Things are now well into their stride here in Cannes with the familiar festival pattern establishing itself.  You get up, you see films, you meet people and talk about what you have just seen. It's the same three or four topics of conversation.  Usually along the lines of when did you arrive, what have you seen, was it any good and when are you going home, oh and there’s a new one that has established itself over the last few years. Is there Wi-Fi here and do you know the password.


On Thursday evening, I crashed an invitation-only screening of the Korean zombies on a train film from Yeon Sang-ho, TRAIN TO BUSAN. The film's first scheduled festival screening was the following day in the Midnight Screenings section, but this was an early market screening in a ridiculously small cinema.  I didn't know it was invitation only. I had turned up and barged my way to the front of the queue flashing my badge with its purple stripe, which acts like the biblical parting of the waves in queues here, and just sauntered in. It wasn't until after the screening when talking about it to someone that it came up.  Anyway, I got in and loved the film. Picking up where SEOUL STATION left off, Yeons vision of humanity is watered down slightly for wider mainstream appeal in Korean multiplexes.  Visually stunning with some super effects, the film cracks along a the pace of the high-speed train that it's set on. Some people may not like the tugging at the heartstrings in the final minutes. However, when the film finished the lady sitting next to me was sobbing her heart out and allegedly, only allegedly mind you there may or may not have been a tear in my eye.


It's all down to the little things here. While my purple stripe helps me with getting into things, I was talking to a journalist last night at a cocktail reception. He had one of the coveted pink badges. This is one up from the yellow ones that normal jurnos get, but one down from the white ones, which are rare, in fact I think I read somewhere there may only be two or three, but don't quote me on that. But even he was saying his pink one didn’t get him all the access that he needed or would like. The addition of a black dot on the badge he was saying would work wonders for him opening doors currently closed.  As for how all these various little perks get distributed, it is a mystery, but hey, let not look a gift horse in the mouth, and please don’t mention my purple stripe it to Alan and Paul. Due to some glitch in the allocation system, they don’t have one.


Yesterday it was the new film from Chris Smith, DETOUR that was playing here in the market after it’s recent Tribeca world premiere. A stylised thriller starring Tye Sheridan, Emory Cohen and Bel Powley and in my humble opinion, it's one of Chris’s best to date.


Enough from me.  Till the next time.





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