The Cannes Film Festival is the largest of all film festivals, with its coveted Palme d’Or Award for the Best Film probably the most prestigious honor in film after the Academy Award. The festival has become an important showcase for movies, especially European films. The Cannes Film festival offers a special opportunity to determine a particular country’s image of its cinema and help foster the notion that film is an art form and an essential part of commerce. Plus, there is the glamour, with tons of media covering the 12-day event. The festival brings many movie stars to the gorgeous resort town in the South of France. Film producers launch their new films and attempt to sell their works to the distributors who come from all over the globe.
Cannes Film Festival turns 70 this year. 2017’s official festival poster features a dancing Claudia Cardinale, the legendary actor who has appeared in Once Upon A Time In The West (1968), Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2 (1963), Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard (1963) and Rocco And His Brothers (1960), and Blake Edward’s The Pink Panther (1963).
The Festival press announcement stated:
“She dances, she laughs, she lives! Who better to symbolize the next Festival than Claudia Cardinale, the image of an adventurous actress, independent woman and social activist? The spirit of openness and welcome will infuse the festival as it does every year, with pictures of a world that dares to look itself in the mirror, to stand proud and to speak out.”
“I am honored and proud to be flying the flag for the 70th Festival de Cannes and delighted with this choice of photo. It’s the image I myself have of the festival, of an event that illuminates everything around. That dance on the rooftops of Rome was back in 1959. No one remembers the photographer’s name… I’ve also forgotten it. But this photo reminds me of my origins, and of a time when I never dreamed of climbing the steps of the world’s most famous cinema hall. Happy anniversary!”
The media has been heaping outrage on the poster, with claims that Cardinale’s 1960s figure has been airbrushed to 2017 standards, questioning why it was necessary to retouch the star.
The left-leaning French magazine Libération wrote:
“Claudia Cardinale dropped a dress size in one swirl!”
Someone on Twitter tweeted out:
“If even Claudia Cardinale cannot represent beauty without being retouched, we really are in trouble.”
However, Cardinale, now 78-years-old, responded with:
“This image has been retouched to accentuate this effect of lightness and transpose me into a dream character.This concern for realism has no place here and, as a committed feminist, I see no affront to the female body. There are many more important things to discuss in our world. It’s only cinema.That dance on a roof in Rome … reminds me of a time when I could never have imagined climbing up the red-carpeted steps of the most celebrated film festival.”
Among the American offerings this year: Sofia Coppola’s Civil War story, The Beguiled, with Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst, about a wounded Union soldier who hides out in a Southern girl’s boarding school. And gay director Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck, a time travel tale tarring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams. Plus, War Machine, the big-budget Afghan War story starring Brad Pitt. Matt Damon is in two films at the festival, Alexander Payne’s comedy Downsizing and George Clooney’s family drama Suburbicon.
If you are going, expect a special screening of Cannes favorite David Lynch’s reboot of cult television series Twin Peaks for Showtime. Former Palme d’Or winners Roman Polanski has After A True Story starring the delicious Eva Green, and director Michael Haneke take on Europe’s’ refuge issue in Happy End, reuniting him with Isabelle Huppert from last year’s Elle.
So hit the gym and the tanning bed, Cannes is only six weeks away!