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[Dialogue scene]

So I sassed a dashing Australian cinematographer who then insisted on taking me to lunch, where I learned, among other things that (oh, by the way) he’s won an Oscar and has his own independent film festival in Paris in addition to being a director and filmmaker.  Thoroughly charmed, I ruefully acknowledged him as one more of these restless entrepreneurs who continue to inspire me (what is it with you people? Leave me alone! I may just join your club, since I can’t seem to beat you). Really, where else but Cannes? I love it.

[Panoramic, sweeping study in contrasts]

First, austerity: by ferry to St. Honorat, a silent island run by monks. The island’s monastery was founded in the 5th century and is one of the oldest in France. After the hustle of Cannes, the quiet was both welcome and strange. They allow tourists to climb the ancient stone lookout fortress, explore the private coves, and of course visit the gift shop where the good monks sell wine, soap and honey. I think I expected an abacus and lockbox, but the sales-monk was using a fancy computer cash register. Capitalism, you pervasive minx!

St. Honorat island fortress

Then excess: by seaside train to sumptuous Monaco, climbing the towering cliffs up to the palace and reeling at the view, strolling through Princess Grace’s gardens, then peeking into the Monte Carlo casino, which surprised me by not smelling of money at all. Wouldn’t you think the papery whiff of shuffling bills would seep into the rugs, walls, wood? I was agape at Ferraris and Lamborghinis and Maseratis zooming around the same roads used for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix. I’m itching to drive the course myself, careening around hairpin turns, breathless at every shift – a definite addition to my bucket list.

Monte Carlo casino: a different kind of fortress by the sea....

[Closing scene – montage – everyone needs a montage!]

Finally, a true afternoon at the beach, plunging into the cold Mediterranean Sea and feeling the salt crackling dry on my skin under the sun’s touch. One last film, Ken Loach’s wrenching “Route Irish”, a powerful drama of private security contractors in Iraq. A final sunset toast from the beachside patio, then dinner with Darden friends in a quaint cobblestone alley. C’est fabuleux!

[that’s a wrap!]

Dusk view of Cannes from The Weinstein Company's rooftop deck