Jim Haynes newsletters
|Newsletter No. 729||
|The 62nd San Sebastian Film Festival
22nd to 28th September 2014
Monday, the 22nd: Up early before my lovely nurse
arrives and check my blood sugar level and give myself an insulin injection.
Estelle arrives and sorts out my pill box for the week. She wishes me
a good holiday and warns me about eating too much pastry and other good
things. Quickly shave and shower. Dress and finish packing. Go downstairs
and discover that the lovely Stella stayed the night. She asks if she
can stay here while I am away. I tell her of course. She will come to
Paris again in January and stay here. I can think of nothing better. Make
a coffee for Graham Smith and myself. He flies to Washington, D.C. on
Wednesday. Say goodbye to Maria Erikson, Stella and Graham Smith and out
the door. Bus to the Gare Montparnasse. Purchase a bottle of water and
a pastry that Estelle warned me about. My train departs for Hendaye at
Tuesday, 23rd: Sleep late. Strange to wake up
in a different bed and in a different apartment and in a different city.
Quickly do my medical chores, dress and am out the door. Greet the doorman,
Oscar, and walk the very short distance to VientoSur for my morning coffee.
Remember that Jone texted me that David Bumstead could be found in the
Hotel Maria Cristina and was often free to chat (when he was not translating).
After coffee, stroll across the bridge to the Hotel Maria Cristina. It
feels like the Hotel Carlton in Cannes. The same crazy energy with people
from various parts of the cinema world all running about. And there are
people waiting patiently outside a metal barrier to see "stars"
and to seek autographs. I remember my 25 Cannes Film Festivals with mixed
emotions. I do not spot David anywhere, so elect to have a breakfast feast
in the hotel. People at nearby tables all talking film deals in various
territories. I hear Beijing and Buenos Aires mentioned. Maria Eriksson
calls from Paris. It seems she cannot open my email messages. Shitski!
Jim and David Bumstead at the Hotel Maria Cristina
Photo Jone Karres
In the hotel, we meet David B. Give him a copy of Everything Is! David suggests we all meet for lunch at 2 in the Moto Club restaurant. He will reserve a table for six people. He will collect me from the hotel and we will walk over together. Jone introduces me to Wolfgang Hamdorf from Berlin and to a Michael Barkham from Canada. I give Jone a copy of Thanks for Coming! Encore! She will join us for lunch. Jone and David disappear to make a few interviews. I sit and scribble a few notes.
Visit with the young women at the hotel Film Festival information desk.
Virginia is studying medicine and Anne is studying English. It is suddenly
almost 2, so head for the reception area. Find Jone talking to someone.
I am introduced. She says she was looking for me. As we leave the hotel,
we meet Carol Unger from L.A. who is also a translator and also involved
with the festival. Jone suggests she join us. We three walk slowly across
the bridge, pass my apartment and turn left and into the restaurant. Michael
Barkham is here and already having lunch. He says he is too hungry to
wait, that our table for six is in the back room. We are: Jone, David
B, David Hughes, Carol Unger, and Luis Rivero (from Australia). Lunch
is delicious. I am beginning to think I have come to a Foodie Festival
and not a film festival.
Carol Unger, Jim and David Bumstead
Photo Jone Karres
The film is sweet. Two elderly gay men in New York
decide to get married. When it is reported, one of them loses his job.
The director and the writer of the screen play, Ira Sachs, has covered
a sensitive subject extremely well. Suddenly I have to pee and I am feeling
a bit tired. I reluctantly leave the theatre and walk back to my apartment
for a wee siesta. Test my blood sugar level and it is reasonable.
Wednesday, 24th: Text message from Jone gets me up early and into
action. Test blood sugar and in spite of the lemon pie last night, my
level is fine. Shave, shower and shampoo. Dress and soon out the door.
Another bright sunny and warm day. I really like San Sebastian. It is
a truly glorious city. Brief visit with Andrea G.
Thursday, 25th: Great night's sleep. Up about
8h30 and straight away do my medical things. Dress and go down to my VientoSur
for morning coffee. Cross the street to the Kursaal and visit with Andrea
and the other sweethearts. Back to VientoSur for another coffee. Decide
to see the film Lasa and Zabala at a press screening in the Kursaal
main salle at 12 Noon. There are long queues, but I manage to get inside
painlessly. This is a film about the Basques troubles when two young lads
disappear. Their bodies are found and it seems that they have been murdered.
