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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeMay 22nd 2016
    [mod] spammer banned and deleted
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  1. Thor wrote
    LSH wrote
    I asked one of the hotel staff to store my bag for a few hours after checking out and he actually said "We don't charge for the service but we expect tips on drop-off AND collection". He laughed when I told him I had no physical cash on me and helpfully pointed me towards an ATM.

    spin


    PAY for storing luggage after check-out?!? That's insane! Seriously, in cases like that I rather not pay, and get the scorn from the staff instead. The American tipping culture is totally out of control.


    when we checked out a couple of weeks ago in London, we had to pay as well to store our luggage for the hours we would explore London. I honestly think you won't find that many places anymore that do it for free.
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016 edited
    So I came back from Cannes two days ago -- my first Cannes film festival experience. I've also never been to the Riviera before , the closest being Carcasonne a bit inlands.

    Sadly, there was never an opportunity to be a tourist and explore much -- most of the two weeks was spent watching films and travelling by bus between our apartment in the suburb La Bocca and downtown Cannes, where the Palais is.

    An equal amount of time was spent standing in line -- humongous lines, no matter how obscure the movie. You had to be at least an hour early to get in, sometimes much more (which meant that we sometimes had to get up at 6 to catch the morning screenings). And you're not allowed to bring in drinks or food in the two main theatres -- Debussy and Lumière, where the main competition films are shown -- and there are sometimes no time to eat between screenings, so the whole experience was rather gruelling in terms of basic needs (sustenance, toilet visits, sleep etc.). I often had to drink from the toilet faucets inside the theatres to not dry out completely. Also, we had a market pass, which is better than some, but less than others, and it didn't help much in terms of the lines.

    Furthermore, in addition to your badge, you have to apply for tickets for the main films (which you sometimes get, sometimes not, depending on your Cannes track record). This led to the main frustration for me during the festival. The only ticket I didn't get was for Spielberg's THE BFG. But I didn't give up. I stood in the 'last minute' queues for both screenings that day -- first the early one, and then the gala evening one where I was all dressed up. Still, the popularity surrounding this film was so immense, even hundreds of people WITH tickets were turned away. True, I got a glimpse of my favourite director on the red carpet, but the disappointment was almost overshadowing it. All those hours spent in line for nothing.

    In short, everything was quite chaotic. Thousands of people, fan mayhem, glamour and gala, pinup models and rich people everywhere -- it's really the Las Vegas of France, especially during the festival days.

    These are things that I don't particularly care for. I need time for relaxation and basic needs, and I'm not a "glamour" guy. In that respect, this is not a festival for me. Also, the cost. Prices on food and even beer was almost on a Norwegian level!

    That being said, there were some highlights.

    One was May 17th (incidentally Norway's national day) where I attended the European Film Music Day hosted by the ECSA (European Composer and Songwriter Alliance). This turned out to be a bit of a "break" for me. Several panels were held at FNAC, and I hosted one of them myself; on gender equality in the audiovisual sector with composers such as Laura Karpman present. Here's a photo:

    https://scontent-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/ … e=57E795BF

    After the panels, we moved to the beach area for two consecutive mingling parties with a free bar. As you can imagine, I got quite drunk. I also chatted with other Nordic composers, like Atli Örvarsson, Olafur Arnalds and Gaute Storaas.

    I also snuck in two other 'parties' during the festival. One Saturday night, where I went out alone and even ended up in a karaoke bar, and another towards the end we had to drink up all the alcohol in our apartment. I needed that to "vent" a bit; I cannot do what my colleagues do, i.e. stand in line and watch films non-stop without consideration of basic needs.

    Another highlight was obviously the films I managed to see. I think about 25 in total (if I count two where I left midway). True, the quality varied from horrible to breathtaking, but it's a treat to watch all the 'buzz' movies months and sometimes years before everyone else. These were the films I saw, with rankings from 1-5 stars:

    ELLE (Paul Verhoeven) *****
    NERUDA (Pablo Larraín) *****
    AMERICAN HONEY (Andrea Arnold) *****
    THE NEON DEMON (Nicholas Winding Refn) *****
    THE HANDMAIDEN (Park Chan-wook) ****
    THE RED TURTLE (Michael Dudok de Wit) ****
    PERSONAL SHOPPER (Olivier Assayas) ****
    GRAVE/RAW (Julia Ducournau) ****
    BACHALAURAT/GRADUATION (Christian Mungiu) ****
    I, DANIEL BLAKE (Ken Loach) ****
    JULIETA (Pedro Almodovar) ***
    STAYING VERTICAL (Alain Guiraudie) ***
    MEAN DREAMS (Nathan Morlando) ***
    BLOOD FATHER (Jean Francois Richet) ***
    ESHTEBAK/CLASH (Mohammed Diab) **
    FOURSHANDE/THE SALESMAN (Asghar Farhadi) **
    LOVING (Jeff Nichols) **
    JUST LA FIN DE MONDE/IT'S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD (Xavier Dolan) **
    THE WAILING (Na Hong-Jin) **
    MA LOUTE/SLACK BAY (Bruno Dumont) *
    SIERANEVADA (Cristi Puiu) *

    In terms of film music, I've already mentioned my favourites elsewhere. These were my top picks, in ranked order:

    1. THE NEON DEMON (Cliff Martinez) -- the best score of the year so far, no less!
    2. THE RED TURTLE (Laurent Perez)
    3. MEAN DREAMS (Son Lux)
    4. ELLE (Anne Dudley)
    5. THE HANDMAIDEN (Yeong-wook Jo)

    All in all, an uneven experience, but I might return again. At least, now I know what to expect. smile
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016
    Was there nekid ladies?
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016
    Timmer wrote
    Was there nekid ladies?


