Cannes Film Festival - 
Article published the Saturday 14 May 2011 - Latest update : Saturday 14 May 2011

The people you meet

Cinema fans sit on step ladders to guard their spots at the arrivals' area
Reuters/Yves Herman

By Laura Angela Bagnetto

Need an ego boost? Come on down to Cannes! Shake it, don’t break it, as you wear your shortest dress and highest heels. Strut up and down the street, silently daring the millions of photographers to take your photo. And pseudo paparazzi will oblige, begging you to pout sexily, as gawkers gawk. And you can buy it later at a little shop that specialises in this sort of thing.

Not everyone is hanging out and trying to look sexy, however. Take Mr. Malbos. He’s standing on the Croisette with a dog and a large neon green sign.

Malbos, a senior citizen with a shock of white hair and dark tan, is looking for an investor. For something Parisians desperately need? Nope, not an attitude adjustment. A dog poop collector.

“It’s ecological, cheap, and clean!” he says. And he has pressed into service his own dog, Tomeé, who models his “Mallubos” pooper picker-upper.

Poor Tomeé, laying on the Croissette at the foot of his master, is wearing a denim outfit. His back is to me. It looks like he’s done this many times before. Malbos tells him to get up. There’s a denim cup underneath his tail. It looks like a mini horse feedbag.

“Do you want to see it?” Of course! Malbos bends down and rips the bag off of Tomeé’s nether parts. It’s attached with Velcro, with a little plastic bag inside the feedbag.

“See? Clean and simple! You don’t have to touch anything. You dump out the bag, and put the underwear (culottes) back on.” I nod. The culotte is attached to a strip of denim on the dog’s back, where Malubos has had printed in neon green, ‘Mallubos. Looking for an investor.’

“It can also be used for advertising,” he adds.

He says he hasn’t had many people come and actually consider investing in his invention, but he has spoken to many, like me, who are just plain curious.

Aside from the sexy pouts and the dog doo inventions, there are serious business deals going down. Filmmakers trying to find people to distribute a film. If you were talented and lucky enough to have the funds to make your movie, now you have to try to sell it.

I like documentaries that teach you something you didn’t know, or that make you talk to the screen.

Indochina: Traces of a Mother, directed by director Idrissou Mora Kpai is one of those films that make you want to scream out, “What?!” Mr. Mora Kpai takes Christophe, a 58-year-old orphan, to Viet Nam to see where his mother came from.

Christophe never knew his parents, a Vietnamese woman and a soldier from Benin, formerly the French colony of Dahomey.

In the film, Mora Kpai interviews a number of Beninois who were conscripted into the French army to fight in French colony Indochina , of which Vietnam was a part.

So you have one French colony fighting another French colony for France. What? His beautiful film deals with the personal, societal, and racial issues of west African men who were sent to Indochina. Mora Kpai also speaks to Vietnamese former military men who dealt with their African brothers.

The film is in French and Vietnamese, with subtitles in English. You must see this film about a long forgotten page in French-African-Vietnamese history. Unfortunately, no one has bought the film for distribution yet, but they should.

Cannes blog 2011

tags: Cannes Blog 2011
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