No one can doubt the overwhelming glamour of the Cannes Film Festival, yet the sight of men in black tie accompanied by the world’s most beautiful women in their evening dresses as they troll down the Croissette in the blazing heat at 4pm still seems a little surreal.
Today they were out in force for the premier of French director Bertrand Tavernier’s dazzling adaptation of Madame de Lafayette’s La Princesse de Montpensier, a novel set during the religious wars between Catholics and Protestants in 16th Century France involving a complex maze of shifting alliances and conspiracy.
But slipped off to a screening of the rather exceptional, Cameraman: The Life And Work Of Jack Cardiff and catching a few glasses of wine with the film’s director Craig McCall, who has spent the last five years on the documentary that tells of the career of cinematographer Cardiff, universally acknowledged as one of the finest camera men that ever lived.
Featured in the film is Martin Scorsese and he was sat a couple of rows in front of me at the screening. After the film I strolled down the beach and dived into the party where Sheikha Al Mayassa of Qatar officially launched the Doha Film Institute (DFI), a new umbrella organisation established to bring all of Qatar's film initiatives under one banner; and there was Marty again on the podium espousing the virtues of the organisation. I swear he was stalking me.
"I'm extremely pleased by the new partnership between the World Cinema Foundation and the Doha Film Institute," said Scorsese, Chairman of the World Cinema Foundation, which has signed a three-year deal with DFI to restore and preserve international films of cultural significance.
While I was most pleased for Marty, I was especially chuffed with the free drink and mountains of delicious canapes that kept us all entertained until 2am. Wow! Those Sheikhs sure can throw a party.