A still from Ismaels’s Ghosts
The 70th Cannes Film Festival kicked off in glory, a galaxy of French and international stars and creme de la crème of international cinema setting the red carpet on fire. Will Smith tried to run up the steps and the colourful opening ceremony ushered in by an original song crooned by the French singer Louana Emera with Benjamin Biolay paying tribute to 70 years of Cannes.
The festive mood was dominated by a strong and serious security presence, a strict bag and body search for the first time at all entry points to the festival venue and the presence of fully geared soldiers in their fatigues wielding their automatic weapons.
Politics was in the air. Veteran Vanessa Redgrave’s Sea Sorrow, a one-plus hour documentary took up the cause of refugees effectively. Cinema itself is a child of technology and has been evolving continuously.
Now the challenge is from the digital platforms and the jury president Pedro Almodovar bit the bullet: “I personally do not conceive, not only the Palme d’Or, any other prize being given to a film and not being able to see this film on a big screen.” But Will Smith was there with his input, “There’s very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix in my home.” Cannes decided to cast its vote in favour of the need to release films in cinema screens first before going to the other small screen avenues.
French director Arnaud Desplechin’s Ismael’s Ghosts, which opened the 70th Cannes Film Festival was greeted with a mixed response. The film opened with diplomatic intrigues and career-diplomat gossip, everyone was expecting a thriller, but the veteran director delivered a love triangle.
Gabriel Yared, Jessica Chastain, Will Smith and Pedro Almodovar
Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel and Charlotte Gainsbourg. Pics/Getty Images
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