Friday, June 21, 2024

Cannes Hot Buzz Party Era Over as Vanity Fair Partners with Saudis, Charles Finch Draws Scant Crowd for Columbia Pictures


You know it’s a bad sign if the Vanity Fair home page isn’t featuring pictures from its party in Cannes on Saturday night.

Even worse, when you search Vanity Fair and Cannes on Getty Images, you get pictures of Graydon Carter. Ouch!

Carter used to throw the hottest party in Cannes, always on the first Saturday night, and at the lavish Hotel du Cap Eden Roc. Everyone came, there were lines of limos stretching down to the sea and the hottest A-listers inside.

This year, Richard Gere and Uma Thurman were the big gets, followed by Eva Longoria, Michelle Rodriguez, Naomi Campbell, and Naomi’s boy friend Mohammed El- Turki. He runs the Red Sea Film Festival, funded by the Saudi royal family, and a sponsor of the party (as well as the Cannes Film Festival).

It was a pretty sad showing, going by the pictures on And no one seems to mind the Red Sea-Saudi royal family connection. The Saudis have no rights for women or gays, and chopped up Jamal Khasoggi. But it’s a free meal!

Same deal at Friday night’s Columbia Pictures 100th anniversary party, thrown annually by self promoting London movie publicist Charles Finch. In its heyday, the Finch party offered Mick Jagger, the late Paul Allen, Jane Fonda, famous producers and directors. This year, Greta Gerwig, Woody Harrelson, Lawrence Fishburne, and Noor Alfallah — Al Pacino’s baby mama — were the highlights. The published guest list included publicists and executives. Oh my!

There used to be such a buzz in the air at these gatherings. But the air has gone out of the tires on both buses. The movies throw their own after parties now, and fashion houses — like Kering, Chopard, L’Oreal — pick up the slack.

What’s left? amFAR of course, this Thursday, with Cher performing (who’s paying for that?), Demi Moore — who’s become the unlikely center of attention all week — on the invite and no Sharon Stone.(The original amFAR cheerleader has washed her hands of this gang.) More on that annual catastrophe later!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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