DAY 2 – Thursday May 12th 2016
We had an early start yesterday morning, but not for our usual run up the red steps for a press screening – sadly we had another engagement and had to skip the screening of ‘Staying Vertical’, the new film from Alain Guiraudie, which follows a filmmaker searching for inspiration for his new film, while trying to raise a child on his own – but the engagement was an exciting one.

We made our way to the famous Carlton hotel here in Cannes to catch up with the cast and crew of ‘Café Society’, and find out more about Woody Allen’s latest film. As well as talking with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart, we were lucky enough to sit down with Woody Allen to talk about his new film. Allen has not appeared in one of his own films for many years, and takes on the role of the narrator in ‘Café Society’, so we just had to ask him why he decided to narrate his film after such a long break; “I wanted the structure of a novel, of a book, and I wanted the family and brothers and sisters, and touch on characters; not make one single story running through. So because it had a novel’s structure, you feel the author’s voice. If you’re reading Dickens or you’re reading Saul Bellow or whoever, you hear the author’s voice. Since I was the author, I felt I was the author, I felt I was the logical person to do it.”

We will publish the full interview with Woody Allen, as well as our interviews with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart later in the year, so keep an eye on for all you need to know about ‘Café Society’.

After our exciting morning, we headed back to the Palais for the screening of Jodie Foster’s latest film ‘Money Monster’, starring Julia Robert, George Clooney and Jack O’Connell. The film follows TV money advisor Lee Gates (Clooney), as he is taken hostage by a desperate man live on air, after he followed Gates’ advice and lost everything. Read our full review here.

Blinking in the afternoon sun, we walked around to the other side of the Palais to join the queue for Ken Loach’s latest film ‘I, Daniel Blake’. One of the most aniticipated films at the festival, ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is a damning and heartbreaking look at two people who don’t quite fit the moulds that the benefits system in the UK works on, and find themselves falling through the cracks. Tears flowed in the Debussy screening room – without a tradition shout of ‘”Raaaaooouuuulll!” to be heard – and the consensus from the Croisette seems to be that this is Loach’s best film in years and a strong contender for the Palme D’Or… Already! Read our full review of ‘I, Daniel Blake’ here.

After the emotional gut punch of ‘I, Daniel Blake’, we took some time to compose ourselves – and vitally, eat something; food is so easily forgotten at this manic festival – before heading down the Croisette for something that promised to be truly special; a screening of Prince’s 1989 film ‘Purple Rain’ on the beach. Armed with out Purple Rain Jacket in case of a change in the weather, we joined the excited queue along the street. Sadly, the weather had other ideas – wind… not rain of any colour – meaning it was not safe for the screen on the beach to be erected, and the screening had to be cancelled. Disappointment filled the air as we headed back home to write and sleep, but at least we managed to see a beautiful sunset along the sea front. Another time Prince, another time.

#purplerain cancelled cos of the wind. Dat sunset tho! #cannes2016

A photo posted by Brogen Hayes (@brogenhayes) on

DAY 3 – Friday May 13th 2016
After the madness of yesterday, it was almost a relief that the plan for today was to spend it in cinemas, actually watching movies. We started the morning with the absurd and over the top ‘Slack Bay’ – titled ‘Ma Loute’ here in France – directed by Bruno Dumont. The film follows the Van Peteghem family as visit the seaside town the return to each summer. More specifically, they stay in their home overlooking the windswept, barren but oddly beautiful bay, that seems only to be home to mussel gatherers, who moonlight as untraditional ferrymen for those wanting to cross the bay. This summer, however, people are going missing, people that the bumbling police offier from Calais, Alfred Machin (Didier Desprès) has been sent to look for.

‘Slack Bay’ seems to have got a mixed reaction here in Cannes – you can read our full review here – and we are very excited about talking to the cast and crew of the film later on in the festival.

After ‘Slack Bay’, we went for a walk around the Marché du Film, housed behind the main Palais building. The Marché is where distributors and filmmakers go to show off the films they have spent the last year working on, hoping to secure a deal where they will get into cinemas. The best part of the Marché is seeking out all the B-Movies to be found – last year’s big excitement was the wonderfully terrible looking ‘Sky Sharks’ – and this year has some great contenders too, including ‘Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies’ and ‘Shark Lake’, which stars Dolph Lundgren. Also, Henry Cavill’s face makes an appearance in the Marché, on a poster for a film called ‘Red Riding Hood’, which promises to be “A classic tale with some modern majic”. Check out more below…

Marche Madness. I would watch all of these films. #sobaditsgood #cannes2016

A photo posted by Brogen Hayes (@brogenhayes) on

After the excitement of the Marché, we caught the first film from director Stéphanie Di Giusto; ‘The Dancer’, which is screening in the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, and stars French singer-songwriter Soko in the lead role. ‘The Dancer’ is the story of Marie-Louise Fuller (Soko), also known as Loie, who began her dancing career at the turn of the last century performing her own weird and beautiful style of dance on stage during theatre intermissions, before moving to France to continue her career. Read our full review of ‘The Dancer’ here.

The final film of the day came in the shape of Germany’s ‘Toni Erdmann’, directed by Maren Ade. The film feels a little like the German version of ‘Mrs Doubtfire’, as Winifried (Peter Simonischek), a known practical joker, takes on the alter ego of Toni Erdmann in order to get his adult daughter to open up to him, and for the two to find a new way to connect. Although there is a strong story somewhere in ‘Toni Erdmann’, there is also something to be said for brevity; the whopping 162 minute running time of the film seriously damages it. Read our full review here.

Words: Brogen Hayes