Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 81
July, 1985
 

 

Tuesday,May 7th is crazy. Dennis and Corine arrive from the Polish Consulate with their visas and immediately begin to pack and to shop for food. After a while their bags are so full it looks like they are carrying an entire super market with them to Warsaw. At Noon we begin to embrace and to say our "good-byes"; they head for Orly and I for St Denis and my classes. One of my students, NoŽl from New York, assists me. The two of us read essays from my book, Everything Is! and everyone seems to be stimulated. The next two classes go equally well. Rush home and meet Lisa Natasha in the rue d'Alťsia; she is on her way to London. A different NoŽl, also from America, is at home with Monika Bajon. They are in love. I like them both. NoŽl prepares me a vegetarian curry which is just what I need. By now Dennis and Corine have been in Warsaw for some hours. About 10pm I leave A2 and walk the short distance to Denfert and take the RER to the Gare du Nord and board the train to Cannes. Read several chapters from Roman Polanski's autobiography which is not only very appropriate but also very good. I discover more friends in common: Ken Tynan, Hercules Belleville, Sveeva. Somewhere round Dijon, cut off the light and fall into a deep sleep.

Wednesday,8th. The train arrives in Cannes about 9:30 and walk the short distance I know so well to the Regence Hotel. Greet Madame Fouquet and her son, Bernard. She tells me her daughter, Bernadette, now has a job with the police in Nice. I bump into Susan, from Louisiana, and her friend almost immediately. They have rented a car and are on their way to St Tropez. Madame Fouquet steers me to the hotel apartment which is on the ground floor in the rear of the hotel with a private shower. That's the good news; the bad is the fact that I only have it for six nights. Then I can move into the hotel proper. Head for the Press Room, collect my press card, then sit quietly and read through the schedule and the various press handouts. Find myself sitting next to Thomas Quinn Curtis, the Herald Trib film critic. We talk, discover dozens of friends in common, then decide to lunch together in one of my favorite places, the Stromboli,across from the Bunker.Just as we order, up walks Richard Roud and we ask him to join us. An excellent lunch and lots of stories told and exchanged regarding this and past festivals. We also talk about the late great Sonia Orwell and about Louisette Fargette. At 2pm we head for the Bunker and Peter Weir's opening film, "Witness" with Harrison Ford and the beautiful Kelly McGillis. Another great beginning! I like the film. The press conference that follows with director and these two actors is as good as the film. All three seem to be extremely warm,sensitive and intelligent individuals. Wander back to the hotel, chat with Mme Fouquet. Later go to see my old friend, Shuji Terayama's film, "Goodbye to the Arc". My eyes constantly fill with tears because I will never see Terayama again. He has joined his ancestors. Meet Hiroko Govaers on the steps afterwards and she tells me Michi Tanaka is in Cannes. I love the movie for many personal reasons including the fact that Shuji was a friend and I know so many people connected to the film. Bump into Jim Hickey. We chat with Hiroko, then he and I go for a walk. We talk about Terayama and the Edinburgh Film Festival and various pals. We meet Gideon Bachmann and he tells me that one of the secretaries in the Press Room is from Edinburgh, she has read my autobiography and wants to meet me. That's nice! I leave them and stroll round to Le Petit Canton. See Baxter. He treats me to an orange juice. We chat a bit, then I head for bed. Cannot help but think about beautiful Susan sleeping somewhere above me in the hotel. It would be so nice to have her here in my big bed.

Thursday,9th. Hot chocolate arrives at 7:45. Get up, dress and rush out to the Bunker for Dušan Makavejev's "The Coca-Cola Kid". Dusan is a friend and a neighbor of mine in Paris. I like his movies, especially his "W.R.-Mysteries of the Organism". (I had the great luck to see the first screening of "W.R." in Cannes in 1971 in a private screening room with Dusan before its official screening.) Anyway I say all this in order to let you know that I wanted "Coca-Cola Kid" to be even better than "W.R.". It isn't, but then how many films are? Still "Coca-Cola" is fun - especially whenever Greta Scacchi is on the screen. In the press conference that follows; both Dusan and Greta are full of positive energy. Do not go up to congratulate Dusan afterwards because I know he is busy. Instead meet Michi Tanaka and Kyoko Kujo. Kyoko, once married to Terayama, was his producer. Michi, who I met thru Shuji, also involved with Terayama for 20 years or more with both theatre and film projects. We three leave the Bunker for a light lunch and much talk. Afterwards I go to a Spanich movie,"Our Father". It is a bit slow, but Spanish films continue to blow my mind. This one is no exception. The male lead is a high up in the Catholic Church in Rome who decides to return to Spain before dying in order to see his illegitimate daughter who is a prostitute. Afterwards I go to three movies in a row:a German film "The Practice of Love", a Finnish film "The Tug of Home", and a Danish one,"Tukuma". Later end up again at Le Petit Canton, meet Jim Hickey. He introduces me to Richard PeKa. Richard and I have a long talk about Brazilian cinema. He is a specialist. Again another late night.

