Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

FILM FESTIVAL

Memories of Cannes: The Naked Truth

May 07, 1997

Today marks the opening day of the 50th Cannes Film Festival. To mark the occasion, staff writers Elaine Dutka, Claudia Puig and Robert W. Welkos asked Hollywood Cannes-goers to reminisce about their favorite memories of the glittery resort, where star power is at its highest concentration in the world for two weeks every May. Here are a few highlights from 50 years of Cannes:

*

Kirk Douglas, actor:

I equate Cannes with great friendships and a very special romance. I recall cavorting on the beach with a beautiful girl named Brigitte Bardot. And, even to this day, I receive copies of the photograph when I used her long hair as a mustache, to be signed. There were lunches with Yves Montand and Simone Signoret at La Colombe d'Or, drinks with Peter Sellers just a few months before he died, chatting with Chagall.

But all of these wonderful memories can't compare to my most meaningful memory--that of my courtship of Anne Buydens. Anne magnificently coordinated the film festival under Favre LeBret. I was so impressed with the way she dealt with all the representatives in their native tongue that I asked her out. She kept me waiting long hours in the evening before I took her to a romantic dinner in a charming restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean. I kept chasing her until I got so tired I asked her to marry me. We have now been married for 43 years, and today we have two wonderful sons and two beautiful grandchildren.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday May 10, 1997 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 9 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 25 words Type of Material: Correction
Title--An article in Wednesday's Calendar about reminiscences of the Cannes Film Festival gave an incorrect title for Bob Shaye of New Line Cinema. He is chairman of the company.

Maybe the Cannes Film Festival was more romantic then, or is it that you think so as you grow old?

*

Robert Evans, producer:

In 1982 I went to Cannes to raise money for "The Cotton Club." I had no script and no stars, but I had a huge 8-foot poster. The actor I was going to get to star, Sylvester Stallone, had bowed out at 2 a.m. the morning I went before the exhibitors. There had never been a picture with no script, no cast and a first-time director there. I had Mario Puzo there--he was going to write the screenplay, but I didn't have enough money to pay him at the time. I told the 400 people there, "I want to show you the poster. If you don't like the poster, don't buy the picture because the picture is not going to be any better than the poster." An exhibitor asked, "Who's going to be in the film?" I told him, "The star of the picture is the Cotton Club. The gentleman sitting next to me has written 'Godfather' 1 and 2. Any other questions? Mario just sat there smoking. He told me, "P.T. Barnum is Don Knotts next to you."

I raised $8 million in 40 minutes, more than has ever been raised in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, with no star, no script, no story yet. I just had a poster with a guy and girl, musical instruments, people dancing and a machine gun in the background. It said: "Its music startled the world. Its violence startled the nation." I was going to direct and produce it at the time. With that $8 million I got the picture made. I raised the rest.

I've never gone again. They'd hang me. I'd never do as good.

*

Samuel Arkoff, president, Arkoff International Pictures. He attended his first Cannes Film Festival about 1958, and as board chairman of American International Pictures, went to Cannes many times over the years:

My wife and I arrived one morning at our room at the Hotel du Cap and noticed that the bed wasn't made up. The bellhop said, "Sophia Loren slept here last night." With the consent of my wife, I lay down in the unmade bed that Sophia Loren slept in. It felt very good. My wife kissed me, so I guess that made it OK.

*

John Singleton, director. He attended his first Cannes Film Festival at age 23 in 1991 after just completing "Boyz N the Hood":

The interesting thing is, when I first got there, nobody knew who the hell I was. Everybody mistook me for Spike Lee. But by the end of the week, everybody knew me. I had just come out of film school directing "Boyz N the Hood" and we were showing it for the first time to a French audience.

I had never been out of the United States before I went to Cannes. I remember going to the Hotel du Cap and all these naked people were running around. I had my video camera and I took pictures of all these topless women with fake boobs. We rented scooters and drove all around the Croisette and the American Pavilion where American filmmakers . . . talk about the dearth of American filmmakers.

*

Avi Lerner, chairman, Nu Image. He first attended in 1972:

Back then, every big producer was said to have his own yacht. The question was who's got the biggest yacht? This was always very funny for me. Lorimar, Cannon, New World, Carolco--all those kinds of companies [were there]. One year, they have the big party and the big, big production slate and after a few years they all vanished. People like Mario Kassar, Andy Vajna, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. . . . After a few years, you never heard about them.

*

Norman Katz, president and CEO of the Norkat Co. The onetime head of Warner Bros. International attended his first Cannes Film Festival in 1947:

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|