I've packed too much, as usual, for my ten-day sojourn in Europe. (No paying for bags on international flights.) I fly overnight to London arriving Monday, hang with some friends on jet-lag night (I packed my Tylenol PM) and head for Nice Tuesday morning.
I'm staying in an apartment booked by Variety on the Rue d'Antibes behind the Carlton. I'm praying it isn't too noisy. (I forgot to pack my ear plugs. I'll buy 'em if I have to.) I'll make a stab at grabbing a ticket from fest press attache Christine Aimee for the gala opening night; otherwise I'll catch the 10 AM press screening Wednesday morning and show up for the Disney after-party at the Carlton, which should be fun. Richard Corliss has already reviewed what is by all accounts yet another Pixar winner, Up. Pete Docter previewed some footage at Comic-Con, showing a tubby boy scout hijacking a ride on an old man's balloon ride to a lost jungle world. It looked great. According to Coraline director Henry Selick, who was also wowed by what he has seen, Pixar can now get away with stuff that is usually out of the box for Disney animation. In other words, the movie gets into some dark places.
I'm also looking forward in the first days to competition Fish Tank, Brit actress-turned-director Andrea Arnold's follow-up to her strong feature debut Red Road which won a Cannes jury prize in 2006. The movie stars Michael Fassbender, who also stars in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Fish Tank is available for sale.
UPDATE: Here's Justin Chang on this year's clash d'auteurs and the Dardennes brothers lead this year's master class.