Cannes 2009: I am curious, yellow

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• Made it to Cannes Film Festival & weather is beautiful; red carpet is rolled out; crowds are smaller, must be fear of swine flu. — 9:06 PM, May 12

• DAMN! Drew a yellow press badge again — relegated to 2nd class status; I’m humiliated! Feel like an untouchable among decadence. — 8:04 AM, May 13

• Not many huge yachts in the Cannes bay — must be the slumping econ. Or maybe the fact that there are fewer US films on display. — 8:45 AM, May 13

• Rush to get to 1st press screening of Pixar’s Up; get in the #$%! yellow badge line while all the red, white and blue badged snobs file past. — 9:45 AM, May 13

• While in line, I’m interviewed by a UK TV station asking how Cannes could debase itself by opening w/ a cartoon; I say I need to see it 1st. — 9:50 AM, May 13

• Whew! Get into screening in spite of being a yellow! But not before being strip searched; security is like airports! — 10:50 AM, May 13

• All don 3D glasses; another 1st for the haughty Cannes; the Cannes Pres takes a pic of us in the aud with our glasses on. — 10:57 AM, May 13

• Frantic rush to Up press conference; I jostle w/ my colleagues for place in line — they’re like pack of ravenous hyenas! — 1:32 PM, May 13

• Press conf is a lovefest! What happened to the cynical Int’l press corps!? They’re sucking up to the talent as if angling for PR jobs. — 2:12 PM, May 13

• Given how critics are losing their jobs, maybe it’s smart to be angling for a PR job! — 2:12 PM, May 13

• Hiding out in press conf room to hear next press conf with Cannes Jury; keep yellow badge covered & look busy as if on story deadline. — 3:08 PM, May 13

• It works! They don’t eject me from room; I stay for next press conf, but thereby miss other screenings. — 3:33 PM, May 13

• Cannes jury composed of eclectic group; few speak English. Press corps asks usual banal questions like how they decide awards. Yawn! — 4:47 PM, May 13

• Good question from UK reporter; uses it to make anti-Bush political statement and glad Obama won. Draws laughter! — 4:58 PM, May 13

• Have to wait to use a press room computer; luckily computer time is not based on badge color. — 6:02 PM, May 13

• Grab a crepe at nearby café; only food I get all day! — 7:10 PM, May 13

• Fight way through the crowds panhandling for invitation to black-tie event for Up on red carpet; ‘For the last time, I don’t have one!’ — 7:25 PM, May 13

• Peer into lavish parties along beach like Dickens’ Tiny Tim; pulsating rhythms serenade Cannes’ streets till dawn. — 10:34 PM, May 13

• Stagger into hotel room; long 1st day; get to do it all over again tomorrow. — 11:52 PM, May 13

• Make it to screening of a violent film; Quentin Tarantino sits just three rows behind! He fails to notice me. — 2:45 PM, May 15

• Stroll along Croisette and beach; I hide my yellow badge. Water is cold, sun is warm, topless bathers — life is good! — 2:27 PM, May 16

• Walk out of a film called Agora; arch sword & sandal depiction of the fall of Alexandria, Egypt. Yuck! — 5:53 PM, May 16

• Studios create outdoor winter scene to promote Jim Carrey’s Christmas Carol; Carrey throws fake snowballs at cameras. — 3:23 PM, May 16

• Attend screening of 9 short films; only 10 of us in a 300-seat theater; guess Cannes really is all about $$$. — 1:24 PM, May 17

• Brangelina walk red carpet for QT’s Inglourious Basterds; gives Festival its only big star power feel as few Hollywood stars this yr. — 6:51 PM, May 18

• Official poster of scene from L’Avventura, 1960 film that was booed at Cannes; turns out to be apropos as # of films are booed. — 10:36 AM, May 19

• French power workers go on strike; blackout in Cannes and part of Festival; some screenings delayed. — 3:39 PM, May 19

• Most buzz is about the rise of 3D and the graphic violence of most films; this is yr of auteur directors and their quirks. — 6:23 PM, May 20

• Walk out of film #2 called Faces; pretentious, incomprehensible, interminable, artsy-fartsy waste of time! — 9:04 AM, May 21

• Wonder what is going on in the rest of the world; never mind, time to get in line for another film! — 8:11 PM, May 21

• Walk out of film #3 called Tale in the Darkness. Why? Dunno, maybe film fatigue. That and it stunk. — 3:26 PM, May 22

• 20 films in comp for Palme d’Or; 12 over 2 hrs; 4 over 2:30 hrs; Festival is an endurance test! — 9:12 PM, May 22

• Sit in theater watching live feed of awards ceremony in 3,000-seat grand theater next door; critics boo, hiss and guffaw some winners. — 7:36 PM, May 24

• Can’t understand a thing as all presentations are in French; people laugh at the MC’s jokes — it’s Greek to me! — 7:42 PM, May 24

Thirst, a Korean vampire film, is awarded; director accepts by saying he has lots to learn; a critic shouts agreement, the crowd wildly agrees! — 8:07 PM, May 24

• Try to make my way back to Paris; train strike occurs; ah, the glamour of a film festival for those in yellow badges! — 5:32 AM, May 25

Doug Young, who works for Sen. Mark Udall, recently returned from covering his second Cannes Film Festival. In 2008, he won first prize for humorous writing in the Colorado Press Association’s annual contest, where he received a 100 percent score for his film reviews.