Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ventemilla

The 2009 Cannes Film Festival concluded with Austrian director Haneke's "The White Ribbon" winning the Palme d"Or for yet-another movie about the Nazis.

Ten years earlier my old girlfriend Candida Romero asked, "When will that war be over?"

Possibly never.

ANTICHRIST had been also recognized by the Ecumenical Council as the 'anti-film'. It was booed at the screening for rank offensiveness, yet the film's actress, Charlotte Gainsbourg, won the award for best actress.

Nice to see that the jury can run against the current of outrage.

Once Cannes was over, the hotels rolled up the red carpets.

The yachts disappeared over the horizon and the paparazzi returned to the hives of society. Director Amos Poe also evacuated the Cote d'Azur, abandoning his $1400/week Fiat panda at Nice Aeroport and jumping on the train to Italy. At Ventemilla he missed his connection, forcing him to stay in this border town.

Amos had nothing good to say about it and neither do I.

I got stuck there in 1985 on the way to Antibes, missing the last train by 10 minutes.

Somehow the town's father' must have arranged this delay with the railways on both sides of the border, otherwise no one would ever stay in Ventemilla. The trainmaster informed me that the next train was at 6am and suggested a hotel across the street. I walked across the street and into the lobby. The air was stale. The unshaven clerk laughed at my attempt to ask for a room in Italian. He wrote down room # 421 and a 50,000 lira or almost $30. I paid him and took the elevator to the fourth floor. My room was sandwiched between the elevator and neighbor with a TB cough. A 40 watt bulb hung from a wire. A bed was valleyed by thousands of 1-hour stands. Sheet was as slippery as baloney. Several flies buzzed out of reach. After an hour I packed my bag and slept in the train station.

Ventemillia.

Some things never change and usually they are the bad things in life.

No comments: