A Greene reporter

By Sid Adilman

One day in Cannes, Roger asked me if I want to meet Graham Greene. I was overjoyed to being given such an opportunity. Roger directed me to a transport to Cape D’Antibes for a private drinks party where Greene was to be.

I arrived and ran into an already boiled Anthony Burgess and we chatted amiably about the unsteady state of western literature.

Tall, rheumy-eyed Greene ambled in and I bolted over to him and asked many questions which he answered politely but kept backing away from me. One of the party hosts finally took him to other guests.

The next day Roger asked me if I had questioned Greene. I said yes. Then and only then did Roger tell me that he was invited to send a Variety reporter to the party on condition that the reporter did not ask Greene any questions.

Had I known that in advance, I told Roger I would not have gone and missed what for me was a golden Cannes-related moment. Roger let the matter drop and what he told the party hosts I never knew.

Also, in my first year in Cannes Roger kindly introduced me to British and French sales agents and talked me up to them. The Toronto festival was in its infancy and I had some visiting distribs but didn’t know sales agents or really what they did. Roger filled me in and because of the contacts he set up for me with these sales agents in Toronto and because of him they considered me a reporter they could divulge information to.

I owe Roger much more. I am sorry for his loss.