Page last updated at 07:49 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 08:49 UK

Reporter's log: Cannes 2010

View of the interior of the Palais des Festival in Cannes

Keep up-to-date with the glitz and glamour of this year's Cannes Film Festival with BBC News reporter Fiona Pryor.

WEDNESDAY, 19 MAY. 0900 LOCAL TIME (0800 BST)

So I'm leaving today. I'm sad to be going as I know it's far from over and there are more films to be seen. It's been a great eight days enjoying the Cannes vibe and watching back-to-back films.

Last night I attended my first industry party held in honour of the Rome Film Festival.

It took place on the beach with the backdrop of Cannes behind us as the sun went down behind the multimillionaire pound yachts - a great way to bring my visit to the French Riviera to a close.

But before I sign off, I thought you might want to hear from some other critics about what has been great and what hasn't about this year's festival to date.

Cristian Radu from Romania tells me he has missed the A-list figures on the red carpet, as "this is Cannes and that's what people expect to see".

He enjoyed the films Outrage and Tournee, but did not speculate if either of them could take the top prize.

"It's difficult to say - we're only halfway through, but I enjoyed those movies," he said.

British journalist Simon Reynolds says the festival this year has shown "a mixed bag" of films, some which have been "very weird". He is backing Mike Leigh's Another Year to take the top prize this year, as is French reporter Anne-Laure Beauvoir.

"I speak completely impartially, I believe the Another Year has been the best film I've seen so far in the festival," she says.

Of course there are still several more films to be seen that are in competition - including Ken Loach's Route Irish, which was added at the last minute. I've heard several people talking about it.

With only a few days left of the festival, all the speculation will end when the Palme d'Or winner is announced on Sunday.

TUESDAY, 18 MAY. 1510 LOCAL TIME (1410 BST)

It's my last day in Cannes and also the hottest since I've been here with temperatures reaching 20 degrees.

Miffy in Cannes
Miffy is set to star in a feature length film

So, as most people swan about in flip-flops and shorts, spare a though for the poor chap dressed as Miffy on the seafront.

Seconds after taking this photo some cruel French boys threw a ball at his head and it bounced off his ears.

Miffy is a small female rabbit, which originated in picture books by Dutch artist Dick Bruna. It was adapted into a TV series, but now a feature film has been planned and is scheduled for release in two year's time.

This morning I went to see Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy, which is in competition. I'm afraid to say I lasted about 45 minutes before leaving. I decided to make an early exit for two reasons:

1. It is a bit dull and not much had happened, apart from an awful lot of intellectual chat.

2. I wanted to catch British director Alicia Duffy talking at the UK Film Centre tent about her first feature film All The Children (which is being screened as part of the Director's Fortnight). Lots of aspiring film-makers (mainly women) gathered to listen to Alicia, who revealed she still has a directing mentor and admits making adverts is her main source of income in between making her films.

TUESDAY, 18 MAY. 0915 LOCAL TIME (0815 BST)

Last night Meg Ryan and I watched a film. Yes, that's right Meg Ryan of romantic comedy fame and star of that movie When Harry Met Sally.

When I say I watched a movie with her... well we didn't exactly share a box of popcorn, but we were in the same cinema watching the same film.

As was Queen Noor of Jordan, who arrived with Meg and several others to watch a screening of the documentary Countdown To Zero.

The film looks at the dangers of having nuclear bombs in the world today. It starts off by telling the audience how to make one - apparently it's pretty simple if you can get hold of the right materials.

Then she moved on to how a simple mistake or malfunction could so easily lead to World War III. Apparently, if a country thought it was under attack, its leader would have about 12 minutes to make the decision about whether to fire their nuclear weapons.

A great selection of high profile people took part, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who admitted what "kept him awake at night" was worrying abut nuclear bombs falling into the wrong hands.

The conclusion drawn by all the contributors, including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, is that the thousands of bombs that exist in the world today should be destroyed.

The film was very well put together with some fascinating insights into a world that few of us give a moment's thought to.

