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Well, truth be told, we were asked at the press conference of Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg to steer clear of questions about vampires while interacting with Robert Pattinson, the star of the Twilight series. Both he and his on-and-off-screen love, Kristen Stewart, have moved on to more serious cinema now. Stewart was in On the Road, which premiered a couple of days ago.
Cosmopolis, which one may easily think is inspired by the Occupy movement and subsequent riots, strangely enough, predates the movement. It’s based on a book by Don DeLillo, who tells us the idea for the book came to him about a decade ago, when he suddenly began to observe white stretch limousines snaking their way through New York City.
Robert Pattinson’s character Eric Packer spends most of the film in his limo, where he holds meetings with everyone except his wife, has daily medical examinations, and obsesses over haircuts and parking spaces. His big question throughout the film is where all the limos go to rest at night.
Fable-like at times, pretentious at times, and wonderfully surreal at times, the film has most of us confused about what to make of it. The press conference, which usually crystallises some of our doubts, leaves us even more lost.
The press is scheduled to have lunch with the mayor at an old part of town, a traditional feast that will be attended by members of the jury as well. I decide to catch up with the films I’ve missed during the nearly-six hours I devoted to Gangs of Wasseypur instead. I’m later told that I lost out on a souvenir bottle of olive oil. Damnit.
Well, I watch Después de Lucia, a Mexican film that begins with an MMS scandal and looks at the ugliness of school bullying. That’s followed by the premiere of Do-Nui Mat (The Taste of Money), a tragicomic film by Korean director Im-Sang Soo.
Then, it’s on to the red carpet, where Nicole Kidman makes her second appearance for the premiere of her upcoming HBO film,Hemingway and Gellhorn. She wears a spangly outfit that is in sharp contrast to her puce gown of yesterday.
The fashion for the day ranges from gowns redder than the carpet to startlingly fluorescent, to pretty pastel and other muted shades.
Aishwarya Rai, who snubbed her critics with her grand appearance yesterday, has also been photographed lounging on the pier in semi-formal wear. But her red carpet appearance isn’t quite so dashing. Her dull blue full-length gown veers between dowdy and tacky, burdened with a gauzy layer studded with light blue floral add-ons.
Kristen Stewart makes it to the red carpet too, for her boyfriend’s film premiere, but she looks glum enough to fool us into thinking she’s going to a funeral instead.
The pair has been cornering a lot of attention in the absence of more glamorous Hollywood couples. Brangelina, who would have been stalked throughout their stay, are missing one half. Brad Pitt said in an earlier press conference that Angelina Jolie was away shooting a film.
And so, some of the paparazzi have taken the trouble of following Pattinson and Stewart to one of the after-parties. The result is a grainy picture of the two of them kissing at a window, splashed across most of the papers in the morning.
Apparently, it’s breaking news because they aren’t usually into public displays of affection. I suppose that’s what happens when you start off in a setting where you’re doomed to spend the rest of your life in a coffin. But then again, do Stephanie Meyer’s shimmering vampires live in coffins at all? The one Twilight film I’ve seen had them living in a nice condo in the woods.
The day ends with some relief, as we’re told most of the films we’ve missed out on will be screened again on Sunday, allowing us to catch up with everything that’s in the running for the Palme D’Or.