It's that time of the year and feeling in the need of superficiality mixed with royalty, Nazi's and eurotrash here's my contribution. Within the next two days the twinkliest stars filmdom has to offer will be making the long journey to Europe (or as many call it, "France") to descend upon their raggedy-toothed, chain-smoking old-world counterparts. from the Croisette to the Corniche No, it's not a declaration of cosmetic warfare, it's the 2011 Cannes Film festival, aka the first day of the jetset summer (or, at least, the beginning of a fresh, 12-month-long cycle of bellinis and bikinis, for the right people in the right places). Though you might be forgiven for thinking that the point of the whole thing is for audiences to view and absorb the latest masterworks from the world's leading directors (Woody Allen's kicking it off with his latest, Midnight in Paris, while Lars Von Trier's premiering apocalyptic romance Melancholia), that would be to miss out on the real news of the coming weeks: who wore what, where, how and with whom. Yes, Cannes is something of an annual fashion show, with its main runway, the Promenade de la Croisette typically packed with the summer smart-casual looks. Of course it's the women that are going to get all the press, with their Balmain-this and glittery-vintage-that, but there's also a wonderful tradition of male dress that's typified by Cannes, a kind of Riviera snappiness that's remained much the same since the mid-20th century. Think Cary Grant in Hitchcock's To Catch A Thief, dandling around Côte D'Azur towns in a linen jacket, open-necked shirt and knotted cravat. Or Sean Connery in Cannes for the premiere of The Hill in 1965, surrounded by bikini-clad beauties and wearing a striped Hawaiian shirt and white chinos.
But also attending Cannes will be Doti Fayed to spread the word about his documentary over Diana's death. Conspiracy theories abound but this is quite chilling. I bring this up because at Shakespeare and company, the iconic bookstore on the Left Bank, Leighton and I did an event a few years ago. Poor Leighton missed the Metro connection and was late so in the meantime I invited my friend, Jean Mulés the retired head of the Brigade Criminelle, the elite homicide unit, to say a few words. I wanted to stall the crowd and he'd helped on my research for my book set in Sept 97 a few weeks after Diana's death. Monsieur Mulés graciously stood at the microphone and instead of a few words, at the crowds begging after he revealed his role in the Diana investigation, spoke for fifteen minutes. And what did he say? Of course it was all in French but he answered the big questions - Was there a conspiracy? Did the Royals engineer Diana's death? What about that Fiat Uno seen speeding away in the tunnel? According to Mulés, after a ten year investigation and exhaustive search of 2,573 Fiat Uno registered owners and thousands of interviews, he and his team found no evidence that he could present in a court of law to indicate anything other that the driver, Henri Paul (who wasn't scheduled for work, had been drinking) caused the accident due to being under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Notice his words carefully, he has always prefaced his explanations with the caveat 'no evidential findings' to indicate malice of forethought or premeditation. There you have it and if you believe in conspiracy theories the field is open. Cara- Tuesday