MONDAY, 17 MAY. 1800 LOCAL TIME (1700 BST)

Stephen Frears' movie Tamara Drewe has been a popular draw. Waiting outside the screening room I was entertained by the sight of a French woman, who had pushed into the heaving queue, squabbling with two men who had also jumped the queue - but in front of her.

I had arrived before all three of them, yet somehow they all ended up seated before me. Like a typical Brit I considered telling on them but ended up keeping my mouth shut.

Gemma Arterton
Arterton's character has men falling at her feet

Anyway, onto the film….Gemma Arterton stars in this black comedy based on a graphic novel by author Posy Simmonds. Former ugly duckling-turned high flying journalist Tamara returns to the quiet village where she grew up with her rock star boyfriend in tow and causes a stir - not least amongst the local menfolk.

In my opinion, Coronation Street star Jessica Barden's role as a foul-mouthed and man-obsessed teenager is one of the real standouts in the film.

Green Wing actress Tamsin Greig plays Beth Hardiment, the passive wife of a love rat. I could feel the audience willing her to kick him out of their comfortable farm house.

All-in-all an entertaining film, which is unlikely to take the Oscars by storm, but worth a watch on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

MONDAY, 17 MAY. 1730 LOCAL TIME (1630 BST)

The film screenings and press conferences here are getting busier and busier. Having never covered Cannes before, I have nothing to compare it to but I'm told by all the veteran journalists that there is a distinct lack of controversy.

Anyone who follows the annual coverage of the film festival will tell you that there's nearly always a film shown that gets everyone talking.

Think back to 2004 when Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs got people rather hot under the collar with a couple having sex for real on screen.

And last year, the twisted tale of Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, which included some pretty explicit scenes of masochism, was the one that everyone rushed to see.

This year, the movie that could have whipped up that media storm is French film, Ça Commence par la Fin.

Michael Cohen, who wrote, directed and starred in the film alongside his real-life wife, Emmanuelle Beart, has accused festival organisers of purposefully not selecting his picture because it has too much flesh in it.

Apparently, the film has several close-up and intimate shots of the actors having sex.

MONDAY, 17 MAY. 1000 LOCAL TIME (0900 BST)

Ok, I admit it - I have a lump in my throat the size of a rugby ball. It's not really the "done" thing to sit weeping during a press screening for a film, but I confess I was there wiping the odd tear from my cheek.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (left) and stars Javier Bardem on the set of Biutiful
Biutiful stars Javier Bardem (r) and is directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

The reason? Javier Bardem in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film Biutiful, which is in competition. He delivers the role of Uxbal, a devoted father and underground businessman, perfectly.

The father-of-two learns he is dying, and sets about trying to put everything right in his life before he passes away. His main job is hiring out illegal immigrants, but unlike the people he hands them over to, Uxbal cares about what becomes of them. It is only when he tries to do a group of illegal Chinese workers a good turn that he ends up with blood on his hands and an extremely guilty conscience.

Uxbal can connect with dead people (although it's not anything like The Sixth Sense) and it is his understanding of death that makes him confront what is happening to him, whilst still being called upon by others to help them with their grief.

An excellent film - I just hope no one saw me sob!

Deep breath. Right, it's time for me to wipe the mascara from my face and dry my eyes as I have a full day ahead of me.

MONDAY, 17 MAY. 0100 LOCAL TIME (0000 BST)

To anyone who has a pathological fear of sitting in the dentist chair then may I suggest you steer well clear of Takeshi Kitano's Outrage.

Outrage
Takeshi Kitano directs and stars in Outrage

I have always quite enjoyed seeing my dentist as he often congratulates me on my oral cleanliness - but having watched "the dentist chair" scene in this particularly violent movie, even I will probably be a bit hesitant the next time I go.

Without being too graphic, it involves a Japanese-mafia-style-boss, a drill and a lot of blood. I couldn't look.

Another scene that is guaranteed to make your bum clench involves chopsticks being shoved into someone's ear and then having their hand chopped off by a meat cleaver.

