Tuesday, April 18, 2006

"Two Weeks In The Midday Sun" by Roger Ebert -- The Popsurfing Review

I've been going to the Cannes Film Festival since 2000 and before my first trip I bought Roger Ebert's diary about attending the festival in 1987. And yet, I wanted to experience it myself without any preconceptions and put the book aside. Now I've finally read it and -- no surprise -- the book is a delight. It opens with Ebert in an airport terminal, his flight delayed. He pulls out a "battery powered Radio Shack portable computer" that presumably seemed like the latest in high tech but probably had about 16k of memory. (Much of his woes involve trying to file stories via phone lines. The only difference between Ebert and me is that he eventually figured the French phone system out.) His diary is a casual mix of drinking with other reporters, interviewing stars, nodding off during movies due to jet lag and the constant question of what might win the Palm d'Or. Ebert spends a lot of time with low-level personalities and high profile honchos at Cannon Films, mixing in movie set visits for films playing at the festival like "Barfly." Though he attends a lot more parties and does a lot more interviews than me, Ebert's '87 experience still strikes a chord with what Cannes is like for me --quirky, strange, exhausting and exhilirating. *** 1/2 out of ****.

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