Cannes Film Festival Tones Down the Glitz

While there will be less parties and megayachts, Cannes this year has lined up a formidable roster of festival veterans.

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Adding a dose of bygone glamour, word has it Maria Callas’ most expensive white diamond necklace will form the centerpiece of the Maria Callas Foundation’s bash, to be held at the Terrazza Martini tent on May 22 and hosted by Italian Vogue. Private photos of the late opera singer hobnobbing with Prince Rainier of Monaco and Marilyn Monroe are also expected to be unveiled at the event.

Beach action will include the launch of Nikki Beach’s resortwear line on Friday.

Donatella Versace will be behind the decor for amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS Cannes benefit, to be chaired by Kenneth Cole, on May 21 at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, which will feature an exhibition by photographer Bruce Weber. Annie Lennox is lined up to perform, while Sharon Stone and Harvey Weinstein will help conduct the live auction. Items due to go under the hammer include a Milan Fashion Week package; a one-off Fiat 500 car custom-designed by Diesel’s Renzo Rosso, and a saxophone donated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who will autograph it during the auction.

Belstaff is due to host a cocktail party for Tarantino’s World War II movie “Inglourious Basterds,” in which Pitt wears the brand’s jackets in his role as Lieutenant Aldo Raine, heading a special unit disguised as civilians who hunt Nazis in occupied France.

Festival playtime will also include a charity black-tie celebrity Maybach Poker Tournament on Sunday, and the Akvinta vodka-sponsored Hollywood Domino tournament, hosted by Cruz, at the House of Cannes on Monday, in aid of Bono’s charity The Global Fund inspired by (Red). Designers Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto will wrap guests’ cars in designer wallpaper for the occasion. A-list domino-ites expected to attend include Weinstein, Georgina Chapman, Lily Cole, Mariah Carey and David Furnish.

Carey counts among a handful of musicians promoting movies here. The warbler will join co-star Kravitz for the screening of “Precious,” in competition in the Un Certain Regard section, while 50 Cent is expected to attend a VIP Room bash Saturday for indie thriller “Dead Man Running,” in which he stars.

Deborah Harry of Blondie fame is due to entertain guests during the Belvedere Vodka party at Le Baron’s Riviera venue on Friday, with the Black Eyed Peas booked to play the festival’s closing night. Meanwhile, the likes of Cécile Cassel, Emma de Caunes and Sylvie Testud, among the 13 French actresses who turned singers for Le Figaro’s Madame Aime compilation, are set to fete the album’s launch May 20.

Finally, as the centerpiece of the “Cannes Classics” section on Friday, Martin Scorsese will introduce the world premiere of the digitally restored version of the 1948 masterpiece “The Red Shoes,” funded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation and the Louis B. Mayer Foundation.


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