The whole thing occurs in a restaurant kitchen - and if I had been dining there that day I would probably have steered clear of the vegetable noodles - as lets say parts of the chef were served as an extra!

So, in a nutshell the film is about several underground families who don't get on. If a member of one family disrespects another family - or even sneezes in front of them - they're dead meat basically - unless they're prepared to chop their finger off to show they're sorry.

It's a great film, which Kitano stars in, and I really enjoyed it, but the storyline is weak and the ending is no surprise.

After that I needed some light relief and ended up doing something I've never done before... I watched a film on the beach.

Imagine a cinema but outside. Rows of deckchairs are lined up and blankets are even handed out to patrons - it really is quite nice to hear the waves of the sea as a backdrop.

It's an event that happens every night on the beach but tonight was my first experience. I chose Hollywood Don't Surf, a documentary by Greg MacGillivray which explores the history of surfing in films over the last 50 years.

Quentin Tarantino and Steven Spielberg participate in the 81 minute film, which also features some fantastic footage of the water sport.

SUNDAY, 16 MAY. 1700 LOCAL TIME (1640 BST)

French director Bertrand Tavernier returns to Cannes for the first time since 1990 when his movie Daddy Nostalgie was shown in competition.

His offering this year is costume drama The Princess of Montpensier - a complicated love story about a princess forced to marry a prince while being passionately in love with another man

The film has plenty of action, plus a pretty cringeworthy and unromantic love scene, which just goes to show how times have changed since the 16th Century.

Their wedding night is spent with a small audience awaiting news; their fathers play chess outside the bedroom and staff gather round their bed - shielded only by curtains - waiting to hear noises.

The fathers then demand to see the sheets as proof that the marriage has been consummated - cue a bit of celebration as the deed is done.

The Hollywood Reporter called it "one of the finest costume dramas in a long while". While I certainly enjoyed it film, it hasn't been a festival favourite of mine.

SUNDAY, 16 MAY. 1500 LOCAL TIME (1400 BST)

My first film of the day was Un homme qui crie (A Screaming Man) by Chadian director Mahamet Saleh Haroun, which is in competition. The film is set in present-day Chad during a civil war.

A Screaming Man
A Screaming Man is visually stunning

The film is about Adam, a 60-something pool attendant at a luxury hotel who is forced to leave his job as the new owners decide to employ his son instead. Humiliated and resentful he sells his son to the army - a decision he later regrets.

The movie is slow paced with little dialogue, but with some beautiful scenes - including a powerful shot at the end with father and son at the river.

Adam does not say much throughout and emotion is not displayed, but the occasional, hesitant shots that focus only on his face leaves the audience in no doubt that the 'screaming' part of the title refers to the turmoil of his mind.

SUNDAY, 16 MAY. 1115 LOCAL TIME (1015 BST)

Just before I nip in to see my first film of the day I thought I'd update you with a few of the big announcements that have made it into the industry magazines out here on the Riviera...

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese has been in Cannes to promote his latest project

First up, according to The Hollywood Reporter there is a petition doing the rounds amongst the stars in support of director Roman Polanski.

He is currently under house arrest in Switzerland over his conviction for a sexual offence that happened more than 30 years ago. Michael Douglas has apparently refused to sign it, telling a French radio station that it would be "unfair" for him to sign a petition for "somebody who did break the law".

It has been reported that Jean-Luc Godard, actor-director Mathieu Amalric and Bertrand Tavernier have all added their names to it.

In other news, director Martin Scorsese was here yesterday to discuss his latest project Living In The Material World: George Harrison, a documentary about the former Beatle who died in 2001.

It will feature never-before-seen footage and interviews with Sir Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton.

Scorsese described the project as a "labour of love".

And that loveable rogue singer Marilyn Manson has signed up to star in a slasher movie called Splatter Scissors, which is the first of a planned franchise, it has been reported.

Evan Rachel Wood will also star in the film, which is being directed by David Gordon Green, the man who also made Pineapple Express.

