Today, I discovered that I was very lucky to score a ticket to one of the big Gala Screenings at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. What does this mean and how is this any different than the other Cannes festival screenings? Well, here’s what the official site says:
For the screenings at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, an invitation is indispensable. These invitations are strictly personal and non-transferable, even free of charge, subject to possible prosecution. The use of an invitation requires correct dress and behaviour during the Climbing of the Steps and within the Palais zone. It equally implies acceptance of being possibly photographed and/or filmed… It is imperative to present oneself at the bottom of the Red Steps along with your invitation, at the time and entrances stipulated on it… Note: these screenings require the obligatory wearing of a tuxedo or evening dress.
I’ve heard the horror stories of some American sap trying to pass off a black business suit with a black tie, and then get turned away at the door. So, yeah, I needed a tux. And, no, I did not own one already. This wasn’t part of my plan (I was just gonna go to “regular” screenings) and tailoring takes time, so I started doing some homework: I didn’t wanna risk waiting until I arrived in France to rent a tuxedo. To rent a tux in America and then take it to France for 10 days would mean a really silly rental fee for only one or two days of actual wear. Plus, it’s prom season… and now, I’m starting to think that the American tuxedo industry and the American high schools have it in for us Cannes-goers. Why else would they schedule senior prom the same two weeks as Cannes? One store I visited informed me they were gonna have over 500 tuxes rented over the next three weeks. To this, I said, “Must make it hard for Cannes attendees to rent a good tux these days, huh?” The tux salesman just gave me a blank stare.
So, okay, I was faced with either going to France on the slim chance that I could find a good tux somewhere before this screening… or, purchase a tuxedo for the first time in my life. Considering I’m gonna move in with my girlfriend and I just bought a new car, getting a new penguin suit wasn’t all that huge a life decision. So, like something out of March of the Penguins, I dove right in. Now, it just has to be altered and set. More on this, and my use of it, to come…