Just back: Cinema history in Cannes

I was in Cannes [pictured above] this time last week — eating a fish stew with a cheeky glass of chilled white at the Carlton Beach Club to be precise.

I had come to the French Riviera to research an article about Cannes’ rich cinematic heritage in time for the 70th International Film Festival in 2017; the 69th festival opens next week with Woody Allen’s new film.

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But, between the cinema walking tour from La Croisette and an afternoon exploring the giant wall murals of Hollywood stars through history, I also rediscovered my love for all things French.

I lived in France for one year in the early Nineties as part of undergraduate life at Leeds University. It was a truly formative experience — a rite of passage of language skills, modern art and smelly cheese.

I returned to Leeds afloat on Left Bank pretensions and sporting a crushed-velor jacket.

But the head space of a year abroad also helped me decide to eschew a career path in Euro finance in favour of something more creative.

Come autumn, I walked into the office of Leeds Student newspaper and asked for a job.

Now, at another career crossroads, a few days of vin rouge, Jean Gabin and even more smelly cheese provided a contemplative Cote D’Azur backdrop to pondering the next chapter.

Viva la France!

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