SUNDAY, 16 MAY. 0900 LOCAL TIME (0800 BST)

The buzz around town last night was of director Mike Leigh's spat with a Sunday Times journalist at the press conference for his latest movie Another Year.

Mike Leigh
British director Mike Leigh is in the running for the Palme d'Or

The film-maker refused to answer a question posed to him by Richard Brooks, telling him "you know why".

It is thought Brooks might have upset Leigh over a review he wrote about one of his movies.

Once that slightly awkward moment was out of the way Leigh carried on and answered questions from other reporters.

Leigh's Another Year stars Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent and tells the tale of a happily-married couple and the problems their friends and family experience throughout a year of their lives.

"The film is about how we come to terms with life, how we face ourselves and each other, how we face what we are and that struggle," Leigh said.

"I hope it raises, for all of us, thoughts and feelings about how we deal with life."

The director, who previously won the Palme d'Or for his 1996 film Secrets And Lies, added that he had "always been concerned with celebrating the lives of normal people".

SATURDAY, 15 MAY. 1815 LOCAL TIME (1715 BST)

Just two years since Woody Allen's film Vicky Cristina Barcelona was premiered, the Oscar-winning director has returned with his latest offering You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, Josh Brolin and Naomi Watts star in the quirky and at times humorous tale of a group of dysfunctional family members

Coming out of the screening most of the comments I heard were positive about the movie - although one journalist told me he didn't think it was Woody's "best work".

I enjoyed the film and thought Sir Anthony - who we so often see in serous roles - played his part as a man who leaves his wife after 40 years and has a mid-life crisis brilliantly.

You can read my full review and hear about Woody's witty comments at the press conference.

SATURDAY, 15 MAY. 1115 LOCAL TIME (1015 BST)

If films with a strong storyline and climactic ending are your thing, then Another Year probably isn't for you.

The British movie, starring Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen, follows a middle-aged couple during a year of their life. It explores Tom and Gerri's relationships with their friends and only son, and how people close to them seem to depend on their happy and stable marriage.

Director Mike Leigh  R) poses with cast members Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville
Mike Leigh's Another Year is a UK contender for Cannes' main prize

Actress Lesley Manville plays Mary, Gerri's lonely and needy friend, to perfection. Intent on meeting the man of her dreams - well, any man, really - she lives by herself, drinks too much and has a crush on Gerri's son.

She is determined to change her life for the better, but constantly makes bad decisions that add to her unhappiness, which eventually Gerri tries to help her address. Imelda Staunton makes a brief and puzzling appearance, and I'm not too sure what part her role really had to play. An enjoyable film with some nice, touching moments.

SATURDAY, 15 MAY. 0830 LOCAL TIME (0730 BST)

Another sunny day here in Cannes. Last night was fun: I met the organisers of the Palm Dog, a fun award, an alternative to the main Palme d'Or. The prize, awarded to the best canine performance in a film shown at the festival, has an army of loyal supporters, some of whom I met last night.

harlotteCharlotte Rampling shows off the Palm Dog award
Charlotte Rampling shows off the Palm Dog award for best canine actor

The actual prize, which is presented on the last festival day, is a dog collar inscribed with the words Palm Dog. It is voted for by British film critics and has been presented since 2001.

Last year Dug from the animated film Up was named the winner of the coveted collar, but this year, so far, there aren't any leading contenders, as I'm yet to spot a dog in any of the films I've seen.

Today is a busy one for me. I'm about to watch Mike Leigh's Another Year, which is the UK's contender in the main competition. Straight after that I'm to see Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger. Stand by for my reactions on both.

FRIDAY, 14 MAY. 1650 LOCAL TIME (1550 BST)

Thanks to everyone who's been getting in touch using the form at the bottom of the page .

Trisha emailed to say I should go to see Woody Allen's latest - You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Well, the premiere is tomorrow and a review will follow on the BBC news website shortly after.

Aria - I will endeavour to go and see Certified Copy on Tuesday, which is its earliest screening. Keep reading the diary to find out what I think of it!