Friday,10th. Up early and make the 8:30 screening of Godard's "Detective". It is not my cup of tea, but I do stay until the end. A few boos and cat-calls but not from me. Not my style. Go down to the basement to sit and read. Opposite me sits a beautiful young woman with the top half of her body exposed to the world. She has beautiful breasts. No doubt about that. They are partly covered with body-paint. I watch her and also watch people as they pass and catch their surprised looks. Leave this strange happening, walk to the rue d'Antibes and see another amazing film from Spain: "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" I must try to contact the director, Pedro Almodovar, to congratulate him. Then back to the Bunker for the "Detective" press conference, which is late because someone has hit Godard with a cream pie. A very silly press conference, but Godard manages to handle all the questions extremely well. I remain silent. Elect next to go to my hotel to finish reading the Polanski autobiography. The book makes me feel warm about dear Roman. At 9pm back to the Bunker to see "Colonel Redl", a German-Austrian-Hungarian co-production. I sit with my dear pal, Constance Knitter (who I first met at a Cannes Film Festival about 15 years ago). We both like the film. The male lead, Klaus Maria Brandauer, who plays Col Redl, is superb! The film covers the same story as John Osborne's play, "A Patriot for Me", which I saw in London in the early 60's. It is supposed to be based upon a true story. True or not, it is an amusing tale well told, well acted. Constance has been invited to Frederic Mitterand's TV party, so I walk her to the Martinez Hotel. Even with an invitation, she is refused entry. The two of us go for pizza instead. I am sure it is much more fun!

Saturday,11th. Oversleep, but still manage to catch most of the Nicolas Roeg film, "Insignificance". (A dangerous title because a snide critic could easily say:"Insignificance is" or something like that.) The film is not heavy; it is fun. And so too is the press conference that follows. On the podium: Nicolas R, Tony Curtis, Gary Busey, Michael Emil, Theresa Russell and the producer Jeremy Thomas. I congratulate Jeremy afterwards and we chat briefly. He is an excellent fella. If I ever make a film, Jeremy, you can be the one to produce it (assuming, of course, that you would like to do so.) I wander off to call Paris and to wish Corine "Happy Birthday!". She tells me she had a great trip to Warsaw! And that she likes all my friends there. I walk across from the Bunker and have hot chocolate with beautiful Lone Skovgaard, a film critic with "Levende Billeder" and her boss, Jaffa Valentin. A fella who whose name I cannot remember joins us. ((Long pause while I go downstairs to talk to Fershid Bharucha about getting a triple standard Sony video system for his home needs. Jack suggests he wait for the new Video 8 system which might well be available this October. Fershid decides to wait.) Back to the hotel and find that I have a letter from Austin and a telephone call from Gogo in Stockholm. Walk back to the Bunker in the rain for the "Col Redl" press conference. The director, IstvŠn Szabů, begins. Suddenly the room explodes with energy when Klaus Maria Brandauer arrives, straight from a flight from Africa. He is fantastic. Afterwards go to the Stromboli and have lunch with Sam Stenzel. She is a sweetheart! A journalist with several newspapers in Athens, we met at Cannes several years ago. I enjoy meeting people like Sam (and Constance) far more than seeing films. We have a delightful talk about Cannes, Athens, Paris, etc . She wants me to see a Greek movie, called if my memory serves me well, "The Loves of Ulysses". I do as I am told. It is the story of a middle-aged family man falling in love with a young girl. Very funny, but even more sad. I sympathise with the fella of course. The story is too close to home. Purchase some soap in a fancy box for Mme Fouquet's birthday tomorrow. Constance and I go to the 9pm screening of a Yugoslav movie, "Father's Gone Away on a Business Trip". It is superb! We both like it. Afterwards meet Dusan and he introduces us to the director, Emir Kusturica, and the actors. Wander back to the hotel, again alone...

Sunday,l2th. Oversleep and miss "Birdy". I feel bad because I had promised Nicky Butler in Paris in La Coupole that I would see the film and go to the party: The director, Alan Parker, is a friend of Nicky's. But I do go to the press conference. Peter Gabriel is on the platform; he wrote the music. I once gave a dinner party for him in Paris because his sister-in-law, Sally Moore, once stayed with me. I don't say anything to him because I did not see the film. Both Constance and Sam rave about the film. Later greet Ed Victor in the street. Then go to the Yugoslav press conference. Then lunch Stromboli with Constance and Hermine Schick. Ann Head joins us. Hermine gives me a ticket to the "Homage to Francois Truffaut". I discover I am sitting in front of Elyse Shustak, one of my students from NYC. Jeanne Moreau introduces dozens of actors who appeared in various Truffaut films. The movie contains bits from all of his movies. A very moving tribute. Hermine had something to do with its making. Later I go to see a movie entitled "Love in Berlin" - which is strange, but I like it. Later go to the Press Room and call Paris. The telephone is a very generous one. Every time I put 5 francs into it, it returns it to me. End up making a few calls. I decide to go to the llpm screening of "The Kiss of the Spider Woman" with William Hurt, Raul Julia and Sonia Braga. Directed by Hector Babenco and based on Manuel Puig's novel of the same naine, the film is sensational! I love it! No more room to write about the press conference with the director and actors nor to talk about other films, so et least we do end with a wonderful film that I hope has a wide distribution. Hooray! See it...

Hugs, Jim

 

 

Jim Haynes
July, 1985

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris France

 

 

 

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