I know that this film is relevant and good that it has been made, but
it is too violent for me. I cannot handle it, so slip out after about
Friday, 26th: Get a text from David Bumstead. This gets me up and into action. After I have done my medical treatments, I check what David has written. He suggests we meet at the |Hotel Maria Cristina and we will taxi to his school from there. Quickly shower, shave and shampoo. And dress. Go downstairs to have my morning coffee at the VientoSur and it has not opened yet. Walk across the bridge to the Hotel Maria Cristina and sit in the bar area and await David's arrival. I am early. Life in the hotel is slowly coming alive.
David arrives and soon we are in a taxi rolling the short distance to
his school. David Hughes has been giving his classes so that David B is
free to translate for the Film Festival.
Jim and the kids in the class room-
Photo David Hughes
Various friends pass including Philip who I met my last night in San
Sebastian in February. Plus the wonderful Luis Rivero, who is also a translator.
David H is soon back with us - jacket in hand. David B has some translating
to be undertaken, so David H and I stroll across a bridge to the Kursaal.
Cannot remember what we wished to accomplished, but the lovely Andrea
Goldfinger is away having her lunch break. Instead we have the equally
lovely Malen. Learn she lived a year in Paris about fifty meters from
me in the Avenue René Coty. We wanted information about trains
to Hendaye tomorrow morning. Learn that I can catch a train at 8h45 that
will get me in time to catch the TGV to Paris at 9h45. Thank Malen and
ask her to pass my best wishes to Andrea. David and I go out to have another
coffee. He suddenly remembers that he has a check to cash, so rushes off
to the bank.
Saturday, 27th: My last morning in San Sebastian.
Over-sleep, but not by much. Quickly up, complete my medical items, wash
and dress. No sign of my hostess. Reluctantly call Jone because I do not
wish to wake her. Get her answering machine and leave a message that I
need to talk with Idoia. Time is ticking and if I do not hurry, I will
miss the train to Hendaye and to Paris. Leave my keys on the kitchen table.
Out the door and ask a woman on the street where I can find a taxi. She
tells me to walk a short distance and I will find one. I do as she suggests
and am beginning to panic. Luck is with me. A taxi comes up the street.
I hail it and it stops. Ask to be taken to the station to catch the train
to Hendaye. In the taxi, Jone calls. I tell her I am in a taxi and that
it looks like I will not miss the train. She reports that Idoia had her
mobile stolen and that is why she failed to call me. Arrive at the station
and purchase my ticket to Hendaye. On the platform have a conversation
with a lawyer from L.A. who is living in München. We talk all the
way to Hendaye. He is not catching the TGV to Paris, so I rush to find
my correct place. And the train is on its way. I made it. Another adventure
in life's short saga. I ponder what it would be to live in San Sebastian.
A delightful city that's for sure. Like Edinburgh in many ways. But I
know deep down that I must continue to live in Paris with my wonderful
atelier, many fantastic friends, and great medical services. Vive la France!
I love Paris - there is no doubt about it. But I know I will travel to
San Sebastian again for another Film Festival. Thank you, José
Luis Rebordinos. Thank you, Jone Karres. Thank you, David Bumstead. It
has been a fabulous five days.
Monday, 28th: We were almost 60 last night. Galina's dinner was delicious. When all the plates come back empty and when people ask for second helpings, you know the meal has been a success. Slowly consume my morning coffee and cereal. No sign of Stella. She did not come home last night. I hope she is OK. Read the International Herald Tribune (cannot call it the International New York Times.) There is an obit for Alastair Reid. He died yesterday in Manhattan. I guess I can call him a friend, but we never lived in the same city. I saw him often in August in Edinburgh. A poet, a writer and a translator from Spanish into English, Alastair was an amazing fellow. His translations included both Jorge Luis Borges and Pablo Neruda. He was 88 years young. Go upstairs and write an email message to Stephanie Wolfe Murray, his publisher (and my publisher) and his and my friend. I also write Bob Flynn to thank him for suggesting I attend the San Sebastian Film Festival and for introducing me to Jone Karres because tomorrow is her birthday. I fire off an email message to her and thank her for the great days in San Sebastian and wish her a "Happy Birthday"...
A few afterthoughts. This first draft posted to Jone Karres, David Bumstead, and David Hughes. Jone replied with a bunch of corrections. She also wanted me to point out that her company name has been changed to ADOREBASQUE, her web site is www.adorebasque.com
I am sorry to report that I was not able to meet with Luisa Etxenike, who is busy with a new novel, nor with Elena Estomba, the Manager of the fabulous Hotel de Londres. Nor to spend more time with Gabriella Ranelli. The five days flew past and suddenly there was no more time.
I also am sorry to have missed Isabelle Stoffel. She travelled to San Sebastian and arrived Saturday after my departure. But she did meet Jone Karres.
Isabelle Stoffel and Jone Karres - Photo J.Karres
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