And Clifford, I didn't know that Zombie Women of Satan was getting a lot of press - but if you're going to dress up your cast in the beach in the full make-up of the undead in the baking heat of Southern France, you at least deserve a gold star for effort!

I haven't seen the film and have no plans to, but I'm sure the director is pleased to hear your "feedback".

Keep the comments coming!

FRIDAY, 14 MAY. 1600 LOCAL TIME (1500 BST)
Liam Gallagher
Liam Gallagher greets photographers on the beach in Cannes

Liam has walked in looking his normal stroppy self with leopard print loafers on.

I've just been talking to one of his film partners who tells me he's a very nice chap. Liam's wife Nicole is here too in a bum-skimming pink dress and matching shoes.

The rock star has just revealed that his new band will be doing the soundtrack to the film.

FRIDAY, 14 MAY. 1530 LOCAL TIME (1430 BST)

After a very early and busy start watching Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel Money Never Sleeps and then jostling with bigger and burlier journalists than me to get into the press conference, I find myself at a cocktail party on the beach. Now this is strictly work, I hasten to add.

Liam Gallagher is in Cannes about to come into this very bar to announce a new feature film about the Beatles record company. The movie is based on a book by Richard Dilello called The Longest Cocktail Party. We're told it will be a film with "humour and affection". I'll let you know what Mr Gallagher is like if I manage a glimpse through the throng of photographers.

FRIDAY, 14 MAY. 1100 LOCAL TIME (1000 BST)
Wall Street 2
Wall Street 2 finds Gordon Gecko emerging from a lengthy prison stint.

An early start this morning to watch Oliver Stone's sequel to Wall Street, which is subtitled Money Never Sleeps.

Not knowing a great deal about stocks and shares, the film was a bit of an eye-opener - how easily people in the financial world can be disposed of, and the huge sums of money entrusted to people on an hourly basis.

Just like the original, the film was fast-paced but the terminology was sometimes a little hard to follow.

Nonetheless, returning star Michael Douglas alongside newcomers Shia LeBeouf and Carey Mulligan all give excellent performances... although LeBeouf constantly looks like he's dressed in his dad's suit.

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 1900 LOCAL TIME (1800 BST)

I've been to see my third film of the day, The Housemaid, directed by South Korea's Im Sang-Soo.

It is based on a 1960 movie of the same name which I've never seen, but this version completely blew me away. Not knowing the story, I wasn't prepared for the ending.

Definitely a strong contender for the Palme D'Or in my opinion.

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 1820 LOCAL TIME (1710 BST)
Kader and Antoine in Cannes
Kader and Antoine are just two of the many hopefuls Cannes attracts

Not everyone who comes to Cannes is lucky enough to have access to all the screening and parties. Many people travel here in the hope they can blag their way into an official event.

The done thing seems to be holding up a sign asking for tickets - a kind of posh begging.

Kader and Antoine caught my eye as they were willing to exchange hugs for tickets. I couldn't help (my press pass is my ticket and I'm certainly not giving that away) but they gave me a hug anyway!

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 1420 LOCAL TIME (1320BST)
Zombie Women of Satan
The cast and crew of Zombie Women of Satan take in Cannes

Imagine having £70,000 in savings and then ploughing it all into a low budget movie - without knowing how it would take off.

Well that's exactly what actor and director Warren Speed from Newcastle did (against his wife's better judgement).

Zombie Women of Satan is out on DVD in the UK next month and Warren and his team are out in Cannes... dressed in character trying to sell it to other countries. Oh, and wife Michelle likes the movie and says it's worth the gamble.

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 1300 LOCAL TIME (1200 BST)
Benda Bilili
Benda Bilili will remind some viewers of Buena Vista Social Club

I am well and truly into the swing of things here!

Benda Bilili was brilliant - a compelling story of Congolese street musicians, which took five years for directors Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye to make.

After meeting the titular band and hearing their music, the film-makers decided to help the group, who were still living on the streets, make an album.

Half of the group are in wheelchairs and they spend their time travelling around rehearsing on the streets - some with custom-made instruments.

