Party like a paparazzi at the Cannes Film Festival

May 16, 2011

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Two things are vital if you want to chase stars at the Cannes Film Festival. First, you need to know a clued-in and friendly paparazzi. Second, wear flats.

This is how I came to be pounding along the narrow streets of the Cannes waterfront in the wee hours of a Riviera morning, following a photographer, let’s call him X, in search of the likes of Owen Wilson, Vanessa Hudgens and Leo DiCaprio.

Our first stop was the Hotel Majestic, where Wilson was rumored to be. Sadly, all I saw was the back of a blond head walking away. A sighting? Let’s say oui.

Then it was “Vite, vite,” and we were off again, this time headed for an old fish market where the designer Jean-Paul Gaultier was holding a fabulous party. Inside, there was dim lighting, black candelabras and two men in glittering rabbit-eared masks, no idea why. Everyone was very well dressed, naturellement, so I pulled my Ann Taylor pumps out of my shoulder bag and slipped them on briefly in honor of the occasion,

Our third stop of the night was The VIP Room. Just walking toward the club you could tell by the noise it was a good party. But there were two problems — the large gentlemen guarding the entrance,

Polite requests for entry resulted in a firm, “Non.” But then X, who had gone ahead, appeared and “non,” became “bienvenue!”

Inside, a throng of people danced to pulsing house music. On stage, dancers dressed as devils and angels — Query: Do angels wear garter belts? — gyrated under the lights.

I have to be honest with you. Leo did not show, although the famous music producer Quincy Jones did. Then, at about 4 a.m., music and movie star Jamie Foxx strode on the stage.

“My name is Jamie Everlovin’ Foxx,” the pride of Terrell, Texas, shouted to the electrified crowd. (No, everlovin’ was not his exact terminology.)

Here’s what it felt like to be standing next to the stage.

The music was still pulsing as I walked back to the car, strolling past would-be partiers still huddled at the barriers.

Too bad for them, I thought, observing the collection of high heels and long faces. They didn’t wear flats, and they didn’t know X.

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