May 13, 2015

All the World is Cannes: the Opening

'Standing Tall' (La Tête Haute) opened the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Director Emanuelle Bercet is the second female director to open Cannes. She says, and I'm paraphrasing here, it's about the best film and not about gender. She went on to say women in her country are well represented considering women in film haven't been at the forefront that long. In any case, well done. A powerful film, particularly relevant after Charlie Hebdo. This film reflects critical soul searching: can a young boy, scarred by neglect and the failings of a social system, be retrieved from a life of crime with patience and love? A small film with depth and a rather wondrous opening choice. Catherine Deneuve stars.

She was in the news in France because of remarks she made about the town they filmed in ( "a sad place") and about the negative influence of social media. "No more mystery, no dreaming about the stars and everything one says (as a celebrity) is blown out of proportion" is the essence of Ms. Deneuve's remarks. Ms. Deneuve was also asked about the Charlie Hebdo cover ; she shrugged it off with gallic nonchalance.

The red carpet opening day was filled with wonderous visions, Ms. Lupita Nyongo among them, floating in a sea of emerald green chiffon.

A regular in Cannes is Fan Bingbing and eternally lovely even though I have no idea what she does there. I ask that question about several people every year but you know what? Fly me in and have other people ask themselves: "what is she doing there?" I can live with that.

Julianne Moore opened the ceremony inside the Palais du festival and also collected the award she won last year in Cannes for "Maps to the Stars", a film still on my watchlist.

Isabella Rosselini heads the jury for "Un Certain Regard". Her mother, Ingrid Bergman is also being honored this year.

Naomi Watts attended the opening ceremony. We'll be seeing more of her when the film she's in premieres at Cannes. Watch out for "Sea of Trees" directed by Gus Van Sant

Here's the jury of the official Cannes selection: from left to right: Xavier Dolan, Sienna Miller, Guillermo del Toro, Rossy de Palma, Joel Coen (president of the jury), Ethan Coen, Sophie Marceau, Rokia Traore (in red) and Jake Gyllenhaal (can you guys make up your mind how to spell his name?)
Joel Coen's comments during the jury's press conference pretty much sums up the raison d'etre of this festival: "There's something special about watching a movie in a big group of people, on a big screen. Nothing can compete with that." And you know what? He's right. Cannes remains dedicated solely to cinema. This festival leaves the tv stuff to Berlin and Toronto.
images of the stars courtesy of


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