It’s the first big party weekend of the Cannes Film Festival, and the thump-thump-thump of dance music fills the air as armies of smartly dressed revellers clamour to squeeze into the marquee clubs that line the French port’s mile-long, crescent-shaped beach.
So far, pop stars have been almost as prominent at the festival as movie stars, perhaps because so many famous musicians tend to marry equally famous filmmakers.
Marcus Mumford of the hugely successful British folk-rockers Mumford and Sons arrived with his wife, The Great Gatsby co-star Carey Mulligan, while Thomas Mars of the Parisian hipster band Phoenix is also here with his wife, The Bling Ring director Sofia Coppola.
Other music stars seen on the festival’s arty party circuit include the veteran crooner Bryan Ferry, the Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, the pop superstar Justin Timberlake, Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine and the singer Solange Knowles, the sister of Beyoncé.
Indeed, simply being related to a famous person is good enough to earn a VIP pass to Cannes. Just ask Georgia May Jagger, daughter of the Rolling Stone singer Mick, or Irmelin Indenbirken, who is here to watch over her actor son, an obscure rising star called Leonardo DiCaprio.
Meanwhile, among the guests at Friday’s meet-and-greet party for Arab filmmakers at the UAE Pavilion party were the Emirati director Ali F Mostafa and Morocco’s Hicham Ayouch, plus Sabah Haider and Rami Yasin from Lebanon.
In the absence of any sensational films so far, Friday’s still-unsolved theft of around US$1 million (Dh3.67m) worth of Chopard jewellery from a Cannes hotel continues to be the festival’s biggest talking point – and best joke. “I promise I’m innocent,” quipped Harry Potter veteran Emma Watson, who is here as a co-star of The Bling Ring. “I can have someone vouch for my whereabouts at the time of that robbery.” Crime and scandal among the rich and famous? It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
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