it generally mean? What does anything mean? 
Are they intellectual salons, market places or are they are simply brothels for pimping film.
The successful are hidden in their rooms, with some willing chickeroo getting their back scrubbed, while the rest are desperately seeking some non existent producer to give them a part or take their script to CAA.
With so much public relation protection there is little chance in major festivals of new talent bursting through the red rope.

 I do not care to hide in my room with a secret lover, although I have done, or bore some old guy with loads of cash about how brilliant my writing is.  My writing is what it is, and I intend to continue evan if I felt exhausted.
RUSHKA BERGMAN AND AMANDA ELIASCH

The nightlife at festivals is full of stunning people, looking for things that do not exist, waiting, for a glimpse of a film star or an invitation to some hidden place where the elite sit. This changes continually. The parties are supported by the Fashion houses, (for example Gucci who has a huge advert of James Franco at the Cipriani Entrance to St Mark's Square).  Chopard and  Maserarti were generous in Venice this year, with Nicholas Cage, George Clooney, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson and Keira Knightley all making an appearance.  
The  charming Kenneth Cole  and his wife, whose Aids Foundation's AMFAR, give a huge party at Cannes each year which is attended by many  famous faces, and their associates who wish to rush up life's ladder.
For me I love the Ischia Global International Festival rather than the large festivals, it has an intimacy and provides space to be artistic. It is also beautifully run by Pascal Vicedomini.  With Nicholas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, Amanda Seyfried it was a small intimate affair.
PASCAL VICEDOMINI AND AMANDA ELIASCH

At the larger festivals girls are sent around as gifts, they are used as tools and it has always been the case. They rarely complain, they know they get something out of it. The Festival’s version of “cinq a sept” gives them access to the downstairs party and free tickets to the premiers.
Stephen Frears at the Danieli

There are worthy films, for example prize winning, Stephen Frear's moving  film Philomena, with music by Alexandre Desplat.  One of my favourite films is Woody Allen's Jasmine Blue. It is totally brilliant.
Then there were films that should not ever be seen but some studio boss is desperately trying to get his cash back. There are film stars showing terrible films.  The smaller Festivals actually were much more daring and creative. With less money they achieved more.  I saw  a short film, called Lucy, about autism at the Cannes Film Festival and winning like me at the NYCIFF by a girl called Libby Blood.  Roberto Rizzo  runs this festival with passion.
I  like thought provoking wacky films, not films I could watch when bored on television late at night, with too much violence. I am so sad that at least half the films I have to watch through my fingers, as some knife clatters to the floor.

Women have been given an opportunity to make a great impact on the film world this year, thank goodness, but the choices are still disappointing.
I like new brilliant writing, but the film world is looking tired, the same old faces show up year after year, looking older and older. It is time of great change and I shall be looking for the unique films in the new and smaller festivals.  There is something charming about the innocence of the new. Thank goodness for new directors like Xavier Dolan and his film Tom a la ferme. Whether I like the film or not, it is well directed, acted produced and written.
XAVIER DOLAN

When I look back at the festivals this year these are some of my favourite private moments. In fact the best moments were private never the party.
Lying on the bed with L’uomo Vogue Editor, Rushka Bergman and artist, Marina Abramovich discussing the meaning of life and Marina's new artistic projects.
AMANDA RUSHKA AND MARINA
Laughing and doing Yoga with Natalia Souza and my son in the Cipriani.
Receiving The Lina Wertmuller  Prize in memory of her late husband for best art film at the Ischia International  Global Film Festival
Having a private dinner with Marina Cicogna one of the most beautiful Italian women on the planet.
Spending time with Joel Shumacher on a boat trip in Ischia.
Starting my new script with Tim Willis about human madness.
Walking the streets of New York and Los Angeles, working on my film, The gun the cake and the butterfly with Dan at Anarchy Post, Behsat Ahmet, Justine Glenton, Roby Meola, Charles Eliasch, Hector Abaunza and the Freedman's.
Being selected in festivals such as  Susan Johnstone's "The New Media Film Festival", NYCIFF where I won best art film/drama, and the Lina Wertmuller prize at Pascal Vicedomini's Ischia Global Ineternational FF, Bel Air FF and Burbank International Film Festival where I nominated for best film made by a woman.
The film was in the words of Jean Cocteau  "was not so much as a text, as a pretext, a chance to create an atmosphere and reveal character".
It has been a challenging year, and mostly very happy. Does it matter?, Yes to me.  
I have never won any prize in my life, and was told unless I was going to be brilliant I should not bother. What makes me work? I think it is in the bones, I love work, I love writing.
Money and work should not go together as the vulgar lucre gets in the way of using my brain and creating. 
As for the festivals it is more amusing for me here, watching a blonde with longs legs and attitude go to into action than a walk round Battersea Park this week, feeding the ducks or listening to crickets in Tuscany, or sailing to St Tropez.
The reason for writing at all is that as I have to get through life with smile on my face, I might as well join in than give up. I am not ready to give up, just yet. 

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