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Cannes, 2005 (Festival Report) (Critical Essay)

Film Criticism 2005, Spring, 29, 3

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The excitement of Cannes is that it matters: 40,000 professionals, journalists, and business people descend on the upscale Mediterranean city to showcase products, make deals, find producers, distributors, funding, and spread the word. Ever since this event was invented in 1939 as a political move to upstage the biggest film festival at the time--Venice--which had become the fascist voice-piece of Mussolini, Cannes has angled itself as the queen of film festivals, attracting both newcomers in its side-divisions (Director's Fortnight, Critic's Week, Un Certain Regard, etc.), and established directors in its "Competition." It also sports an "Hors Competition" category for directors who either don't want to compete (like Woody Allen) or who shouldn't compete (like George Lucas), films that generally attract with their high-star glitz. What distinguishes Cannes as well from other festivals are the grill fences and police: only accredited professionals can attend, while those who still believe in film as glamour rather than as product line up behind the grills to press their faces upwards towards the red-carpet: the famous "Les Marches" where the stars (and the accredited) trip up to the big screen, to some extra-dramatic music, this year, to electronic improvisations by Jean-Yves Leloup and Eric Pajot. The public can also attend movies on the beach as well as the movies screened in the "Market." In total: over 160 films screened, and hopefully just as many funded within the week. The thrill of this year's Cannes was evenly divided between the experience of waiting in line (where one meets, for example, a Hungarian-born Argentinean, living in LA, scoping Spanish language films for his distribution company) and actually seeing the films. The lines are social network affairs. On a good day, one can meet a full range of people in or out of the industry: private individuals running cinephile magazines, the lazy rich who own apartments all over the world, and why not Cannes, outspoken journalists from the Eastern bloc, and eager publicists. One also meets a few directors, such as one New York based Russian "Igor" distributing cards with a flurry of a high pitched voice to make people come to his screening. As for those behind the films--the producers and bankers--they are too busy to actually watch a film: they are in meetings all day long, held in posh hotel rooms, at the Noga Hilton or the Majestic. And at night the networking continues at the parties: also divided into "big event" (such as Lucas' extravaganza with ice-sculpture forms of Yoda at the entrance), insider parties with a few stars, and sidebar garden cocktails, such as one hosted by Italian government officials to get journalists to advertise the fact that Tuscan land is for the renting

Cannes, 2005 (Festival Report) (Critical Essay)
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  • Category: Performing Arts
  • Published: 22 March 2005
  • Publisher: Allegheny College
  • Print Length: 15 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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