Postcard from Cannes



Bonjour from Cannes!  After a rather mortifying start to my European adventure at LAX  ( searching frantically for my watch in the plastic bins at security, before the bemused gentleman behind me pointed out it was hanging from one of my fingers) Note to self; cut down on jewelry, belts and scarves while traveling. Naturally he sat right beside me in the lounge, just to prolong my humiliation for another hour.

Once boarded, I found myself beside ‘Christopher’ a nice and generous man with various homeopathic jet-lag/sleep meds. He was so nice in fact that I simply couldn’t bring myself to style our conjoining area the way I normally do (although later on, when he watched “Gypsy” with Rosalind Russell in its entirety I knew he  probably wouldn’t have minded 🙂 )

Hit the ground running in Cannes and went straight to the premiere of Martin Scorsese’s newly restored version of “Il Gattopardo” (The Leopard) by Luchino Visconti.  The 1963 film stars Burt Lancaster as an Italian Prince and the patriarch of a large and noble old family. Let me tell you-what a performance. I have always loved Burt, but now I’m officially obsessed.  What a huge ——– MOVIE STAR. The film also stars Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, who were actually at the premiere last night which made the evening so special. It was very moving to see them together, still with adorable chemistry, some 47 years later.



Burt Lancaster and Claudia Cardinale in one of the steamiest film scenes ever!

Before and after Martin Scorsese’s restoration of “The Leopard”

Over 17,000 hours went into the cleaning and restoring of each and every frame of the film.

Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale

Alain & Claudia at the premiere in Cannes last night

 I could go on and on- the film is 3 hours of sumptuous, luscious, almost over-ripe beauty. So many scenes so exquisite it would be impossible to isolate a favourite- in addition to having one of the most sensual, tastefully erotic moments I have ever seen in a film. And to think I always assumed Burt Lancaster’s sexiest scene was in “Here to Eternity”.  Shame on me!  Yes, the last scene lasts almost an hour, and the pace of the film could be generously described as languid, but the length and pace make total sense, given the story.  I’m really too tired to give The Leopard the praise it deserves- I’ll finish by saying I’m extremely glad I saw it for the first time in it’s fully restored glory-put this beauty on your list!

PS.  Kate Beckinsdale has the smallest nose ever, Benicio Del Toro is much sexier in real life, and Ashwari Rey (sp?) doesn’t even look real, she is so beautiful.

PPS. Speaking of sumptuous, sadly, we did not make it to the amazing cheese store. That’s what happens when you stay up all night, and sleep half the day away. I did manage a nice stroll in the rain late this afternoon though and discovered this little gem of a patisserie just off the Croisette;

Slim Paley photo

Jean Luc Pele is certainly giving Laduree a run for it’s money, although the shop itself does not compare, the delicacies are positively Il Gattopardo worthy.

fruit gelees

Slim Paley photo

macaroonsSlim Paley Photos……

These  orange macarroons are absolutely irridescent.

OK, I have to go pack.


Bonne Nuit my friends 🙂



  1. Was there a Q&A after the showing of ‘The Leopard’? Scorsese can be wonderfully hyperarticulate.
    Miss you, Slim.
    Have fun, be safe.

    • Thanks Dabbsie.
      Scorsese spoke, as you said; beautifully and articulately before the film, discussing the remarkable impact it had on both his life and his career.

  2. I NEED one of those pastries right now!! I remember seeing The Leopard when it came out in theaters when I was very young–I still remember the beauty of the film, but was too young to catch the meaning. Glad that you having such a great trip. Thanks for the updates.

  3. Alain Delon .. dreamy. Wow. I knew his son Anthony (pronounced Ant-ony)for a time. Gorgeous. Did I mention gorgeous. I will take him and a few dozen of those pastries to go please. Glad to hear you are having a marvellous time!!

  4. I hope the new version of Il Gattopardo will make it to the UK. I love the photo of Alain and Claudia at the film festival.

    You have a second chance at truffled brie: La Fromagerie in London is amazing, much more than just a cheese shop.

    They also do a good version of it in the fine cheese room at Whole Foods in Kensington High Street. And yes, I’m afraid I am obsessed with great cheese (and Laduree’s rose and liquorice macaroons).

    Have a wonderful time in Rome!

  5. Bonjour Slim! I have never seen this movie. Shame on me! The sweets look divine, but you had me drooling just mentioning Benicio Del Toro……

  6. Your photos and news from Cannes are simply superb. I cannot wait to see the newly-restored Scorsese. Love your blog, it is my one of my favorites!

  7. I must see that film, thought I had seen everything. Never even heard of it. Martin would be aghast at me! Have fun.Please be careful of nude sunbathing sightings in Cannes, make sure you shield your eyes if you see Donatella V, you will turn to stone! LOL.

  8. I was just thinking as I opened up the pages of the sites I follow, how often I save my Slim posts for last, like candy. And then you go and give us this scrumptious dessert. SP – you’ve done it again! Great post – cannot wait to see more of your European adventures.

  9. Slim, “while in Rome”….be sure to have some Bucatini al Amatriciana.
    Have a great time.

  10. hi slim,

    i have never flown first class, or been to cannes, never heard of the movie, never been to laduree. it’s hard to believe but i swear to god i don’t live under a rock.


    • Hi Janet
      I KNOW!- you live surrounded by gardens and orange groves in a beautiful old cottage in California, heady with the scent of blossoms and a bamboo sheltered outdoor yoga retreat. Cannes will always be there…this is my first time to Rome and I’m guessing I’m older than you (nothing like one of the most ancient cities in the world to make you feel young though!) Laduree….…If you fall off the “No Shopping for a Year” wagon, you might want to check it out. Just don’t say I was a bad influence 🙂

      and PS. For someone like yourself, who appreciates beautiful gardens and surroundings, I also rec. watching the restored version of The Leopard when you can. You will almost be able to feel the heat through the screen- and not just from Burt! Look at it this way- it’s 3 full hours away from any stores!

    • I know- right?Thanks!! What do I win?!? Super soft foamy fluorescent ear-plugs? Chip Clips in elegant colours with which to hang my fabrics and scented perfume strips? A mini black and orange Hermes Backgammon travel set? How about one of those round rubber neck supporters with ducks on them in terry towel? that dissuades people sitting beside you- it’s failsafe.

  11. Claudia Cardinale. So exquisite. I love that she is in Cannes for the re-release!

  12. p.s not sure if this was already discussed at Cannes Film Fest, but you might be happy to know that Russell made it to the final 3 in survivor but not one jury member voted for him….no prize whatsoever for him:)

  13. Slim, I love your blog, but ever since I subscribe to it via google reader, the blog does not open it its entirity in that program and I am forced to open each blog post to see pictures and read more. If you have no other reason to limit how much is able to be viewed via blog readers, I would suggest you change that in your blog formating so I can delight in your posts again.

    Hope that made sense.


    • Hi Les
      I am so sorry you are having difficulty seeing the full posts. I have not had this complaint before about Google Reader and I am not sure how I would begin to go about rectifying it as I am very technically challenged. May I suggest you sign up for my “Email Alert” which will send you an email when I post, and then one click, and the posts open up in their entirety.
      Thank you for continuing to stay with my blog, despite the frustration!


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