Nothing But Cannes and Politics

Le Grand Comptoir - Passy

Or the Darn Weather

Paris:- Saturday, 10. May 1997:- The Cannes Film Festival starting up its full-tilt spin and hype show on Wednesday, pushed election news out of its top spot on TV-news and turned out to be a welcome relief.

Of course everybody in the provinces was reading their exclusive copies of President Jacques Chirac's mid-campaign message and paying no attention whatsoever to the somewhat astonishing sight of Bruce Willis wearing a tuxedo and as little hair as usual.

Since it is Cannes' 50th anniversary, the TV has let out all the stops, or to put it in a more cinemaniac rain- Métro Madelaine fashion, opened up a lot of old film cans to show us what Cannes was like in the good old days and we were so innocent. What is immediately noticeable, it that is was in black and white; and there was a lot of bare skin.

It's umbrella time in Paris again.

I go to so few movies that I still haven't seen my video copy of 'Paris, Texas' completely and it has been around here for about four years. I really like the beginning of it though.

On Friday, Libération gave Cannes eight pages, which is about average I think; plus there was a full-age ad for a 64-page book about Marcello Mastroianni that they were to give away with the Saturday edition. I got to my news dealer three minutes after the last copy had gone, so word of it must have got around.

Libération pays a lot of attention to statue in Ranelagh park cinema, photography and the harder sorts of popular music, and it also puts some money into new typography and - probably - award-winning front page illustrations. For a daily paper, it is good to look at.

Reading it is a bit harder, because the type to so small, and on a jiggly métro running full-tilt on the crosstown line one it is impossible to read.

And five minutes later, you'll wonder what to do with it.

Le Parisien - which is owned by the sports-newspaper L'Equipe group - is a big city tabloid, with a bit of intelligence. It is not the kind of tabloid that has really bad stories that are so bad they're funny. it is more of a popular paper that tells the reader what is going on, in a fairly straightforward manner, without much flair.

This week Le Parisien's best headline was easily, "Le Touriste Italien, la Prostituée, le Pharmacien et la Ventoline." A more lurid paper could have made more of the facts of this matter, but Le Parisien's handling of it was a bit pedestrian, leaving the headline the best part.

Vending Machines for Dope Kits

I have no idea if this is a first or if it is as common as dandruff, but Paris has three vending machines that exchange used needle outfits for new ones, and a fourth location is in the works.

There is a photo of the apparatus in Le Parisien and it does not look like the marketing men from Coke or Pepsi have overdone it with an excessively poppig exterior, but the big 'Médecines du Monde' sticker on it does make it stand out from a distance.

If you need a kit in a hurry you'll have to go along to a 'Médecines du Monde' clinic and get a slug for it because it doesn't accept coins - nor, I expect, plastic cards.9. May - 'EuroDay' If you haven't got a slug but you do have a used outfit, you can 'pay' for the new kit with it instead.

The slugs are free though, and getting a dope kit this way saves the timid junkie from the embarrassment of going into a pharmacy for one.

Here's one I'm sorry I missed. 'Euro' Day was on Friday this year.

In fact, many pharmacies don't care much for junkies, and these street machines operate during closing hours and on holidays.

On top of everything else, the vending machine gives users a double kit - which is definitely a 'first' for vending machines. 'Médecines du Monde' distributes between 500 and 600 of these kits a week.

Still No Sports News

This is not exactly true as there were no less than 237,899 sports events over the weekend, just like last weekend, and I am ignorant of all of them. The GP of Monte was to be on, but since hearing Peter Ustinov's 'Grand Prix of Gibraltar' some years ago, I find the modern versions of this event to be strangely lacking in character.


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