Glamorous people on yachts, gourmet meals in opulent restaurants, business meetings in shorts. Oh, and did I mention cleavage?
Glamorous people on yachts, gourmet meals in opulent restaurants,
business meetings in shorts. Oh, and did I mention cleavage?
Yes, another Cannes film fest has come and gone, and once again it was
Baywatch on the French Riviera. And as hundreds of Hollywood studio
execs, producers, publicists and psychics descended on France,
opportunity presented itself to young, ambitious industry players.
Who stayed home.
During the festival, LA’s better restaurants and its studio commissaries
had available tables - normally occupied by the seat of someone who was
firmly planted in a Cannes screening room or, more likely, a corner
table at the reception. (It’s one thing to miss the movie, don’t dare
miss the party). Coveted studio parking spaces could be snaked by those
in the middle of the food chain, while recently ousted publicity execs
could wander the empty halls of their former digs and deface valuable
movie posters. Although that would be naughty, and wrong.
International publicity firm Dennis Davidson Associates, long one of the
key operatives at Cannes, once again held court. It’s better to know
Dennis than the French president- the president probably doesn’t have
the skinny on the best parties or the cell numbers of the biggest
This year’s news from Cannes was typical - a deal here, a thong bikini
there - but one of the industry’s true characters surfaced for a
headline-grabbing announcement. Producer Menahem Golan, who ran Cannon
Entertainment during its heyday in the mid-1980s, said that he’s going
to make the movie we all dread: the story of Elian Gonzalez.
A true showman, Golan will probably arrange for real events to end in a
manner befitting his movie: the boy returns to Cuba to lead an overthrow
of Castro, then opens a Toys ’R’ Us franchise. Sorry, there’ll be no
casting call at a mall near you: the role’s taken.
Golan (alternately credited and blamed for ’discovering’ Jean-Claude Van
Damme) and his partner Yoram Globus were once fixtures at Cannes,
pioneering the now-routine practice of selling foreign distribution
rights to their films before they were made. If the finished product
resembled the one promised, so much the better. But come on, how hard
was it to please moviegoers in Mauritania? This was before satellite
I worked for Cannon in the late ’80s, and helped with promotional sales
sheets and press kits for movies pre-sold at Cannes. The task was made
challenging by the fact that there was no movie or script - usually just
a logline and a vague drawing. My puzzlement was assuaged by the
irrepressible Golan, who said, ’In my movies, a heroic man woos and wins
a woman’s heart. In between there are fights with bad guys, gunfire and