Sunday 18 May 2014 (Cannes)
Sunday – often a day of contrasts – especially today. Around 11am, I buy my Sunday Times from a news kiosk near the ‘Théâtre Debussy’, where they’re hoovering the red carpet in preparation of an elegant lunchtime premiere of Spanish director Jaime Rosales’ Hermosa Juventud (‘Beautiful Youth’) – a film about two lovers, aged 20, struggling to survive in today’s Spain – and which is competing in the ‘Un Certain Regard’ competition of the Cannes Film Festival. Then I stroll further along the Croisette, trying to make my way to a meeting at the Carlton Hotel, and I see totally the opposite of ‘beautiful youth’ …
The elderly yet mega-franchise stars, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford, all riding on top of tanks to promote the forthcoming Expendables 3 movie. ‘We are children with arthritis, we are young forever,’ Stallone said at the press conference later on, when he was asked how he and his co-stars would know when it was time to stop acting in action films. ‘I think if you wake up in the morning and your ass falls off, it’s time to retire,’ he added.
The Expendables franchise has made about $580m at the box office to date. The first two films were rated R, whilst the new one will be PG-13 – which means it will probably gross even more. Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes and Dolph Lundgren were also there – also on tanks.
Tonight I’m going to try to gatecrash the Expendables party, although I think I’ll need a tank to succeed. Watch this space …
(To be continued … )