1. Cannes knows how to celebrate with styleThe Cannes Film Festival raised a glass this year, with a series of photo-calls, parties, and ceremonies to provide for its 70th anniversary. The first festival was conceived as an alternative to Venice, which was founded in 1932 and whose fascist administrators and first prize, the Mussolini Cup, did the French, the British and American film uncomfortable. The premier of Cannes is to be held in 1939, but on opening night, Hitler invaded Poland and the whole thing is called. It was in 1946 before the festival finally got underway, so this Tuesday, Isabelle Huppert took the stage of the Grand Théâtre Lumière to welcome guests to the most lavish party of the 70’s hits. The event was marked by misty-eyed nostalgia and plenty of self-congratulation, but in the midst of all the backslapping, Huppert managed to work in an excavation-type at the festival of the neglect of women directors: “70 years of Cannes, 76 Palmes d’or, only one of which has gone to a woman,” she said, “No comment.”
2. It is a hard work to keep thousands safeSecurity has been tight in recent years, but in 2017, in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France, moved up a level. Helicopters buzzed overhead, snipers paced the roof, and huge pots of concrete-lined la Croisette to prevent the type of attack vehicle seen last year in the neighbouring Nice. In a moment of nervousness officials evacuated a theatre when a suspicious object was found, but later turned out to be a false alarm. The difficult task of the search of the masses prior to each screening seemed to overwhelm the festival security team, causing delays as well as the moans and groans of the audience. But these complaints were silenced when word of the attack Manchester came through: put it all in perspective.
3. The Manchester attacks cast a pallAt 15:00 on Tuesday, the festival came to a halt to remember the victims of the suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena. The director of the Festival, Theirry Frémaux took a solemn minute of silence on the famous red carpet – despite the fact that many in the queue had to be shushed at the time of the reflection. The flags were lowered to half-staff and in line with the tone dark, the fireworks intended to commemorate the 70 anniversary were canceled, as well as a champagne reception to promote the new Pixar film, Cars 3. Fatih Akın In the Cast, a film in competition about a woman who seeks revenge when her husband and child are killed by a terrorist bomb, it took an extra intensity in the light of the events. “I haven’t slept in days, thinking about what happened,” the film’s star Diane Kruger said in a press conference on Friday.
4. Netflix was the festival of pantomime villainCannes great controversy of the year began before the red carpet had even been launched. After a protest of the entity that represents the French cinema about the inclusion of the titles of the streaming services of Netflix and Amazon, the festival changed its rules so that in the future, the film must agree to a theatrical release in France. The president of the jury of the competition, Pedro Almodóvar, seemed to suggest that he would not vote for any movie destined for the small screen – although later it was clarified that this was not what he wanted to say. The boos of the Netflix logo when it appeared in a film’s opening credits became a bit of a joke throughout the festival – although the initial reports of booing at a screening of Bong Joon-ho Okja were misattributed. Although there were some boos (as well as a counterweight applause) for the transmission of giant, the main audience of the beef was that the movie was shown in the wrong aspect ratio and couldn’t read the subtitles.
5. Nicole Kidman is this year’s queen of CannesIn the last year has been a busy one for Australian actor Nicole Kidman: she swept in Cannes with four projects up to the present time, more than any other actor. These actions showed her range: she was a lesbian mom in the first two episodes of Top of the Lake: China Girl, the prim headmistress of a girls ‘ school in The Cheated and one in white and the ice cream doctor in The Killing of a Sacred Deer. All of these received critical acclaim– but there were lows as well as highs: Nicole cockney accent in How to Talk to Girls at Parties seemed to veer between Dick Van Dyke and Crocodile Dundee, and the BBC Culture of the film critic Nicholas Barber, appraised in this movie as one of the worst he has seen.
6. Cannes is finally taking TV seriouslyOther film festivals like the Berlin and Sundance film festival, we have included previews of highly anticipated TV productions over the years, but Cannes has been slow to embrace the small screen. Perhaps this has something to do with the tastes of the festival’s director, Thierry Frémaux, who told Variety: “I’m not a big fan of the series myself, and I don’t quite understand all the hype.” In any case, there were special presentations this year of the first two episodes of every one of Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake: China Girl and David Lynch’s Twin Peaks reboot. Lynch has impeccable credentials and won the palme d’or in 1990 for Wild at Heart, which is why many of Cannes cineastes were excited to see the new show. But some were disappointed that the evaluation was scheduled for the Thursday, four days after the first episode had come out in the US and the uk of the TV: not so much a preview as to catch up.
7. Virtual Reality is entering the movie mainstreamIf you take almost 80 years of Cannes to get with the program of television, the festival has been more rapid in the uptake with the virtual reality. The emerging technology made its first appearance in the official selection of this year with a work by the Oscar-winning director Alejandro González Iñarritu to put viewers in the shoes of the migrants crossing the u.s.-Mexico border. Flesh and sand (Flesh and Sand) was one of Cannes 2017 hot ticket – not least because it can be experienced by a single person at a time. The majority of those who had the luck to secure a booking and make your trip to Mandelieu Airport, where it was introduced in an aircraft hangar were very impressed; they could not get a slot, could do with one of the many non-official presentations of the technology at the festival periferias.
8. There is No room for politics at the Cannes film festivalAs well as Iñárritu’s virtual reality work, there were several films in the official selection that dealt with the mass movement of people. Vanessa Redgrave made her debut as a director at the age of 80, with the Sea of Sadness, a documentary-essay on Europe’s current crisis of refugees, a film in which the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw is well-intentioned, but clumsy. A Syrian refugee mysteriously gained the power to fly in Kornél Mundruczó’s strange and seductive of the moons of Jupiter, and the asylum seekers of Calais’ and ‘the Jungle’ camp were ghosts at the feast of Michael Haneke’s austere Happy Ending. The inclusion of Al Gore’s climate change documentary An Inconvenient Sequel even more evident the organizers of the festival’ impeccably right on the policy – but where were the movies of criticizing Donald Trump? These have not yet been made. Watch out for the next year for the return to Cannes of the Palme d’or winner Michael Moore with his documentary about the president of the united states, Fahrenheit 11/9, a work in progress.
9. These are dog days for the canine actorsThere were some stellar animals performances this year, including a strange, inexplicable cameo from a chimpanzee in Ruben Östland The Plaza, a tear-jerking turn of a turtle in Sofia Coppola, The Deceived, and an intense, steely excursion of a cat in François Ozon s L Amant Double. But one of the species with no stand-outs was Canis domesticus – which is a little awkward, as the festival has an official character, prize only for these. In the end, it was Bruno the poodle, who won the Palm Dog (as the prize is called) for a softer inconsequential performance in Noah Baumbach The Meyerowitz Stories. In a sign of how thin the competition was the honorable mention was for the safety of sniffer dogs.
10. It was a year for first world problemsIn addition to the films about refugees were not images about the Aids activists (120 Beats Per Minute), the cruelty to animals (Okja) and the collapse of civil society in Russia (without love, A gentle Creature). This type of weight, the ‘problem’ of the movies tend to play well with the jury of Cannes, but this year it was a satire of middle-class manners, who took home the first prize. The Plaza is located in a contemporary art gallery in Stockholm and shines a light on the pretensions and hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie, something the film has in common with that of its competitors, the Happy Ending and The Meyerowitz Stories. But while the Happy Ending was the stern and excoriating, and The Meyerowitz Stories lovingly forgive, The Plaza is to have two things: a little bit of this and a little of that. It is a clever tactic that is handing out the Palme d’or to a very good film, but perhaps this is not a great one.