Cannes, Finding Jesus and the Wisdom of Isabella Rosselini

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, On the Fest Circuit
May 10th, 2010 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

imagesThanks to friend Todd Livingston for recommending Roger Eberts Notebook on Cannes.  I can’t imagine a better way to prepare for the adventure ahead.  Thanks, too, to Henry Jaglom for his wonderful film Festival in Cannes which set the perfect mood before bed last night.  I’m now back at the Delta VIP lounge at the Detroit Airport, where I first wrote the treatment for trippin, where I’ve begun and completed so many adventures over the past 6 years, where I’ve grown up in some ways.  peggySo many fond memories in this wonderful place!  If it should come up before I remember to write my living will, I think I’d like some of my ashes scattered here when I pass, perhaps at the tequila bar or the flickering light tunnel (also Peggy Guggenheims home in Venice, West Village in NYC and Cordova, Spain, but I digress…)enlightenment

As Agustin and I dined at our usual breakfast spot I  felt enlightened.  Perhaps it was merely the much-needed caffeine, but it felt as though everything suddenly made perfect sense.  I wouldn’t change this journey for the world – even the down times.  If we hadn’t done everything just as we have, we might not be right here right now.  And as Jesus Jones reminds us, “…there is no other place that I’d wanna be.”  I know we’re headed for rejection and heartbreak and other setbacks, but I’ve never felt more confident or fulfilled than I do in this moment.  I feel like I know where I’m at, where I’m headed and the best way to get there (apparently first class no less, as we got bumped up on our next flight – sweet!)

158693_512x288_generatedIt suddenly seemed funny (and a little sad) some of the misguided people in my life who tried so hard to convince me to change my ways this past year under the arrogant assumption that they knew what was best for me (insert a bar of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized” here: “WE decided?  MY best interests?!” ) .  Why do people get so upset when one wants to forge her own path and do things her own way?  I was trying on bikinis the other day and the dressing room attendant tried desperately to help me find Jesus.  I wasn’t even aware that he was lost.  I suspect, however, that she was.  She was certainly hellbent on trying to make me see how unfulfilled I was.  I resisted the urge to suggest that I was not the one who had nothing better to do than to tell perfect strangers how they should live their lives and instead merely shrugged and dreamed of walks on the beach.

large_f2bOne of my favorite things about life is that there really is no universal right or wrong.  Right simply means “right for one’s self.”  There are as many ways to live one’s life as there are people to live them.  Ideally, most of us will do our best to follow the golden rule and try not to be dicks, but beyond that, isn’t Marlo Thomas right in suggesting we should be free to be you and me *?  So what’s all the fascination with conformity?

ronsilverintJaglom’s film was filled with delightfully entertaining lost and impressionable souls, most whose actions did not line up with their words; with dreams contaminated by promises of opportunities, and insecurities so deep they consumed souls.  I laughed, I winced, and I reminded myself why I am headed to Cannes.

Paul+pain+au+chocolatI have absolutely no expectations for this trip (except the consumption of at least one perfect pain au chocolat) and I am perfectly thrilled by that notion.  What a truly wonderful freedom to let what happens happen and just enjoy the ride.

People have been saying increasingly exciting things to me of late, convinced we’re at our “tipping point” that it’s all “about to happen” for us.  It’s a funny notion really the whole concept of waiting for something to happen.   What does that even mean?  I try to make every moment count, no waiting necessary.  I felt pretty happening dancing with friends to a Michael Jackson cover band in Mishawaka the other night.  Seriously, what could be more happening than that? In the moment, I assure you, absolutely nothing.

Oakley Court exterior with TablesI don’t know if we’re gonna “make it” as people say.  Will we get to make films for real budgets that go on to actually make us money?   Will we have our Hammer-House-inspired independent studio in Michigan that a small group of us hold up as our collective dream as we push forth on our endeavors?  All I know for sure is that we will continue to write and make movies and travel to the fests that will have us, surrounded by kindred spirits, thoughtful discussion, movies made from the heart and memories to last a lifetime.  ew1990iThe dream is wonderful to strive for, but the reality is what matters now and I’d hate to waste even a second of it.

In Ebert’s Cannes notebook, he interviews Isabella Rosselini who offers perhaps the wisest advice I’ve heard in some time: “I…believe, as an optimist, that if you go through life always fearing the consequences, you end up doing nothing.”  Ebert, a man with whom I often disagree and yet for whom I’ve developed a much greater appreciation after this book (and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls of course),  offered many of his own brilliant insights about art and commerce  and dreams and life.  I highly recommend the book whether you plan to attend Cannes or not.

0*PS – that asterisked link above was a fun find – a music video of a young Michael Jackson and Roberta Flack singing one of my all-time fave songs, “When We Grow Up” from the album Free to Be You and Me – for which I attribute Generation X.  Go, That Girl Marlo!

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