I knew I was going to hit a wall eventually and it finally happened yesterday. There’s a degree of exhaustion at every film festival because of the wall to wall screenings and writing, not to mention just the logistical hassle. At Cannes, you can add to that jet lag which is at first covered up by a certain travel euphoria, only to be made worse when it finally hits you. I did my best to avoid it altogether by never napping no matter how tired I was and only trying to sleep during regular sleep hours local time. The problem was, despite my growing exhaustion, I still wasn’t getting more than a few hours of interrupted sleep each night. Each day I grew sleepier and sleepier until yesterday when I found myself nodding off during a couple of particularly challenging films.
Rather than fight it, I decided to capitulate. Instead of 3 or 4 films, I stuck with just the two then went back home, stopping along the way for some bread, wine, sausage, cheese and olives for dinner. Because: France. I wound up drinking a little bit too much of the wine (as I’m wont to do), but I think it helped me sleep a little better and I didn’t feel any ill effects in the morning. Whether my plan worked or not, you’ll find out in tomorrow’s diary entry.
Moviewise, I finally saw Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, a 3+ hour film that mostly involves people talking. I never officially fell asleep during the film (I don’t think), but I was having a great difficulty concentrating and following the conversations. As a result, it had its intriguing moments, but mostly I found it to be a massive slog. That’s not an official opinion on the film, and indeed it’s unlikely at this point I’ll review it because it would not be fair under the circumstances, but we’ll see how it goes whenever I finally get to rewatch it. Ceylan is one of the world cinema greats at the moment and I want to do everything possible to make sure I’m being fair.
The other film was called Run which was set in The Ivory Coast and told the story of the radicalization of a young man. I had a little bit better luck with this one because it was the first of the day, but still, I don’t think I can review it fairly. As is, it was interesting if a bit underwhelming.
My big regret of the day was that I missed David (Animal Kingdom) Michôd’s The Rover. I’d been told by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about that yesterday’s screening had been cancelled. They were wrong, but rather than risk waiting around for something that might not go down, I saw Run instead. Hopefully, I’ll be able to catch a Rover pickup screening tomorrow because I’m really curious to see it.
I did not have a chance to take any pictures yesterday since I opted to leave the camera at home, but here’s a quick video I shot on my crappy little phone of the post-Press Conference paparazzi mini-frenzi that always churns up outside of the WiFi room.