For Spike Lee, the Secret to Surviving Cannes Is Sleep (and Cool Clothes)

CANNES, France — Sprawled out over two weeks, Cannes could be an awfully overwhelming movie pageant. There are so many films to see and so many glamorous occasions to go to that you possibly can simply burn out — or worse, go to sleep throughout a future Palme d’Or winner.

More accountable Cannes-goers attend one or two movies a day after which retire to their lodge rooms, however I’m not such an individual. I do know that the wildest issues typically occur after midnight right here, like the time a number of years in the past after I watched Channing Tatum and Jane Campion freak it on a beachside dance ground to Lykke Li. Who’d need to go to mattress early and miss that?

On Sunday evening in Cannes, as my vitality spiked and flagged in equal measure, it struck me that we had lastly reached the midpoint of the pageant: Six days in, six to go. At the Kering Women in Motion dinner that evening, I requested the pageant’s jury president, Spike Lee, how he was preserving his endurance ranges up.

“I knew coming in that I was going to have to see 24 films, so I go to bed early and I’m here to do my job,” Lee stated. “How can you see 24 films and then go on hanging out at night?”

I replied that many individuals right here have been about to foolishly try the process, together with the journalist he was talking to. “Yeah, but you ain’t the president of the jury,” Lee stated. “As my mother would say, ‘Take your skinny, rusted Black butt to bed!’”

Reader, I wasn’t fairly prepared for that but. Instead, I chatted with a few of Lee’s fellow jurors, Mélanie Laurent and Tahar Rahim, about how they have been preserving their spirits up halfway by means of the fest. “Friends!” stated Laurent, a French actor-director. Plenty of her friends had been attending the screenings, too, they usually allowed her a special sounding board than the jury: “We’re on this same big journey together.”

Mélanie Laurent and Tahar Rahim on the pink carpet on Saturday.Credit…Johanna Geron/Reuters

Lee’s preliminary recommendation was seconded by Rahim, star of the current drama “The Mauritanian.” We talked whereas he watched the last sport of the Euro 2020 soccer match on his iPhone. “Good sleep helps,” Rahim advised me, his eyes flitting again to the cellphone as Italy took the lead. “And sometimes, a little bit of soccer.”

Sure, all people says to get a whole lot of sleep. But what number of festivalgoers truly follow what they preach?

“No one,” replied Eva Husson, director of “Mothering Sunday.” “You usually sleep four hours a night on average, and then you have to take Red Bull or coffee around 6 or 7 p.m. because you have to survive an event at 9.”

Husson, who was final at the pageant with “Girls of the Sun” three years in the past, additionally cautioned that after a few days of burning the candle at each ends, midfest melancholy can set in. “Usually by Day 4,” she stated sagely. So what could be finished about that?

“You just have to know that it shall pass, it will be OK,” Husson stated. “You pull yourself together and get your energy from the crowd and make the most of it.” She cocked her head. “Or, have a friend who lives nearby and go to the beach with her, as I will be doing.”

Lee labored with Virgil Abloh of Louis Vuitton on his red-carpet seems.Credit…Sarah Meyssonnier/Reuters

That felt extra like recommendation I might use: Instead of spending all of 1’s vitality scrambling to get into the subsequent premiere or celebration, why not sprinkle in another enjoyable pursuits? For Lee, that entails dressing up. The jury president has already stepped out in a sequence of head-turning seems, together with vivid pink and houndstooth fits chosen by the Louis Vuitton males's put on inventive director Virgil Abloh, and a part of the enjoyable of the fest is seeing what Lee will put on subsequent.

“I’m very happy to be doing this with Virgil,” Lee stated. “Hopefully we get to do something else, I hope it’s not a one-and-done thing.”

Does Lee have some even wilder seems in retailer for the again half of the pageant, simply to preserve his vitality excessive?

“I can’t tell you, I’d have to kill you,” he stated, laughing. “And then A.O. Scott would never give me another good review!”