    I wish! I don't think I ever stepped on an actual beach during my stay, so little room for boob scouting.
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016
    slant

    Good report anyway Thunderer smile
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016
    wink

    Plenty of gorgeous women, though. This one caught our attention -- one out of many tickets scouters who was caught on camera by one of my colleagues. Surely, if I'd had an extra ticket, I'd have given it to her (on the condition that we'd sit together):

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BFtHq7gJc52/
    I am extremely serious.
  2. Thanks for the report, Thor. Most interesting!

    smile Volker
    What’s all that nonsense talk about dark matter or dark energy? We know perfectly well, what it is that binds the galaxy together.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016
    Well, this trip wasn't going to be a holiday, but it's a bit of a pity it was so busy and full with annoying business to take care off. Perhaps you should've extended the holiday and go to one of the smaller places along the coast and relax before going back to the cold North?

    But I'm glad you had a great time, besides all that.

    Cannes does look a bit too fancy for my taste though. I'd love to go to the Berlinale or the film festival of San Sebastian once.
    Kazoo
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 26th 2016 edited
    Yeah, I should have taken some days before the festival to explore Antibes and other fine cities close to Cannes. Oh well, next time (if there is one). But as a cineaste, I wouldn't be without the experience of having been to the "El Dorado" of movies at least once in my life.

    I was at the Berlinale earlier this year (well, for a film music event rather than the festival itself), and that didn't suit my fancy either. All the venues were spread across the city, far apart, and there is very little sense of community. Berlin has no real city centre. And the film selection is often less-than-stellar.

    For me, a festival like Ghent or Krakow is perfect because it's all within one relatively small space, there aren't too many events to attend, and it's easy to combine with more leisure affairs, not too expensive drinking, eating etc. Or -- the Norwegian short film festival in one week's time, which is in my hometown Grimstad. Also the perfect blend of film watching and socializing.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeJul 12th 2016 edited
    Bregt wrote
    Has anyone been to Abruzzo in Italy? I'd like to do a road trip there with my girl friend (our first big trip, we haven't been able to arrange but a citytrip here and there). It's a sparsely populated and visited region in Italy, with many beautiful little villages and national parks and seeminly spectacular mountain landscape all close to Rome, so we would combine visiting that city too. I love regions like this (like the Spanish region east of Madrid or Corsica). If you've seen The American then you have seen some of the scenery of Abruzzo.

    We're back from an awesome trip! Abruzzo is delightful and offers quite spectacular scenery, especially the Gran Sasso National Park with Campo Imperatore (and Corno Grande) and the area around Rocco Calascio and Santo Stefano.

    We absolutely would recommand the latter as a base. Even though a lot of the town is in reparations from the earth quake (it is living history), this didn't disturb me at all. It's quite lively even though it was still off season I had the impression. It's a really cosy and little place with friendly people and such a cool alleys and stairs and little squares (the place where the gelateria is, just incredibly cute). It makes as an ideal base to do walks and drives in the area.

    We drove a few times through Campo Imperatore ("the Tibet of Italy") because it is so vast and easy to drive through. One time Corno Grande suddenly doomed up after a bend and I was seriously impressed. The castle at Rocco Calascio is a must do, a very impressive and cool castle with great views on the barren/naked mountains surrounding it.

    Kokopelli camping at Serramonasesca was our favourite place. It's the best camping we ever stayed at. Cooking facilities outside, amazing sunset views every day, great walks in the neighbourhood, facilities for lazy days (badminton, hammocks, vegetable car passing by, cheap but fine local wine, ...) and we were so lucky with the people staying there. My girlfriend baked a cake for my birthday and we shared with all of them. The owners were so helpful and I'm a bit jaelous of their life up there. They created a unique place. Fabulous hiking and rivers there.

    Scanno was our next destination, but was a bit of a downer, not because of the place, which is an incredible village where people are so firnedly and literally are on the streets the whole day, but because we had to leave Kokopelli. I also bruised my ankle moments before we left Kokopelli so a big walk in the Abruzzo NP was not going to be possible for a few days. Scanno is famous because a lot of photographers (including Cartier Bresson!) tried to capture it.

    On the way to Scanno, we visited Sulmona, which was lovely too, and a great setting (the mountains dooming up in the background when you're on the big square is impressive). Cosy streets and confetti all over the place. smile

    Due to the connection that Belgium has with this region, we were able to communicate a lot with the people. Our Italian is very bad but our French is fine, and that helps too, even to recongize words. We met many people who had grand parents or family who worked in Belgium (in the mines or Brussels) and thus we also had a rather social experience on many places. The European Championship also brought us to some local bars were we were able to express and communicate and talk a little. Great!

