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What a great press conference for Inglourious Basterds!

Cast of the movie

Eli Roth, Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger and Quentin Tarantino


More Brad – this time closer up

Quentin Tarantino is just so lively and spirited and passionate about the films he makes. And he expresses it with these big gestures and hand movements. Very different to the straight-laced Lars von Trier who won’t say very much about what he does, or why he does it. Brad Pitt provided much banter with Tarantino – when Tarantino explained how much he wanted to work with Brad and the lengths he went to to realize this, Brad simply said, “he had me at hello.” There are snippets of the press con on the http://www.ewn.co.za/ website, under my Cannes feature. The film’s stars will walk the red carpet tonight – and of course everyone is waiting to catch a glimpse of Brad and Angie there together.

Last night I went to a cocktail party for New Moon, the next film in the Twilight series. We got to see never-before-seen footage from the film and it looks good so far. Still heart-tugging. But most importantly, I fulfilled many a young girl’s dream to stand next to Robert Pattinson and share a joke with him.

I picked up my accreditation for tomorrow night’s the big amfAR Aids benefit event. It’s hosted annually by Sharon Stone to raise money for HIV/Aids work and this year’s special guest is Bill Clinton and Annie Lennox will be performing. The rest of the guest list looks great – Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, Emile Hirsch, Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, 50 Cent and my personal favourite, singer Damien Rice. Looking very forward to that one!

There is so much happening and on the go here, that it really is impossible to keep up! Today the buzz is all about Pedro Almodovar’s latest offering, Broken Embraces. It stars the young lass he helped make famous, Penelope Cruz. She was in Cannes last year for Vicky Cristina Barcelona so I’ve already seen her beauty in the flesh before, but she is still one gorgeous lady. It helps that she wears gorgeous outfits too! Penelope says she’s been honoured to work with both Almodovar and Woody Allen whom she worked with last year.

I took part in a radio interview with Radio France International, which brought together some interesting people. Met a young lady from Kenya who is doing some amazing things to get her film to the people. One way is to show a shorter version of it in taxis. I will be chatting to her again to get the full story for Eyewitness News.

I also managed to dash off in time to catch a press conference with legendary director Martin Scorsese about his efforts to restore old films. I asked him about his thoughts on tackling piracy in this day and age and he was busy answering when his business partner steered him away from the question into another topic altogether – but at least I got a question in there before the time was up. Someone tried to ask him about the hush-hush movie he’s doing about Frank Sinatra’s life, but he would not answer that question and steered himself back onto the topic.

Yesterday Jim Carrey and Colin Firth were promoting their new film ‘A Christmas Carol’, which is going to be in 3D. There was snow outside the Carlton and a horse drawn carriage! The interviews for that have to be bought by the distributors who are showing the film in the different countries so I couldn’t ask Mr Carrey, which of the ghosts of Christmas past he enjoyed playing the most.
Last night the National Film and Video Foundation hosted a showcase of some of the great movie projects that are on the go here in Cannes (link). The offerings sound really great. Read more about them in the EWN report I filed. I am really looking forward to seeing the animated features – one of them has the voice of Freshlyground lead singer Zolani Mahola. Also, the movie based on the hit book Spud that is in the pipeline looks very promising, especially since a big name British actor just perfect for one of the parts has signed on to be in it. Wish I could tell you who but it is a secret!

Well, well, well! Just as I predicted, a busy weekend.

It’s a good thing I learnt early on to carry my slip-slops in my bag so I can run around the festival when I need to!

There’s been a lot of buzz around the film ‘Precious’, directed by Lee Daniels (Monster’s Ball), that’s here in Cannes, looking for distributors. It’s a very harrowing but hopeful story of a young girl who’s grown up in Harlem and is sent to an alternative school. The film is produced by Oprah and Tyler Perry and Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz both make appearances. Well, more than just appearances actually. Mariah plays a social worker and she’s actually pretty good. I’m sure many people were skeptical after ‘Glitter’, but Mariah showed she can act. In fact, I actually didn’t even recognize her when she came on screen – no make-up, hair dyed dark black and no skin showing. Not at all the Mimi we know! The actress who plays the lead role is a young first-timer named Gabby Sidibe. She’s from America but with a surname like that I have been wondering if she is not South African somewhere along the line. Mo’nique and Paula Patton are also the film. Paula is so fabulous – beautiful, funny, warm and plus she’s married to Robin Thicke.

