When I turn forty later this year, I will have been a working film critic for half my life. But I've never been to Cannes.
As a member of FIPRESCI, the international critics' association, I've been to a number of film festivals – Montreal, Palm Springs, London – and sat on juries there. I've covered the Toronto festival for two decades, never missing a single day. But this year, NOW is sending me to Cannes.
Colleagues and friends have been asking whether I'm ready for it, in tones that imply I can't possibly be. Honestly, I don't think it'll be such a shock; it can't be any more frenzied than the fever pitch that is TIFF's opening weekend, and the weather will be nicer. Also, I'm told there will be pastries.
I'll be filing daily reports in this space, so check back often; if something particularly amazing happens, or I find myself sharing a latte with Harrison Ford or the Dardenne brothers, you'll read all about it here. But don't get too excited; I understand Harrison likes to keep to himself after his press conferences.