When the stars had it to themselves
Grace Kelly made her first visit to Cannes in 1955. Paris Match persuaded Prince Rainier of Monaco to be photographed with her. Seven months later, they were married. It was the ultimate Riviera romance (and the end of Kelly's film career).

This is the modern world
Jean-Luc Godard, jury president Louis Malle and a stellar array of French directors interrupted a screening in the old Palais (now the Noga Hilton) in 1968 to declare solidarity with France's students and workers. The festival was cancelled and afterwards the Societe des Realisateurs de Films was formed. And Directors' Fortnight, until recently a thorn in the official festival's side, was born.

It happened at the Cap
British mogul Lew Grade was among the first to use the Hotel du Cap as his base, flying in talent and throwing lavish parties to promote ITC's forthcoming movies. The Cap remains the main base for the seriously rich (and terminally bling). And, yes, since last year, you can now pay by credit card.

Send in the planes
There are so many colourful characters who epitomise Cannes in the late 1980s: Carolco's Mario Kassar, with his star-studded parties; Cannon's Menahem Golan, with his 36 double-truck ads for films that would never be made; Credit Lyonnais' Frans Afman, with his billion-dollar funding of interestingly named indies... But pride of place goes to Alex and Ilya Salkind, who sent in fleets of banner-towing biplanes to promote Superman and Santa Claus. The aerial armada - 32 for Santa - made so much noise they achieved the impossible: people on the Croisette stopped talking.

The Wong turning
Wouter Barendrecht, whose Fortissimo Film Sales has taken Asian cinema from fringe to off-mainstream, represents the kinds of movies that have provided the buzz and a lot of the business in the past few years. The directors may move on - Wong Kar Wai's opening film this year is StudioCanal-produced - but Fortissimo still sets the tone, with Bela Tarr's The Man From London in Competition.