...Continued from page 1

These are not supposed to hike their rates more than 25 percent over normal. The consumer magazine 'Que Choisir' says in a survey that hotels in the cities where games will be played have upped their room rates from 30 to 58 percentwedding champs elysees above normal, with the average increase for all being 41 percent.

One hotel operator in Montpellier was on TV-news the other night and he was pretty angry with Mondiresa. He said they had contracted for half his rooms, and he hasn't had one reservation come in from them.

Just stepped out of the reception for a minute, for the photo of a lifetime. Good luck!

The result is, he has a half-booked hotel for the period of the matches to be played in Montpellier and another half that looks like it's going to remain empty. And this is a town where other hotel operators have raised their prices by 58 percent.

Charlie, Will You Open the Envelope Please?

Oh, what a whirl we live in France! I am not going to get around to putting in all the guff for the Tour de France in this issue - it's coming right after the World Cup, so stay tuned - and along comes the 51st Cannes Film Festival.

Oh glamour, oh excitement! The brave steamship 'France' now rebuilt and sailing the seas as the 'Norway' will return for the festival as the 'France' for 48 hours, to serve as a floating gala auditorium - in particular for the 'really big show' that winds up the festival. Actually, this 'gala' will be ashore, and there will be a dinner after it on the ship.

The following are the official French entries for the film competition:

'Ceux Qui M'Aiment Prendront le Train,' directed by Patrice Chéreau, with Charles Berling, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, Dominique Blanc and Pascal Gregory.

'L'Ecole de la Chair,' directed by Benoît Jacquot, from a book by Mishima; with Isabellecamping - metro bus Huppert, Vincent Martinez and Vincent Lindon.

'La Vie Révée des Anges,' directed by Erick Zonca, with Elodie Bouchez, Natacha Réginer and Grégoire Colin.

'La Classe de Neige,' directed by Claude Miller, with Clément Van Den Bergh, Lokman Nancakan, François Roy and Yves Verhoeven.

Paris' Camping's jolly yellow bus.

The 'hors competition' films sound like an interesting grab-bag of old and new, with 'Primary Colors' by Mike Nichols and 'Blues Brothers 2000' by John Landis. Is he allowed to do this to the 'Blues Brothers?'

The Week's Other Interesting News:

None.

SportsNews

Since I'm not sure the World Cup business above counts as 'SportsNews' I will add this little note about a recent sporting event.

Playing in Stockholm last Wednesday evening, the French national team managed to generate the headline 'Un Match Vraiment Nul' from La Parisien on Thursday. Just two months before France has to pull its rabbits out of a hat in front of the world, 'les Bleus' managed to come home with a grand score of zero-zero - and this time it did not seem to count as a 'win.'

The SportsBar is Still Open. No Kidding!

While real SportsFans lead otherwise normal lives, those at the SportsBar, known as the Football Café explain their dreams about the rapidly approaching World Cup championship matches to analysts they do not know well. The rest of us are truly lucky that real SportsFans not only have a 'Football Café' in which to twirl away their thoughts, while spouting their soccer-psycho-babble while lying down and drinking World Cup SportsBeer. Three cheers and a huzza! for the 'Football Café!'

Less uplifting are the 'official' Web sites: represented by the FIFA - which stands for Federation International - and the French Organizing Committee, known to all far and wide as the CFO. I don't what the initials stand for, just like RATP does not sound like métro to me.


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