Here’s Joram’s (Ringbearer.org) report on Day 1 at Cannes:
Day One – Well the adventure started at LAX airport in Los Angeles. I flew KLM (seriously the nicest airline you can hope for) to Amsterdam for the first leg of the trip. The flight is a little over 10 hours and that is a little too long for my tastes! Even watching two feature length films (The Family Man and The Wedding Planner…. God help me) it felt like a long, long time. All trials and tribulations aside I made it to Amsterdam with little trouble and little sleep.
Amsterdam consisted of me hauling my backpack and this laptop for about 20 minutes while I went to my connecting gate. The trip from here was down to Nice, France (pronounced neece, a little FYI so you aren’t given dirty looks when retelling this story to your French friends). This leg of the journey was much quicker and the flight featured quite possibly the most beautiful team of stewardesses I’ve ever seen. Ahem.
Once I had my luggage I headed outside to hail a cab. A couple things about cabs in France. One is that they all drive Mercedes or some sort of higher class car. The second is that they all look like mafia-type extras from The Sopranos. Well one mobster was nice enough to wave me over and put my luggage in his cab. We got in and headed to my hotel in Antibes (just northeast of Cannes). Even for how big and rough this guy looked, he listened to Janet Jackson.. a lot. Interesting.
I got to my hotel and said goodbye to my cabbie. I was dead tired by this time; I hadn’t slept on either flight and had pretty much been up for about 24 hours straight. Still left on my list was a dinner with Gordon Paddison from New Line Cinema and some other folks that are here in Cannes covering LOTR. I checked in with no difficulties and headed up to my room. I unpacked a bit and basically passed out on my bed for about 45 minutes. Somehow I got up in time to change clothes and head down to get another taxi.
The front desk called me a cab and in a couple minutes another mobster showed up in his Mercedes E-class to take me to my dinner appointment. This is when I first noticed a third trait amongst French cab-drivers… they all use cell-phones like it’s going out of style. I don’t know who they’re calling or what they’re talking about, but I would guess it’s probably “family-business”.
Even though I was about 10 minutes late I was still the first person at the restaurant. The place was called Le Cave and it was a smallish more family oriented style of place. Quickly it became packed to the gills with people and it was a scene straight out of a movie… 3 huge tables of people with everyone smoking, drinking, and laughing. The only thing that seemed out of place was the American rap and hip hop they were playing on the sound system. (nothing takes the atmosphere out of place like hearing “Back Dat Ass Up” being played while eating).
Well finally everyone who was coming showed up. I met Lael from E! Online and Peter from The Boston Globe. Both really awesome people and they could speak French which was really handy. Gordon was there and Harry Knowles of AICN fame showed up a little late because of plane troubles. We had an amazing meal and lots of wine. (La Tasty at La Cave) We talked a bit about how the non-LOTR readers out there would be marketed to. The marketing will be very focused on showing that LOTR is an epic and use a lot of hooks to bring in new people that might not have read or even heard about Lord of the Rings.
That day there had been a couple of LOTR screenings and there had been a lot of applause at the press screening. At the Cast and Crew screening there was a standing ovation. Even the New Line Cinema bigwigs who usually are stonefaced were gushing about how great it was. I couldn’t wait until tomorrow when I could get to see this fabled footage for myself!!! Peter from the Boston Globe really liked the footage, and he said he wasn’t expecting to like it at all. He’s seen so many movies and become so accustomed to seeing the same old stuff that LOTR was very fresh and got him actually excited to see this movie.
The buzz is building here in Cannes about these movies and the word is getting out about how great it actually is. It’s on the radio, in print, and on TV. Exciting times to be a LOTR fan! My next write-up will cover seeing the LOTR footage being shown here in Cannes. Was I impressed? Would I regret running a LOTR site for the past years? (hint: heck no!) From Cave Trolls to decapitating orcs… stay tuned for the next write-up!
Coming Soon: Lord of the Rings footage, 20 minutes worth with an intro from Peter Jackson himself. An in-depth look at what was shown. What worked. What didn’t. What to hope for. What to close your eyes for. 5 minutes of Hobbiton and 15 minutes of the Mines of Moria plus a sneak preview look at The Two Towers and Return of the King. I’ll have the write-up done as soon as I get a chance to sit down and do it! It’s amazing and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!!
Future installments: LOTR interviews with cast and crew