Fan Fare

Entertainment behind the scenes

Zombies invade Cannes!

May 20, 2008

cannes-008.jpgWhat exactly makes a Cannes film? If you scroll down the Fan Fare blog, you may see a comment on our “‘Indiana Jones’ avoids critical mauling, but…” posting that ponders why such a big event Hollywood movie would play at a festival like Cannes that is known for more art-oriented cinema.

I cannot tell you what Cannes festival programmers think, but I can tell you that in 15 years of writing about movies and 10 cannes-006.jpgyears of covering festivals, that type of comment generally has several answers. Festival directors often say big Hollywood movies bring big Hollywood stars, which can draw attention both to the festival and the art films that may not otherwise be seen. Moreover, what’s a festival for, if not to bring a wide variety of movies to the people who are attending.

That brings us to zombies. One of the more fun adventures every year at Cannes is to take an hour or so and stroll around the booths at the film market here, and look at the hundreds of movies that are being bought and sold daily.

Titles range from Maxim Media’s “Zombies Anonymous” and “Fist of the Vampire”cannes-009.jpg to Eros International’s Bollywood title “Dhoom Dadakka.” (I have no idea what that means). Vision Films has ”Natasha,” featuring a sexy blond girl in a leather bikini with the subtitle “Revenge is Sweet” (I’m kind of afraid to think what that means)  and “Private Moments,” which promises ”the humor of ’Sex and the City’ meets the fantasy of ‘Red Shoe Diaries.’”

And there are old stars you rarely see anymore? One can check out Lee Majors, formerly “The Six Million Dollar Man,” and Philip Michael Thomas, once a major U.S. TV star in cannes-011.jpg“Miami Vice,” in a psychological thriller called ”Fate.” Or, there are Bruce Dern, David Carradine, Rip Torn and Mariel Hemingway in “The Goldenboys,” which is promoted as ”Three salty dogs chase one spicy kitten” on its movie poster. Most of the movies like these will never be seen in U.S. theaters. On DVD, yes. Downloads, sure.

To be certain the Cannes film market and the Cannes film festival are two different arenas for movies. But the point is: movies come in many shapes and sizes and are made for all different reasons, worldwide regions and audiences. “Indiana Jones” may not be my favorite type of movie, but it brought me to Cannes. And if not here, I might never have been exposed to ”Waltz with Bashir,” an animated drama about young men fighting in Lebanon in the early 1980s that is truly lighting up the stage here.

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