I don't want to ruin the film, but if you have a Glastonbury or Womad ticket then keep an eye out for them. A great start to the 42nd Directors Fortnight.

A scene from Tournee (On Tour), which is up for the Palme d'Or
A scene from Tournee (On Tour), which is up for the Palme d'Or

Meanwhile, Tournee (On Tour) was the first film to be screened in the official competition. Quantum Of Solace baddie Mathieu Amalric directed, wrote and starred in the movie, about a group of US Burlesque dancers touring around France.

He plays Joachim, a former television producer, who brings the curvaceous American showgirls to France with romantic promises of a grand tour culminating in Paris.

In a case of life mirroring art, Amalric hand-picked some real-life dancers to appear in the film and brought them all the way to Cannes for today's screening.

Their names are reminiscent of Bond girls - Mimi Le Meaux, Dirty Martini - but they got to perform their own routines in the movie.

Afterwards, the director revealed his first cut had been three hours long and it was a "terrible moment" when he had to start editing it down.

But being nominated for the Palme d'Or, he said, was "the icing on the cake".

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 1250 LOCAL TIME (1150 BST)

Some Cannes controversy now. Algerian film-maker Rachid Bouchareb has written to the festival calling for "mutual respect" and a "calm climate" when his movie Hors La Loi (Outside the Law) is screened.

His plea comes after French war veteran groups threatened to demonstrate outside the Palais des Festivals.

Hors La Loi is about three Algerian brothers who become involved in the movement for Algerian independence. French right-wing political figures have criticised it for its depiction of the country's role in the war - which ended with Algeria's independence in 1962.

Rachid says that "cinema must be able to broach all subjects".

Another movie that has made headlines is Draquila, which debuts later today. Italy's culture minister Sandro Bondi said he would boycott Cannes because the movie criticises Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's handling of the relief efforts for the L'Aquila earthquake last year.

Despite that, the movie - whose title is a compression of the words Dracula and Aquila - has been a big success at the box office in Italy.

Comparing herself to Michael Moore, director Sabina Guzzanti told Variety: "I make movies; not documentaries. My main goal was to understand what was going on. To be rigorous in my research, to try to be objective. But, of course, this reflects my viewpoint."

THURSDAY, 13 MAY. 0900 LOCAL TIME (0800 BST)

So, last night was the grand opening of this year's festival and thousands turned out to greet the stars on the red carpet, including Eva Longoria Parker, Salma Hayek and Dame Helen Mirren.

Kate Beckinsdale
Kate Beckinsdale's 'edible' gown

But it was Kate Beckinsale - who turned up in a pale blue Marchesa gown that looked good enough to eat that, for me, stole the show. Or at least the red carpet!

One person who was missing from the line up was Robin Hood director Sir Ridley Scott, who according to reports is recovering from knee surgery.

But the rest of the A-list clientele more than made up for it. judging by the sea of flashbulbs.

Today I'm off to see my first film of the festival - after all this is what it is all about.

It's a documentary called Benda Bilili, which is about a homeless band from the Congo and how they struggled to live on the streets whilst still making music.

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY. 1745 LOCAL TIME (1645 BST)

The main roads in Cannes have now closed down and thousands of people are lining the streets, waiting for a glimpse of Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett.

Their movie, Robin Hood, was screened earlier today - with the general feeling that it was good, but not as good as Crowe's first collaboration with Sir Ridley Scott, Gladiator.

Sir Ridley, by the way, can't be here for the premiere. He's having a knee operation.

Crowe, meanwhile, is on bullish form - batting away questions about plans for a Robin Hood sequel with a cheeky smile.

"Obviously there's a figure in the studio heads' mind," he told reporters.

"If we pass a certain figure then they'll give us a call and say, 'well, tell the second part of the story', but there's no grand plan in that regard. We don't have two other scripts under Ridley's hospital bed."

While we wait for the talent to arrive, there are a few distractions to keep us entertained... I am stood next to a street artist dressed as Puss In Boots, who is playing with two very tame cats!

