Cannes soirees dial it down

A peek at the parties

CANNES — Just as film buying seemed particularly slow to seasoned execs in Cannes this year, so did the party scene, even in the eyes of the hardened hangers-on, gatecrashers and talented ticket nickers who use the world’s festival circuit as their personal play toy.

In the past couple of years, major studio pushes on pics — from “Moulin Rouge” to sequels in the “Shrek,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Matrix” franchises — gave guests reasons for being gobsmacked at loads of lavish affairs.

But much like the meals along the Croisette, bigger is not always better, and some of this year’s standout bashes were intimate affairs rather than ragers.

Focus Features’ dinner for Jim Jarmusch‘s “Broken Flowers” was an opportunity for guests to pretend they were back in Hollywood with an A-list assemblage of agents, execs and talent to take in.

New Line and HBO’s shindig to celebrate the newly launched Picturehouse banner created instant indie cred with guests including Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, of seminal noise rockers Sonic Youth, rubbing elbows with the indie film elite.

And a yacht party for the Gael Garcia Bernal-starrer “The King” saw Sex Pistols brain trust Malcolm McLaren stepping behind the wheels of steel to DJ.

However, some of the fest’s traditionally top-rated parties didn’t even materialize this time around, including the consistently fab Filmax fete.

Some vestiges of Cannes’ usual vice remained: The fest’s annual MTV party was bigger and bawdier than ever, going till 4:30 a.m. with guests in their usual mansion-trashing mode.