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10 May 2013

Those other Cannes Cannes girls

Hooker275rIt's oh-so ordinary for flashy starlets and would-be ingenue hopefuls to flock to the South of France to share the limelight of the Cannes Film Festival, which cranks up the projectors May 15 and unspools celluloid through May 26.

But, according to a Hollywood Reporter article by Dana Kennedy, call girls flock to Cannes during the festival in hopes of making what the article predicts may be as high as $40,000 a night.  (Quick, how many euros is that?)

"'We all look forward to it,' says a local prostitute in Cannes who goes by the name of Daisy on her website but declined to give her surname. Daisy is one of many independent escorts who have their own websites and usually avoid going to hotels and bars -- except during the festival. 'There's a lot of competition because there are so many girls, but the local ones have an advantage. We know the hotel concierges.'

"The local prostitutes, says Daisy, routinely drop cash off with concierges at the town's top hotels. In return, if they are lucky, concierges sometimes steer clients their way. During the 10-day festival, an estimated 100 to 200 hookers stroll in and out of the big hotels every day, according to hotel sources," states the Hollywood Reporter article.

That's not the Cannes Film Festival I remember from 2005.  I recall working almost around the clock to attend screenings and world premieres and attending press conferences where filmmakers and stars converged to talk about their latest project.

That included extraordinary actor Tommy Lee Jones that year.  Jones, who took the top acting award during his visit, enjoyed what might have been a career humbling highlight when his gritty Texas-set crime-drama "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" (starring Jones, Barry Pepper and January Jones) earned a 7-minute standing ovation following its world premiere.

Maybe because working film critic slugs like me didn't have the time, money or inkling to hang out in the palatial top-dollar (top-euro?) hotels, I didn't notice a swarm of girls with, let's say, monetary aspirations in mind.

Here's what I do remember.  Once I felt confident enough with my broken French to order food, I stopped off at a sidewalk bistro for lunch.  I was feeling pretty proud of myself for ordering in French as I gazed out at the busy, frenzied even, people strolling the streets of Cannes.

My pepperoni pizza arrived with one slight language barrier problem:

There was a fried egg nesting right in the middle of it.

On well, c'est la vie.

I think that means "that's life," but you might not want to take my word for it.

(Image courtesy:  nbcdfw.com)

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