The Bang Bang Club cast was also in town this weekend – fresh from wrapping the film earlier in the month. Ryan Phillipe was already spotted on Friday night walking the red carpet with his girlfriend Abbie Cornish for her movie ‘Bright Star’. It was great to see him and my other “co-star” Taylor Kitsch. Malin Ackerman brought along her Italian hubby Roberto, who is just so sweet. It’s also great that they were drumming up support for the film even though it hasn’t been finished yet.

With producer Danny Iron, and above, director Steven Silver – the rest you know, right?

Another fabulous party happened last night – and who should show up? But of course, the Party Girl herself, Paris Hilton. She said she was in Cannes promoting “a documentary about me”. Hmmm. Peaches Geldof and Kristin Scott Thomas were there too – think I accidentally may have bumped the Oscar-winning actress while I was on the dance-floor. The very good-looking lead actor in Jane Campion’s Bright Star Ben Whishaw was there too – as was Jane’s 14-year-old daughter. Must be great to come with your Palme D’Or-winning mom to the fest and I imagine she gets treated to all the best parties.

Paris Hilton’s boyfriend checking what label she’s wearing.

The gorgeous Ben Whishaw who plays John Keats in Bright Star.

Kristin Scott Thomas

This young fella stars in Nowhere Boy and Bright Star, but I couldn’t place where I knew him from…then I realised it – he, Thomas Sangster, played Sam in Love, Actually. We loved him in that!

I am staying on the corner of Dior and Ferragamo – almost literally! To get to the apartment where I am staying I have to see the items in these stores every day. It seems so unfair. Add to that the storefronts of Louis Vuitton and Chanel that I also have to walk past everyday…torturous for a shopaholic!

Things are easing into full swing, preparing for a big weekend ahead. Spent the day sorting out the interviews I have coming up in the next few days. I’ve also been finding out which films are set to cause a buzz here. Filmmakers and producers like to grab your attention at Cannes. Outside one of the “big 5” hotels is a giant Transformers figure. I, of course, tower above it – not!

This poster advertising Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, which Brad Pitt stars in had me laughing. I can imagine tons of women walking past, shaking their heads in disagreement!

Apparently Brad and Angie were due to arrive here by now – the It couple just knows how to make the paparazzi go crazy!

Also heard the man who sold his life on ebay is here too – wonder if he is looking for a movie deal…?

Toasting with some Amarula: director John Barker has been selected by Cannes L’Atelier section of the festival to fast-track his next movie.

The first official day of the Cannes Film Festival – and already there’s a nice buzz around this year’s fest. There’s a lot of talk about the impact the global financial crisis will have on the festival, and everyone you talk to has a different opinion. Most dreadful of all, is that the annual Vanity Fair party has been cancelled! That in itself is a huge sign that all is not well in Hollywoodland. But my sources tell me there is another party being planned in its place – a little more intimate and a whole lot more exclusive…

To try keep some of the festival shine and excitement, the organizers opted for something a little different in their choice of opening film – the 3D animated Pixar/Disney flick, Up, about an old man who flies away from his home with the aid of some balloons. So all throughout Cannes there were these multi-coloured bunches of balloons to promote the film.

The only major celeb sighting was the soon-to-be-former Mrs Sean Penn, aka Robin Wright Penn, who is on this year’s jury. We are introduced to this is the esteemed group of actors and directors that will decide which film will win the prestigious main prize at the end of the festival – the Palme D’Or. I wonder what Robin is feeling, knowing that this time last year she was accompanying her husband in Cannes while he was the president of the jury and reportedly cozying up to fellow jury member Natalie Portman.

So there may have been only one celeb sighting today but I now have a better idea about more potential celeb spottings. Word is, Mariah Carey is in town, promoting the film she is currently in. So clearly, Glitter wasn’t enough. Oh, and Lenny Kravitz apparently stars alongside her. And get this; the film is produced by Tyler Perry and Oprah. Just have to find out more about that one! Jim Carey’s also going to be in town for his new movie – a Disney 3D special called A Christmas Carol. And much more to come!

Forget Borat, be afraid of Bruno, Sasha Baron Cohen’s latest creation.

Calm before the storm – Cannes the day before festival…

Cannes when the filmgoers have arrived. Spot Charlize!

This year’s Cannes Film Festival poster – what is she looking at?