Monday, April 6, 2015

From coast to coast with Anita Hughes...plus a book giveaway

In 2013, we finished reading Lake Como and then found out we'd have to wait two years for Anita Hughes' next novel to come out. However, she's full of surprises and not only does she have one book publishing tomorrow, but another coming out later this summer! Since French Coast is her current novel, she's here today to talk about the Cannes Film Festival, as the book is set in Cannes during that time of year. Melissa A calls it an "indulgent and sexy escapist read," which we'll be reviewing in the near future. However, Book Mama has a review right now! Rome in Love will also be talking about movies, so the fun isn't over yet!

Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named "One of Australia's Next Best Writers." (She still has the newspaper clipping.) She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program. She lives in Dana Point, CA with her family, where she interrupts her writing to watch the glorious sunsets. French Coast is her fourth novel. Visit Anita at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, we have one copy of French Coast for a lucky US reader...and so does Book Mama! Double your chances by entering her giveaway too. Goodreads also has a giveaway going on that ends tomorrow. (US/Canada.)

One of the most enjoyable parts of researching FRENCH COAST was learning about the Cannes Film Festival. The festival is held every May in Cannes and it is the most important film festival in the world. Movie people come from all over the world and hold parties on yachts and in suites at the Hotel Carlton-Intercontinental (where FRENCH COAST is set). Films from every continent are screened and the best film wins the prestigious Palm D'Or.

What I found most surprising is which movies that went on to become household names, got their start on the screen at Cannes. Here are five of my favorites:

At the top of my list is La Dolce Vita, which won the Palm d'Or in 1960. If you haven't seen this film directed by the Italian director Frederico Fellini and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, you must! It made the whole world fall in love with the Italian lifestyle and it holds up wonderfully after more than fifty years.

Pulp Fiction won the Palm d'Or in 1994. It is quite violent and not to everybody's taste but it won a huge cult following. It was directed by Quentin Tarantino and starred John Travolta and Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson. It is often credited with resurrecting John Travolta's career.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of my favorite movies. All you have to say is that it starred a young Catherine Deneuve and know it was set in Paris to know that it is going to be a delight. I first watched it when I studied French in college and it is one of those movies you never get tired of. Check out the costumes!

Apocalypse Now won the Palm D'Or in 1979. It was directed by Francis Ford Coppola and became famous even before its release for its grueling production schedule. It took over sixteen months to film in the jungles of Vietnam with a few near tragedies including a typhoon that wiped out the set. The finished movie that screened at Cannes was over three hours in length and went on to be on of the most acclaimed movies in cinematic history.

Lastly, I remember when I heard about the movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape and was scandalized and intrigued by the title. It was directed by Stephen Soderberg and starred Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, and James Spader. It was just as interesting as it sounded and went on to be a big success.

I can't wait to see which movies will be screened this year - and which ones we will be talking about in the near future!


Thanks to Anita for the movie recommendations and to St. Martin's Press for sharing French Coast with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



US only. Giveaway ends April 12th at midnight EST.

28 comments:

Janine said...

To be honest with you, I don't know any of those movies.

Bonnie Franks said...

Fargo 1996.

Shelby N. said...

I thought Nebraska was really good.

susieqlaw said...

Maps to the Stars

S.Sabia said...

I have the movie Mud on my Netflix list. Just need to find the time to watch it!

cpr040304 said...

I've never heard or seen any of those movies :(

EKB said...

Yikes! I don't know any of these. (glad i am not the only one!!)

traveler said...

The Angel's Share. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

dstoutholcomb said...

last year's Foxcatcher

Mary said...

Map To The Stars

Jessica Meddick said...

Sorry, never heard of any of these movies.

Kimberly V said...

I really enjoyed The Bling Ring which was in a side competition at Cannes two years ago.

Holly said...

Lost in Translation.

Connie said...

I am most familiar with Pulp Fiction because I am a fan of John Travolta.
Thank you for this giveaway.

holdenj said...

I would go back and watch some of the older ones, like Dolce Vita or All That Jazz.
Thanks!

Bonnie K. said...

Not necessarily a favorite but one that I remember, Fast Food Nation. It really opens one's eyes to see how it affects us.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Cher B said...

Those are all great classic film choices. One that I think made a splash at Cannes 2014 that I have not yet seen is Clouds of Sils Maria. I've really enjoyed Juliette Binoche since I first watched her in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, one of my all time favorite films.

Thanks for the chance to win!
cherbasonATgmailDOTcom

Glenda Hefty said...

I saw Umbrellas of Cherbourge many, many years ago at the theater when our French class went. It was a very good movie indeed. That is the only one of the movies I've seen.

writeoncindy@yahoo.com said...

PULP FICTION seems to be on IFC 24/7. I LOVE THAT FILM. The dialogue is brilliant! I can turn the movie on at any part and start saying talking with the characters. When you think about it, it's really kinda sad. :-)
I think it's why I say HONEY BUNNY so much!

LettyB said...

The Immigrant is one on my watchlist. I like Marion Cotillard!

jpetroroy said...

Pulp Fiction.

Suzy said...

Definitely Pulp Fiction. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've see the film, but it's over 10. FANTASTIC!!!

Patricia said...

Reaching far back into the past---The Four Hundred Blows

bn100 said...

maybe mud

Laurice McClung said...

I would like to see Foxcatcher.

Vivian Vereeke said...

Oh no! I haven't seen any of those movies. In fact, I only watch movies On Demand or once the get to television, and then only a very few of them :( .

Nova said...

ONLY GOD FORGIVES; directed by Nicolas Winding;has Ryan Gosling in it.

rubynreba said...

I don't know any of these movies either!