Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day Seven - Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, I left the house with enough time to make a trip to the nearby tabac (convenience store) to buy a new bus pass for the week. At ten euros for a week, its pretty reasonable (especially when each trip otherwise is 1 euro).

After stopping in the tabac, I happened to notice a little open-air produce market being set up in the parking lot down the street. I wandered over to explore, and it was perfectly quaint. Everything you'd expect from a gathering of vegetable and fruit stands in Europe and more.

Then, wandering in bliss, I heard the most delightful music being played by a band in the corner. But not just any music. The theme song for Star Wars (techno style), to be exact. And the musicians looked ridiculous-- four adults in silly costumes that look like they come straight from those prepackaged Halloween costume bags. It was great.

After work, my friends and I went to the Louisiana Pavilion (not on the beach, like the pavilions of countries, but in the marina), because they were serving free jambalaya and American beer. The food was absolutely delicious and it was fun to sit around and joke with fellow AmPav kids (we overran the place).

I really, really, really wanted to see Blue Valentine, the new film starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, so a few of us got in line over two hours early (as it was a first-come-first-serve screening). We were second in line. Score. It was a fun wait too. I love the students in this program. We all have so much in common, and we are always nerding out and talking about movies.

In fact, on the first night I was here, a bunch of us went out on a balcony and drank wine, ate baguettes, and got to know each other. At a lull in one of my conversations, I happened to look around and notice that every single small conversation on that balcony was about movies. I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven.

So going back to waiting in line... so much fun. At one point, there was a French guy on a balcony across the piazza singing opera-- shirtless-- at the top of his lungs. His voice carried really well and he was actually pretty good. So we had some free entertainment while we waited.

We were some of the first people in the theater, so we picked the seats in the orchestra pit that were directly in front of the large reserved seating section. We were excited, because we were sitting dead center and had great seats.

And then suddenly, the awesome factor of our seats skyrocketed when two ushers came through and taped names to the seats behind us. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I sat directly in front of Ryan Gosling, one chair over from Derek Cianfrance (director), and a few seats down from Michelle Williams for an entire movie. They are beautiful people.

After the entire theater had been seated, the stars, director, and producers of the film were announced, and they took the stage for a few brief remarks before taking their seats. The funny thing was that, while well-known, beautiful people were on stage for that time, the one who stole the show was a little pint-sized girl who had the words "Once upon a time there was a princess" embroidered around the bottom of her poofy tutu dress. Loving the spotlight, she grinned, waived, and kept making little curtsies the entire time other people were talking. And you couldn't help but love her.

Then the entourage left the stage and began filing into their seats. Briana, the girl to my left, was completely star struck and looked in dumbfounded awe as Ryan Gosling approached to take his seat behind us. I'm sure he noticed her shining admiration, because he said, "Hey, how's it going?"

The three of us close to him stumbled out a "Great, thanks" (or something along those lines).

Then Gosling said, "If the movie sucks, just lie to us."

"Sounds like a plan."

Yes, we had a "conversation" with Ryan Gosling. Briana's life is complete.

Intense, raw, and so real. I loved every minute of it. It was about the beginning and end of a young marriage filled with passion, love, shattered dreams, and change. At times, the camera looked at the moment with such openness that you wanted to look away but couldn't.

While a bit graphic at times (a bit awkward to be seeing William's boobs or Gosling's butt when they are sitting right behind you), the story it told of a disintegrating marriage was so powerful. I understand completely why those two took on their roles, and I really hope they get some critical acclaim for their impressive acting.

Once the movie was over, a bunch of the group went home. The rest of us bought baguettes and wine and climbed up to the castle on the hill to admire the view. The walk up led us through narrow, steep stone-paved streets lined on either side with adorable hole-in-the-wall restaurants that are all perfect for a romantic date. Every one was cuter and more romantic than the last. I definitely have to go back and eat there before I leave.

The climb was actually pretty short, and in no time at all, we were at the top of the hill and standing on the castle wall. Being late, the museum inside was closed, but we still got to walk around the outside and admire the great view of Cannes all around us. The perfect ending to a great day (possibly the best).

The view of the Cannes Film Festival from the castle.
It's hard to make it out, but the brightly lit yellow objects
are more pavilion tents, that street is the main road that goes
by the festival (and is probably miserable to attempt to drive
right now because of the number of people crossing it constantly),
and that brown square on the right (midway up) is the Palais,
where all the films are played.

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