On the Scene at Cannes: Day 7

Hollywood.com is on the scene at the 55th Cannes Film Festival, seeing the films and sipping with the stars. Check in every day to get the latest!

Day 7: This is Cannes, and the pier pressure is on.

“Aaaaggghhhhwooww!” bellows Philip Seymour Hoffman, as he does a Tarzan swing off one of the famous high dives buttressed into the Eden Roc sea wall under the absolutely-no-vacancy-unless-you’re-a-star Hotel du Cap. He lands into the chilly Mediterranean waters, which only seem to invigorate him–he yelps and dives several more times, spurring his friends to join him. At one point he pulls a small brunette in a black bathing suit in for a huge face-devouring kiss before the gang swims out to the raft to frolic under the warm sun.

It’s a quieter, gentler day at Cannes, as a collective breath is taken between yesterday’s DiCaprio/Diaz-induced frenzy and tomorrow’s potential shoving matches over getting a glimpse of Jack Nicholson. After a week of screaming and yelling, the crowd is getting just a little hoarse.

Not too hoarse, though, to join in the demonstration put on by that-famous-for-being-infamous movie making company, Troma Films, in front of the Carlton Hotel. Troma announced its newly formed political faction, Partie Tromatique Francaise, whose manifesto is to give art back to the people…guess all Chopper Chicks should be treated equal.

The British are coming! The British are coming! And tonight they’re marching straight up the bloody red staircase. The gritty Ken Loach is back in Competition with his very un-sweet Sweet Sixteen. In the movie, the best 16th birthday gift for Liam (Martin Compston, a brand-new actor who unlike the character he plays has been sunning and funning all up and down La Croisette) is his Mum’s getting out of jail–until her arrival at their dirt-poor neighborhood doesn’t turn out as he’d hoped.

Canadian director David Cronenberg is here, for the first time since Crashing the scene from across the Atlantic in 1996. He brings with him one more addition to what’s turning out to be the Year of the Arachnid as his latest tale, Spider, spins out across the silver screen tonight.

Ralph Fiennes plays the strange and lonely Spider, a mental patient released from an institution onto the streets of East End in London as deeply buried memories start to awaken. Other stars caught in this web are Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave and Miranda Richardson, who got away to bask here in the Riviera sun. Their big celebration is at the Synergy Mansion tonight.

As the sun sets, the sky turns almost as white as a movie screen before fading to black. At just the right moment, laser lights along the coast shoot toward the heavens, their thin white rays dropping in synch into a blue low-lying fog over the sea.

Cinecita is holding their elegant affair on a pier over the sea accompanied by a live symphony orchestra. The French, who seem to think of everything when it comes to a party, have built low pathways along the piers so waiters can refill champagne flutes and plates of brie and salmon unobtrusively. Party banners often double as film screens to show a short or two between hors d’ oeuvres.

And tonight? Tonight everyone in Cannes who can is shuttling off to Stephen Baldwin‘s night of debauchery in a hillside chateau just out of town. Was Alec able to wrangle an invite…?