    ANature, towns, food, people, ... It was all we wanted and more. Kokopelli is an amazing place and would recommend. We stayed in one of their bell tents and that was just ideal.

    After that we went to Rome, which I had visited before, but Kaat didn't. It was extremely hot. We biked Via Appia, which was desolate and no tourist to be found compared to the madness of some of the places in Rome. Also Gianicolo was a terrific and atmospheric place to enjoy Rome. The drive from Abruzzo to the airport (to return the car) was madness when we entered the ring road. Some Italians really cannot drive!

    Oh and of course the food and wine. It's nothing extraordinary but all pure and simple. It's very untouristy, and mostly only Italians travel here. Since the camping was owned by British people, that was the only place we saw non-Italian tourists.
    Kazoo
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 8th 2017
    Off to Scotland next week and a hike and stay on top of Ben Nevis.

    Looking forward to it but am so unfit these days, At one time I'd have considered it an easy hike but Ben Nevis has now become my Everest.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
  3. Timmer wrote
    Off to Scotland next week and a hike and stay on top of Ben Nevis.

    Looking forward to it but am so unfit these days, At one time I'd have considered it an easy hike but Ben Nevis has now become my Everest.

    Have a great trip Tim. Looking forward to the photos!
    The views expressed in this post are entirely my own and do not reflect the opinions of maintitles.net, or for that matter, anyone else. http://www.racksandtags.com/falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Hopefully the weather will be good or at least interesting wink

    It's my mates 50th and he wants to spend it on the Ben which makes a milestone birthday memorable and I'm all for that.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
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      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Good luck Timmer! Sounds like an amazing adventure. Have you not been there yet?
    Kazoo
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Sorry for missing your Italy report last year, Bregt! As usual, it sounded brilliant. You're a master of finding the nature/non-touristy things that I never do.

    And good luck on the Ben Nevis hike, Timmer. 1344 meters is no walk in the park. I certainly wouldn't be able to do it at this point.
    I am extremely serious.
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      CommentAuthorCaliburn
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Ben Nevis is a doable 4 hour hike to the top. Bring good shoes and very warm clothing. Do not expect a great view. Even if the weather is good in Scotland, the summit is most of the time in the clouds. The descent was a bit tricky. The path really need some maintenance on that part. But it was worth it

    Proof I was there: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5idkszx1dm5if … 0.JPG?dl=0

    and psst if you are a geocacher, there is a nice cache on the top.
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      CommentAuthorMartijn
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Timmer wrote
    Hopefully the weather will be good or at least interesting wink

    It's my mates 50th and he wants to spend it on the Ben which makes a milestone birthday memorable and I'm all for that.


    As long as there's cake and a cherry on top of it (either the Ben or the cake) I applaud this venture loudly!
    'no passion nor excitement here, despite all the notes and musicians' ~ Falkirkbairn
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Bregt wrote
    Good luck Timmer! Sounds like an amazing adventure. Have you not been there yet?


    Yes, way back in 1991 but didn't hike Ben Nevis because the weather was appalling, we went further North to Torridon and eventually Skye where the weather was utterly glorious.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017 edited
    A pic from my last visit ( 26 years ago shocked ), sorry about the poor quality, needs a clean up.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … mp;theater
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
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      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017 edited
    Spectacular!

    You seemed to be very active with the hiking in the 90s, Timmer. When did you wind down?
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017 edited
    It basically came to a full stop in 2004 when life started throwing buckets of shit.

    I've done quite a few "mini" hikes the last couple of years, mostly local-ish, I'm surrounded by great countryside here in Bristol plus some great extended breaks in Cornwall, Wales, Northern Ireland and Iceland.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeMay 9th 2017
    Martijn wrote
    Timmer wrote
    Hopefully the weather will be good or at least interesting wink

    It's my mates 50th and he wants to spend it on the Ben which makes a milestone birthday memorable and I'm all for that.


    As long as there's cake and a cherry on top of it (either the Ben or the cake) I applaud this venture loudly!


    Come and join us old bean, I'll bring a cake plus you'll be happy to know Port will be transported to the top as well as Rum wink
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    WOW! Best short holiday in years.

    A report to follow and pics on FB soon.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
    •  
      CommentAuthorBregt
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    punk
    Kazoo
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTime5 days ago edited
    Off to Cannes in 4 hours. Not sure it's even worth going to bed. sad Still high on the Zimmer concert.
    I am extremely serious.
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTime5 days ago
    I recommend staying awake. You'll find the right chance to sleep.
    thor 2? fuck thor! ~ Thor
    •  
      CommentAuthorThor
    • CommentTime1 day ago edited
    Had a great Cannes stay so far. I'm in an apartment in the suburb of Cannes right now. All my colleagues have gone to bed. I'm sitting on the porch, with a great view of the ocean (albeit in darkness). Spent the day in Antibes. Far more comforable this year, when it isn't all about standing in queue. I'll provide a more full report later on. Meanwhile, I'm curious to hear Timmer's.
    I am extremely serious.