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY. 1415 LOCAL TIME (1315 BST)

Tim Burton and the rest of the jury have just met the press, as they prepare for the mammoth task of watching all 19 films competing for the Palme d'Or.

If past years are anything to go by, they'll make a shortlist, then rewatch the remaining contenders again - maybe multiple times - before they make their final decision.

Burton says he told his fellow panellists to "feel the films" and "be open".

Kate Beckinsale, sitting beside him at the press conference, looked radiant - especially considering she'd had a fraught journey to Cannes because of the ash cloud.

The actress revealed she'd managed to miss last night's arrival dinner and was worried her fellow judges "would hate her for being late".

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY. 1245 LOCAL TIME (1145 BST)

XPand's 3D glasses
3D or not 3D, that is the question

Just slipped onto a rather exclusive yacht to meet the big boss of a 3D company. XPand is the official technical provider of 3D at the festival this year. CEO Maria Costeira tells me there are 37 screenings of 3D films in Cannes - but no big Hollywood blockbusters, unlike last year when Pixar's Up opened the event.

Maria is promoting the world's first set of universal 3D glasses. It's all very technical, but basically they can be used on any 3D TV or cinema worldwide. They can be customised, too, to save you looking "like a frog" when at the cinema (Maria's words, not mine).

Expect them to hit UK shores from August, although apparently some schools have already started using them as part of Biology lessons. Presumably to look at a frog.

WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY. 1230 LOCAL TIME (1130 BST)

Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett soak up the sun.
Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett soak up the sun.

Russell Crowe and co are in town! I know that, not because I've seen them with my own eyes (yet) but because I could hear all the photographers screaming at them.

I was denied access to the official Robin Hood photo call, so I had to make do with standing outside - with hundreds of others who'd been kept out - listening to the screams and hollers as the Hollywood A-listers had had their pictures taken.

In other news, I've had my first taste of what people here will do to get noticed... ANYTHING!

Dexter Warr promotes his film in Cannes
Knight Fever, Knight Fever

Earlier, I was handed a flyer by a man dressed up as a knight in shining armour. It turns out he's written a film - My Guaranteed Student Loan - and is trying to promote the movie, which is "for sale on the market".

It stars Academy Award-winning actress Celeste Holm (Gentlemen's Agreement, All About Eve) and Richard Pryor Jr.

In a nutshell, it's a comedy about a US college student who makes a bet one Halloween night that could change his life forever.

As for the costume, Dexter Warr says "baby powder is the secret" to slipping it on.

TUESDAY, 11 MAY. 1630 LOCAL TIME (1530 BST)

Tim Burton
Tim Burton will help to decide the winner of this year's Palme d'Or

Despite warnings that the pesky ash cloud might disrupt flights to the south of France, I have made it to Cannes... along with thousands of other journalists, producers, directors and assorted hangers-on.

Strolling around, trying to get my bearings, it seems that mother nature's attempt to steal the lead role - by gatecrashing the town under the guise of a torrential storm - is well and truly over.

As promised, locals and festival organisers have managed to piece the town back together and everything is back on track for one of the biggest events in the film calendar.

The sun is beaming and the sea is calm, awaiting the arrival of Russell Crowe and his merry men on French turf tomorrow, where they will open the festivities with their retelling of the legend of Robin Hood.


Here are a selection of messages for Fiona.

Thanks for keeping us updated with this year's Cannes fiml festival. I was wondering if you could give us a brief infromation about the Kiarostami's new film called Certified Copy with Juliette Binoche and William Shimell? The director is Iranian, so people could see some possitive facts on Media about Iran!
Aria, Norwich, UK

Try to see "Seducing Charlie Barker", directed by Amy Glazer, starring my friend Heather Gordon.
Simon Eves, San Rafael, CA, USA

Hope you get to see Woody Allen's new movie - and that Anthony Hopkins attends! Have a great time
trisha, uk

Why is Zombie Women of Satan getting such press... it's awful! So awful that even horror fans didn't like it at a film festival last year. Biggest walk out ever!!!
Clifford Grren, Manchester



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