For 11 days the Riviera will be again the world’s movie capital with a glitz full display of stars and lineup of anticipated productions.
The Cannes film festival brings its usual mix of obscure movie makers and Hollywood royalty this year, though for all the glamour and fun, financial turmoil will take some of the gloss off the world’s top cinema showcase.
And following a last-minute clean-up operation in the French Riviera resort due to storms last week, organisers will now be fretting over travel disruptions as flights over other parts of Europe have again been grounded by volcanic ash. The festival opens today with the premiere of “Robin Hood” starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, a typically grandiose opening to an event that also champions gritty films from every corner of the globe made on shoestring budgets. For the following 11 days, the famous and not-so-famous will walk and watch the red carpet, test their stamina at party after party, cram into darkened screening rooms and scour the giant film market for bargains. While studio bosses in the glitzy resort may ponder the state of the broader economy and what it means for film financing, some of the biggest names in the business see Cannes as a vital cog in the marketing machine.
“Cannes is good for the film,” said director Oliver Stone, who brings his sequel to the 1987 financial drama “Wall Street” to the festival. “It’s a big break because we would have come out and just been another film in this crazed (movie) mainstream,” he told Reuters in an interview. “It’s nice to have the honour and have that platform.”
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”, in which Michael Douglas reprises his role as ruthless corporate raider Gordon Gekko, will be among the most topical at the 2010 festival, focusing on corruption and greed at the world’s biggest banks.
But, like Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood and Woody Allen’s latest offering “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”, it is not one of 18 films in competition which are eligible for prizes decided by a jury headed by director Tim Burton.
Just days before the festival opens, festival organizers announced that they have invited director Ken Loach’s Iraq war drama “Route Irish” into the competition. But one person who won’t be in the French Riviera to see the British filmmaker’s new film will be director Ridley Scott. The 72-year-old Scott, who teamed with Crowe in the Oscar-winning “Gladiator,” recently underwent knee replacement surgery. “My recovery has been slower than I’d hoped,” Scott said in a statement.
Established and up-and-coming names in film making rub shoulders in the main lineup, which pits the likes of Iranian Abbas Kiarostami and Britain’s Mike Leigh against home hopes Mathieu Amalric and Xavier Beauvois. Among the most eagerly anticipated titles are sole U.S. entry “Fair Game”, based on the true story of CIA agent Valerie Plame and starring Sean Penn, and “Burnt by the Sun 2”, the sequel to Nikita Mikhalkov’s acclaimed 1994 picture about the terror of Stalinist repression.
In competition lineup
Tournee (On Tour)/Mathieu Amalric/France; Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men)/Xavier Beauvois/France; Hors La Loi (Outside Law)/Rachid Bouchareb/France-Algeria, Biutiful/Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu/Mexico, Un Homme qui Crie (A Screaming Man)/Mahamat-Saleh Haroun/Chad; The House-maid/Im Sangsoo/South Korea; Copie Conforme (Certified Copy)/Abbas Kiarostami/Iran; Outrage/Takeshi Kitano/Japan; Poetry/Lee Chang-dong/South Korea; Another Year/Mike Leigh/Britain; Fair Game/Doug Liman/United States; Schastye Moe (My Joy)/Sergei Loznitsa/Ukraine; La Nostra Vita (Our Life)/Daniele Luchetti/Italy; Utomlyonnye Solntsem 2: Predstoyanie (Burnt by the Sun 2: Exodus)/Nikita Mikhalkov/Russia; Szelid Teremtes – A Frankenstein Terv (Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project/Kornel Mundruczo/Hungary
La Princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier/Bertrand Tavernier/France; Rizhao Chongqing (Chongqing Blues)/Wang Xiaoshuai/China; Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives)/Apichatpong
Out of competition
Robin Hood/Ridley Scott/Britain; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger/Woody Allen/United States; Carlos/Olivier Assayas/France; Tamara Drewe/Stephen Frears/Britain; Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps/Oliver Stone/United States; Stones in Exile/Stephen Kijak/United States
Romanian films selected at Cannes
For the Un Certain Regard selection of this year’s festival were selected two Romanian productions. One is Cristi Puiu’s “Aurora”, a Mandragora production. Cristi Puiu has won the Un Certain Regard award in 2005 for “The Death of Mr. Lazarescu.”
The other production is signed by Radu Muntean. “Tuesday, after Christmas.”
Muntean was also present in Cannes in 2008 with “Boogie”.
In the shorts selection, Ilinca Neagu’s film “Rain in the Desert” was selected for the official lineup.
Also, in the Quinzaine des Realisateurs selection was included Romanian Ionut Piturescu’s short “Search”.