Here begins the Cannes diary.

It’s been my dream to go to the Cannes Film festival, AKA Le Cannes Festival du films, ever since seeing it on E and Entertainment Tonight. Sundance seemed like a great time, but it was all about catching lightning in a bottle –being a slacker genius and nothing else. But Cannes, with it’s Film aesthete credibility and its Pop Studio PR machine glitz, seemed like the place for me to find myself.

We’re about 2/3 the way across the pond right now and they’ve finally turned out the lights. If they had done so five minutes ago, I wouldn’t have begun this. I brought the ibook, in theory, to finish my indie script, “Valley of Sin”. But what I really see myself doing is chronicling my trip on the web site. Here’s hoping the internet cafes are all they’re cracked up to be.

Last night, I finally drew out my wife Eileen on why she didn’t want me to come. Ever since I was invited to Slamdunk and decided to come, she has been less than supportive, at least in enthusiasm. She basically pointed out that she can’t see what the ultimate goal of all this effort and extravagant expense is. I told he that I don’t know. That in show business, it doesn’t pay to have ultimate goals, as they are almost never realized. The best I can do is try to ‘grow my brand.’ By making LOSB and showing it at festivals, I’m trying to show myself as a creative person. Maybe it will never result in a dime of income from the film, but it could potentially be my way of meeting some new friend who thinks I’m a genius who will propel me to the next phase in my career. At the very least, it will be a life experience which makes me more interesting, which is a bargain at any price.

So this is Madrid. Believe it or not, but everyone here looks, somehow, Spanish – like they’ve all stepped out of an Almodovar movie. Of course the womas who has sat down next to me with her kids looks the most Spanish of all. And when I hear her speak, she turns out to be French. People probably think I’m Spanish.

Not a lot of people here are smoking, just a few, but it really taints the air. Usually when you get off a plane, the air is a nice fresh change from the recycled stuff on board. Here it was the opposite effect.

I’m not feeling jet lag yet, but I do feel like I’ve been up all night – that sweaty, achey feeling. I was a little queasy, but I had a baguette sandwich here in the Madrid airport that was composed of pa slice of cheese and what seemed a bit like a raw piece of bacon, but was called ham (jamon). Lots of fat, good for hangovers. Just one more flight and I’ll be in Nice, just shuttle distance from Cannes. This 90 minute flight should feel like nothing after the 8 hours from America.

I checked into the Chalet d’Lisere about ten hours ago. I unpacked and took I the tiny room. It’ll do, but it’s pretty monastic. It’s now almost midnight and I’m finally sitting on the bed. It’s hard, very hard. Here’s hoping it’s hard in the good way.

I had a great day., I got the purportedly ungetable Accreditation, so now I can see anything in the Cannes film festival proper. I went into the Palais and found free wireless internet access (which may be how you’re reading this) and ran into Talaat, a producer friend of mine. He gave me some festival tips. I went to my department that is sponsoring my accreditation, whatever that means. The guy there hooked me up with a ticket to something from Spain or Brazil, maybe Isreal. Who knows. And a ticket for the world premiere of, wait for it… STAR WARS. Holy Shit, things are looking up on the docks. I’m hoping it’s in French. The last Star Wars movie was so improved by dropping out the dialog and listening to the commentary on the DVD, that I assume the foreign language treatment would be just as good a balm for the acting and dialog. But I bet even if it’s in English, George’ll pull it out and it’ll blow me away.

No celeb sightings today,but I explored a bit, and attended the opening night of the not-quite-ready Slamdunk Terrace. (It was ready by the time the crowd showed up.) I met a lot of interesting people and had a good time, though I wish I’d been better dressed. My hotel is up a bit of a hill, so it would take quite a bit of commitment to get up here for a change at the transition to evening time. If I get tickets to something at the Palais that requires a tux, I‘ll pop for the cab ride. But I guess it’s not that bad a walk if you’re taking a shower to go out anyway.

My back is killing me hunching over to type this so I’ll end here for today The question remains: Having stayed up until midnight my first day in Europe, have I beaten the Jet Lag? We’ll see tomorrow.