Seen and heard at the Cannes Film Festival
CANNES, France (AP) — Associated Press journalists open their notebooks at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival:
KEANU REEVES STEPS BEHIND THE LENS
The transition from actor to director was not an easy one for Keanu Reeves.
Reeves, who showed clips from his upcoming film "Man of Tai Chi" to a select crowd on Monday, said it took him a while to get into the director's mindset.
"The first day of that was not too much fun," he laughed during an interview.
"As an actor you are concerned with your role, you are concerned with your story," he said. "The director's side is much more other, it is looking out. ... The first day I just didn't quite have it. It wasn't pleasurable."
Reeves describes the movie, in which he also stars, as "a contemporary Kung Fu film." The film is in Cantonese and English.
Reeves said he didn't want to try his hand at directing until he had the right story. He found it while he was working on "The Matrix" franchise and was working closely with Chen Hu, a martial arts specialist.
"He is who the story is based around. He has a traditional past, he was a young person, Tai Chi champion, National Chinese champion," Reeves said. "On the other hand, he is also a stunt man who has worked in Beijing and Hong Kong and Hollywood. He has gone out into the world."
Reeves was one of many who grew up attracted to martial arts movies.
"For me, it was attractive in the sense of the physical-ness of it, maybe the independence, maybe the community," he said. "For the Kung Fu it is the right and wrong, or the struggle that the characters often face, like 'They're going to shut down the temple' or 'They have killed your brother' or 'You're being attacked' and you have to defend or explore. And the exoticness of it, and they look cool."
"Man of Tai Chi" is set for release in China this summer, with release dates in other countries pending.
AISHWARYA RAI'S ROLES AS MOTHER, ACTRESS, MODEL & AMBASSAADOR
After taking time off to become a mother, Aishwarya Rai says she's ready to sink her teeth back in to her movie career — as long it's for the right role.
Rai, who gave birth to a daughter in 2011, said her time away from film has "flown by."
Rai says her career choices from here on in will also have to fit in with her new family, even when it comes to doing press interviews.
"Right now I am talking to you while she is taking a nap," she said during her interview at The Martinez Hotel in Cannes on Monday
"You just naturally discover how to do it because even, like everything else in my life you are just multi-tasking, you just figure out a way to schedule your life and that's what I have been doing ever since motherhood."
This is Rai's 12th visit to the Cannes Film Festival. Beside being a L'Oreal brand ambassador, she was asked to be guest of honor at a special event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema.
"It's very gracious of the festival to acknowledge it, to have an evening dedicated to celebrating it," she said.
A VERY INTIMATE PARTY IN HONOR OF JAMES FRANCO
The late-night party for James Franco's "As I Lay Dying," held in the compact luxury men's clothing store Smalto, already promised to be a tight-knit affair. But the event became even more intimate with guests rubbing elbows — and much more — as the soiree went well above its capacity limit on Monday night.
Franco didn't seem to mind the cramped quarters. Dressed in a tuxedo, he held court on a black leather couch, huddled up with good friend Ahna O'Reilly and others, laughing at one point as they looked at their phones.
The event was put on by the charity Art of Elysium, which provides entertainment for sick children in hospitals.