Entertainment behind the scenes
The press conferences that follow screenings at Cannes are singular affairs, where journalists often spend as much time expressing their admiration as they do asking questions. They can be revealing nonetheless and rarely more so than when the regular master of ceremonies, a certain Henri Behar, introduces somebody as “very much part of the Cannes family.”
One of the persistent criticisms levelled at the world’s biggest film festival is that it always features the same names. It is an unfair criticism in some ways. There isn’t an infinite number of great film makers and so it isn’t surprising that certain directors and actors keep being invited back. But just running through this year’s main competition lineup, there certainly does seem to be something like a “Cannes family”.
This year’s competition opened with “On Tour”, directed by Mathieu Amalric. The story of a troupe of burlesque dancers on a wandering tour through the French provinces was his first effort as director at Cannes but he’s been here before in 10 films as an actor.
Chinese film maker Wang Xiaoshuai, who presented “Chongqing Blues” was here for the fourth time, having won the Jury Prize in 2005 for “Shanghai Dreams”.
It was Korean director’s Im Sangsoo’s first time in competitition but his entry, “The Housemaid” starred Jeon Do-youn, who won the best actress award in 2007. That film was made by Lee Chang-dong, who was back again this year with “Poetry”, his third film in the festival.
The “Dancing with the Stars” winner next week feels pretty much like much a fait accompli (congrats Nicole!) so producers are promising an action-packed results show and finale on Tuesday, featuring ALL the eliminated couples, and mom of eight Kate Gosselin doing a “high wire act”.
What’s more former “Bachelor” Jake Pavelka will be dancing a Viennese waltz with his fiancee Vienna Girardi to their anthem “On the Wings of Love”. And ABC says ex “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson will perform “her hottest dance yet.”
Fox’s ” Glee” was full of its trademark goodness this week, and a guest turn by Neil Patrick Harris (better known as Barney Stinson on “How I Met Your Mother“) and directed by Joss Whedon were a particular treat.
A opening scene flashback to Mr. Schuester’s (Matthew Morrison) zit-marked high school days watching a mullet-haired Bryan Ryan (Harris) serenade The Monkee’s “Daydream Believer” set the tone for the rest of the episode. Harris, known for his love of magic, even managed to weasel a trick into the scene.
Each year, tens of thousands of movie industry players from around the world invade the Cannes film festival to watch movies and do business — buy and sell rights to show films around the world or on DVD, TV and other media. Thousands more provide services in restaurants, hotels and at the festival itself, and still thousands more come as tourists. But there’s so much more to do in Cannes than watch movies. We were struck by the three below:
Watch the Grand Prix. As you can see in the picture, these two gentlemen — who happen to be security for the festival — took some time to watch the Monaco Grand Prix. The Formula 1 auto race takes place at the same time of the year as the festival, just up the road. What’s funny about the picture is that television set, always (except when the Grand Prix is running) is used to show interviews with movie stars and film directors. Typically, most people just pass it by but when the race is on, it gets a crowd. What you can’t see is that behind these two, there are about 10 0ther men glued to the TV.
Gemma Arterton may be the eye-catching star, but fans of “The Archers”, have an extra reason to look out for Stephen Frears’ adaptation of “Tamara Drewe” as it marks a rare big-screen outing for Tamsin Greig, who plays the no-nonsense Debbie Aldridge in BBC radio’s long-running serial on life in the fictional village of Ambridge.
In Tamara Drewe, she plays Beth, the long-suffering wife of philandering author Nicholas Hardiment and stands out in a strong cast.
“American Idol” is nearing its season finale next week amid questions about the show’s lackluster ratings and about who will replace alpha judge Simon Cowell. But if anyone has any questions about who everyone’s favorite runner-up, Adam Lambert, favors among the final three contestants, those doubts have been put to rest.
Glambert likes Mamasox.
The singer nicknamed Glambert last year for his “glam” persona and wild costumes told television network MTV that he favors Crystal Bowersox, the contestant nicknamed Mamasox, who is a 24 year-old mother with a young son. “I like her anti-establishment rebelliousness,” Lambert told MTV in a story posted on its website Tuesday.
Sure, TV networks may already be looking ahead to the fall — they’re all gathered in New York this week unveiling next season’s line up to advertisers – but viewers are still anchored firmly in the present, waiting with bated breath to see how their favorite TV shows will leave them hanging through the summer — or, in some cases, permanently.
CW’s freshman breakout hit “The Vampire Diaries” was one of the first shows to wrap for the season last week with a heart-stopping finale that the New York Post’s PopWrap said set the bar “for which all other 2010 season finales will be judged.”
No doubt a lot of things have been lost in the city of Cannes on the French Riviera. but during the annual film festival here, we thought this one was noteworthy. (Especially since this year’s gathering has been rather lackluster. Read about that here).
On cafe tables in an industry pavilion at the annual gathering of filmmakers, critics and fans, this notice appeared on Monday: “REWARD for the return of Roger Ebert’s Macbook Pro.” Ebert, of course, is the award-winning film critic, so what resides on that hard drive might read like an encyclopedia (although Ebert’s writing has always been more lively than an encyclopedia) of film and film review. His website is here. One can only imagine its value to the critic, and to movie fans.
She got “An Education” and landed on “Wall Street,” but now Oscar-nominated actress Carey Mulligan is out of a job. … Really!
Mulligan, who wowed Hollywood in 2009′s low-budget British drama “An Education” was at the Cannes film festival this past week promoting her role in her first big budget film, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” She spoke to reporters at the magnificent Hotel Du Cap in a seaside cabana with the breeze blowing through her hair. If it sounds carefree, it was. Mulligan, behind big dark sunglasses told reporters that after this film, she’s out of work. And that, she said, was “cool.”
You can call a director’s latest film terrific, but it may not mean you get treated nicely.
Relations between filmmakers, actors and journalists inevitably come under pressure at the Cannes film festival, where people work (and party) long hours and often do not see eye to eye on the quality of a movie or performance. But in just three days of this year’s festival, there have been two terse, public exchanges between filmmakers, actors and reporters.