Wednesday, March 29, 2023

back to normal? Party preparations at the Cannes Film Festival

After the 2020 Cannes Film Festival Was canceled by the pandemic and cut back to 2021 edition – even kissing was forbidden on the red carpet – The grand French Riviera Cinema Soire is set to return with a celebration that promises to be something like the ordinary.

Or at least the usual Cannes brand, where 12 days of formal wear and film mingle in sun-drenched splendor, stopwatch-time standing ovations stretch for minutes on end and director names like “Kore-eda” and “Dennis” said quietly with reverence.

What passes for the ordinary at Cannes has never been particularly common, but it has proven to be remarkably resilient to the ups and downs of time. Since its first celebration, in 1946 on the heels of World War II, Cannes has endured as a maximalist spectacle that spotlights world cinema and Cte d’Azur glamor. This year marks the 75th anniversary of Cannes.

“Hopefully it’s back to a normal Cannes one now,” says Ruben Ostlund, who returns this year with the social satire “Triangle of Sadness” from his Palme d’Or-winning 2017 film “The Square.” follow-up.

“It’s a great place to be if you’re a filmmaker. You feel like the attention of the cinema world is on you,” Ostlund says. “To hear the buzz that people are talking about different films. Hopefully, they are talking about your film.”

Cannes this year Which opens on Tuesday with the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie film “Z,” will not only come to the fore against the pandemic’s late arrival and a rising tide of streaming, but the biggest war Europe has seen in Ukraine since WWII., What began as a product of the war – the festival was initially launched as a French rival to the Venice Film Festival, in which Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler began to intervene – this year’s Cannes was again a distant one. Will resonate with distant echoes. struggle away.

Cannes organizers have barred Russians from having government ties at the festival. On the screen are several films by prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including the documentary “The Natural History of Destruction” by Sergei Loznitsa. Footage, shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedravicius before he was killed in Mariupol in April, will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

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At the same time, Cannes will host Hollywood star wattage for three years. Joseph Kosinski’s pandemic-delayed “Top Gun: Maverick” Will be screened shortly before opening in cinemas. Tom Cruise will walk the carpet and sit down for a rare, career-spanning interview.

“It’s every director’s dream to go to Cannes someday,” says Kosinski. “With this film and Tom going to be out there, showing it there and the retrospective they’re going to do for him, it’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

Warner Bros. to premiere Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular ‘Elvis’ starring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. George Miller will begin his fantasy epic “The Thousand Years of Longing” alongside Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton, last at Cannes with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Ethan Coen will premiere his first film without his brother Joel, “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind,” a documentary about the rock ‘n’ roll legend made with archival footage. Also Debuts: James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” a New York-set semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story with Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong.

Away all Hollywood will be present. The Cannes rules regarding theatrical release essentially excluded streaming services from the competition lineup from which the Palme d’Or winner is chosen. This year’s jury is headed by French actor Vincent Lindon.

Last year’s Palme winner, Julia DuCournau’s explosive “Titan,” starring Lyndon, was only the second time that Cannes’ highest honor went to a female filmmaker. This year, there are five films directed by women in competition for the Palme, a record for Cannes, but a lower percentage than at other international festivals.

This year’s lineup is also full of festival veterans and former Palme winners, including Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Broker”), Christian Mungieu (“RMN”) and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardens (“Tori and Lokita”). . Iconoclast filmmakers such as Claire Dennis (“Stars at Noon”), David Cronenberg (“Crimes of the Future”) and Park Chan-wook (“Decision to Leave”) are also vying for the Palme, as is Kelly Reichardt, who Michelle Williams walks back together in ‘Showing Up’.

Even with a strong slate full of Cannes all-stars, how far back in time can the festival really go? Last year’s lights-on-crowd edition included masking inside theaters and regular COVID-19 tests for attendees, It still produced some of the year’s most acclaimed films, including the Best Picture-nominated “Drive My Car.” “The Worst Person in the World” and “A Hero.” Cannes remains a unique platform for the best in cinema, while still being susceptible to criticisms of representation.

What’s unlikely to return anytime soon is the kind of party that characterized the years where Harvey Weinstein was an omnipresent figure at the festival., The COVID-19 concerns have not gone away. Attendees will not be tested and are strongly encouraged to wear masks. Few non-streaming companies have the budget for lavish parties. Crowds will return to Cannes but to what extent?

“It’s going to be different than ever,” says Sony Pictures Classic co-president and longtime Cannes regular Tom Bernard. “Are they going to have parties? Are they going to be worried about COVID? Or is everyone going out there and trying to ignore stuff?”

Barnard has noted some practices in the Cannes market, where distribution rights to films, bought and sold, remain virtual. The initial meet-and-greets with vendors, in which executives and producers typically hop between hotels along the Croisette, have happened largely on Zoom ahead of the festival, he says. Deal-making has become more focused. Known for being both high-minded and frivolous, Cannes might have just gotten a little more laid-back.

“It’s a shuffle of an event that has always been the same, in every way,” says Bernard. “The routine, I think, will change.”

Despite the ongoing sea changes in the film industry, the one thing that can be relied upon with certainty at Cannes is the repeated and enthusiastic proposals for the primacy of the big screen. Some films, such as The Ostlands, which co-stars Woody Harrelson, will hope to step into the world of separate films colliding at Cannes.

Ostlund says, “The goal we set for ourselves was to combine the best parts of American cinema with European cinema, to try to create something that was truly entertaining and at the same time thought-provoking.” Ho.”


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