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Road Notes:

At the same time as the 24 Hour Party People party was spinning out of control on the other side of the harbour, at a private Pierre Cardin villa another party was getting off to a better starts. MTV presented 007 Party to promote the release of the latest James Bond installment. i got to that party at about 3 a.m. splitting a $40 cab ride from the Majestic with some model from Romania... [more on this in a few hours, i have to run to work now, but i have pictures from the MTV party to send you tomorrow]

--Alexei

May 21, 2002: Sharon Stone Redux and the Hottest Ticket in Town

The Sharon Stone Issue mentioned in my previous update was quickly resolved by a clever P.R. campaign stressing how much she has had to overcome in the past few years, including complicated surgery; what a wonderful mother and beautiful wife she is, etc. Papers even printed reports on how unsually high Ms. Stone's IQ scores are... it helps that every night Sharon dazzles the red carpet with her fabulous fashion sense. And she's pictured in daily papers crying a lot in public, overwhelmed by the Woody Allen reception on the opening night, by the Bowling for Columbine honesty, by the ceremony at which David Lynch received a Chevalier of Arts and Letters Honor by the French Ministry of Culture, an award Sharon was given just a few years ago. The new slogan on the matter is "Sharon = the Cannes Darling."

Despite all the stories of paparazzi brutality, what i'm witnessing at the festival is an odd sense of camaraderie amongst the journalists. just yesterday at the Gangs of New York 20 minute screening, i saw a bunch of them tie themselves together with a long rope which they then tied to a tree to ensure extra support for when the crowds'd push in for a glimpse of Leo and Cameron. The general response to the much anticipated Scorcese epic was enthusiastic, but then again people have been enthusiastic about it since its original scheduled release at the end of last year... The $97 million budgeted saga is slated for Christmas debut in the States.

From hotel penthouses to private yachts to countryside villas, the Cannes Party circuit is as legendary as the festival itself, if not more so. However, many parties often turn sour. The biggest fiasco on the Croisette this year was the party for the British film in competition, The 24 Hour Party People, about the legendary Manchester rock scene. Scheduled at the Hotel Majestic in a 1500 people venue especially redisigned for the occasion to resemble the famous Hacienda Club in Manchester, it was the hottest ticket in town, until the organizers realized that there were too many tickets printed... by various estimates nearly 3000 people showed up for the party!!! The traffic in the street was blocked for hours and had to be cleared up by the police. the zealous french bouncers have pushed, shoved, bruised, and injured some of the top industry people and important corporate sponsors. Since I'm working with the publicity team for the film Iwas lucky enough to be inside the club, where even those who got in found out that the drinks had to be paid for, up to $15 dollars for a shot of vodka and $10 for a beer!!! This only further outraged the crowd, because the single golden rule of a Cannes party is "free booze for all" a.k.a. "all you can drink buffet." The fault for celebrity abuse now is now being laid on the bar tenders and bouncers who "misunderstood" the organizers' direction and charged for drinks, as well as abused their powers and let their friends in without the invitations.

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