Mon, May 29, 2006 - Page 13 News List

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Glamorous parties are an essential part of the Cannes film festival for actors, directors and their hangers-on. Some were having a better time of it than others.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal conceded the Cannes parties were sapping his energy.

"I am partying all night long. That's why I am a bit tired to do interviews. Because you get drunk, then you have to go to this kind of event as well .... But I am fine, it's all going fine."

But Playboy magazine founder Hugh Heffner, who just turned 80, said he had a simple recipe against party fatigue: "The girlfriends keep me young."

Heffner added that the ingredients to a perfect party were easily found -- It was all about ratio.

"When I was in college right after World War II, all the veterans came back home and the ratio of men to women was seven to one, guys to girls -- very depressing for a guy," Heffner told reporters in Cannes.

"I swore that if I would ever be in a position, I would reverse those odds .... So when we hold a party, it's about three women to one guy .... If there are a few more women than men it's a better party for everybody."

Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi isn't holding back her opinions, either, said Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai. Zhang, a relative newcomer on the entertainment scene, is on the jury of this year's Cannes Film Festival.

"She's very bold," said Wong, who heads this year's jury, in an interview with Hong Kong's Cable TV that aired yesterday.

"Even though she's very young ... she's bold in expressing herself, so there isn't an issue of being timid because she's less experienced," Wong said of the 27-year-old Zhang.

Zhang and Wong collaborated on 2046, Wong's follow-up to the critically acclaimed love story In the Mood for Love.

Other members of this year's Cannes jury include Samuel L. Jackson, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth and Monica Bellucci.

While the jury was set to announce the film festival's coveted Palme d'Or awards yesterday evening, for those films' canine casts the Palm Dog is the only award worth winning.

A small French bulldog was the winner this year in the parallel event to the main film competition that has become a regular offbeat fixture at the festival.

Mops, who appeared in Sofia Coppola's zany costume drama Marie Antoinette, faced stiff competition from two other dogs appearing in movies in the lineup for the main prize -- one in Red Road and the other in Lights in the Dusk.

Palm Dog host Toby Rose said Coppola's film on the Queen of France had been a "dog fest," with dozens of hounds crawling around in the Versailles palace and the queen's own dog Mops -- identified as a French bulldog -- being the clear winner. "From the very outset, Marie Antoinette -- played by Kirsten Dunst -- is crucially dog-orientated," Rose said after the prize-giving ceremony by the beach in Cannes, for which neither Mops nor Coppola were present.

"When she goes from Austria to Paris to be with Louis, she has to leave behind all of her past, which is Austria, and the most awful wrench is when she left Mops, her dog, behind at the border," Rose said.

Runners-up included a Schnauzer featuring in German movie Ping Pong called Schumann.

"He's a shooting star and the whole world will know it," Ping Pong director Matthias Luthardt told reporters.

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