DINNER DATE: “It’s great to be back 44 years from presenting ‘Mean Streets’ here,” said Martin Scorsese as he entered an intimate cocktail hosted by Chanel and Vanity Fair France in Cannes on Wednesday.
The event was held at the Terrasse & Club by Albane on the rooftop of the JW Marriott hotel with views over the bay. The director arrived fresh from receiving the honorary Carrosse d’Or (Golden Coach) award at Directors’ Fortnight, a parallel section to the Cannes Film Festival, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Trailing him were three members of the Cannes 2018 main jury: Burundian singer Khadja Nin, Chanel ambassador Kristen Stewart, and Cate Blanchett, the jury’s president, who upon arriving threw her arms around Karl Lagerfeld. The pair gamely nestled into some palm fronds to pose for photos. “It’s more Cannes, no?” said Blanchett of the backdrop, adding that she was enjoying all the “engaged conversations” with the jury, with 21 in-competition films to get through by the end of the festival.
So how’s she planning to keep up her stamina? “Vitamins, and trying not to drink,” said the actress, adding: “It’s pretty intense — plus my children arrive tonight.” Blanchett confirmed she will be participating in the women’s march on the red carpet on Saturday. “It’s been referred to as a protest but it’s not at all, it’s a really positive action for change; it’s pointing out a series of facts and how we need to shift them in the future,” she said.
Céline Sciamma, head of the French Society of Directors, which is organizing the march, was standing nearby. Asked to comment on what the event symbolizes, she replied: “I can’t because it’s a secret so far. I don’t think the industry will shift by itself, we have to shift it.”
Stewart, who had accessorized her silver dress with clear Chanel PVC boots, said jury duty was a breeze compared to last year, when she presented a short in Cannes.
“To be honest, compared to two days at the festival presenting a film, it’s oddly very little pressure. You can only have an honest emotional response to something, even if it happens 21 times,” said the actress. “I have all the stamina for that. It’s when you’re out supporting another director that you’ve worked for, or you’re there talking to 60 journalists — that I would need vitamins for.”
As guests queued at a photo booth positioned by the bar, Nin talked about the experience of being on the jury. “It was a huge surprise for me. I don’t come from this world, even if it’s impossible to make a film without music. We’re an engaged jury, a jury of resistance. Each of us in our domain is fighting for something,” said the singer, who at the opening ceremony wore an outfit she designed herself made from African wax fabrics.
Nin followed guests including Mads Mikkelsen and Sébastien Tellier into the dinner area, taking in the candlelit table spread with Amalfi lemons and greenery. The Italian menu included pasta followed by wild strawberries and iced mascarpone cream, washed down with Château Léoube rosé. “It’s wonderful,” said Nin. “I feel like I’m living in a movie.”