It isn’t easy being green, as Kermit the Frog might say. But Al Gore is having a ball with it, promoting his documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” here at the Cannes Film Festival.
Last night, at the movie’s official premiere, Gore told me he is not running for presidency in 2008. When I asked him if the film—which very astutely addresses his loss in 2000 and the resulting Supreme Court ruling—was a set up for another shot at the White House, he said, very happily, “No, no, no. I’m not doing that. I’m too happy doing this.”
It was such a quick and visceral response—Gore shook his head as he responded to the question on his way out of the screening room in the Palais—that it was clear he meant it. He has a new life now, and it doesn’t include a brutal collision with Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or any other potential candidates for the Democratic nomination.
The “Truth” screening was a starry eyed affair that brought out director Davis Guggenheim (sans wife Elisabeth Shue), Participant Productions’ Jeff Skoll, co-producer Laurie David (wife of Larry), Paramount/Viacom chiefs Brad Grey and Tom Freston, as well as former Paramount head Sherry Lansing, who chatted with Freston before the showing and looked like a movie star herself in white linen.
It’s amazing how many years you get back, you see, when you don’t have to worry about the daily box office. Instead, Sherry was there to support her husband, director William Friedkin, and his new, disturbing film called “Bug” with Ashley Judd.
Also on hand, “Capote” director Bennett Miller, who’d come over from Monaco with some friends after shooting a MasterCard commercial. Tipper Gore was there of course, with daughter Kristin and son Albert, who is now—believe it or not—23 years old and working out in Los Angeles in film production. He told me he’s a fan of this column, too. Smart kid! I predict he’s going to go far!
There was no sign of anyone from Vanity Fair magazine including editor in chief Graydon Carter. This was a little surprising since the mag had Gore on its Green issue cover last month and was said to be hosting some kind of after dinner for the former veep.
Gore, who is funny and relaxed both narrating "Truth" and teaching a seminar about global warming in the film, spoke briefly before the screening. He joked with the French moderator and said that “never in a million years did I think that my slide show would get me on the red carpet.” On a more serious note, he said of the film’s subject matter: “This is truly a planetary emergency. This is a not political, but moral. The survival of human civilization is at stake.”
More importantly: “An Inconvenient Truth” opens this weekend, and it’s not to be missed. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. Once you see the side by side pictures of Mount Kilimanjaro snowcapped 30 years ago and now almost devoid of white, the film’s message will sink in pretty quickly. If you didn’t think the scientific part, at least, of the Roland Emmerich disaster film “The Day After Tomorrow,” had validity, your mind will be changed in a nanosecond. And then you’ll go out and buy a hybrid car.
Where do the stars go at night when the rest of the world seems to be walking about the Croisette in search of some nonspecific thrill? The answer is the bar at the Hotel Du Cap in Cap D’Antibes. It’s about a 25 minute drive east along a winding road from Cannes, and you must pass through a huge gate to get onto the magnificently landscaped property. But once inside, the buzz is going right up until 4 a.m. Ooh la la!
Last night, after getting the lowdown from Al Gore, and then running into Trudie Styler and Sting, who here with Ruth Vitale and First Look Pictures to sell the international rights to their excellent film, “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.” They’d just arrived after Friday night’s Carnegie Hall fundraiser concert for the Rainforest Foundation which featured songs from the Summer of Love (1967-68).
“Billy Joel was amazing. I think it was our best show ever,” Sting said, still glowing from the huge ovations I’d heard that his whole group of all star musicians—including James Taylor and Sheryl Crow—had received.
But back to the Cap, approximate time 2:30 a.m., and “X-Men: The Last Stand” director Brett Ratner holding court on one side of the room while one of his stars, Ian McKellen, accepted praises for the big $30 million opening night for “The Da Vinci Code." Bruce Willis came by and chatted with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein about their “Lucky Number Slevin” success.
Willis makes a cameo appearance in Richard Linklater’s “Fast Food Nation” and is the starring voice in “Over the Hedge.” “I’m getting more attention for FFN,” he told me. “And I’m not even really in it.”
Like the rest of us, Willis got a good look at Paris Hilton, whose dress was made of dental floss and emphasized her, uh, personality in at least two big ways. Actor Kyle MacLachlan also got some insight into Paris’s physiognomy, a word we shan’t ask to her to spell.
I don’t know if the blonde bombshell ran into her ex-fiance Paris Latsis, by the way, whose family was much in attendance earlier at Chopard’s glittering extravaganza for 650 close friends at the Hotel Carlton. Latsis’ friends smirked when I asked what happened to Hilton’s ring from that engagement. “You mean the one she bought herself?” snarked a Latsis pal.
Actor DB Sweeney, taking note of the festivities, told me about a film he’s directed and is showing here called “Dirt Nap” with Ed Harris, Moira Kelly and Mark Moses from “Desperate Housewives.”
“Dirt Nap” has been such a hit that Sweeney told me he’s already gotten three or four offers to direct another feature. Not bad for an actor who’s the favorite of casting directors—the guy has not stopped working for a minute since making an impressive turn in 1990’s “Memphis Belle.”
Did the evening end? It’s Cannes, after all, and some movies must be showing later, some deals must get done. The big ticket for Sunday night? A 20th anniversary showing of Oliver Stone’s "Platoon," preceded by 20 minutes of footage from his upcoming “World Trade Center.” It doesn’t start until 10 p.m. and then, who knows?