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Cannes – let the guessing game commence

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Phew. Eleven days gone and the end is in sight at the Cannes film festival.

No, this is not a bad a assignment to have as a journalist, and no, we aren’t complaining, but yes, the end of the busiest festival  many of us can remember is a relief.

2011 has had it all — good movies (I can’t tell you my personal choices — this is Reuters!), big stars, great parties, huge interest from the outside world and a big dose of controversy.

The moment we will all remember above all else is the shock expulsion of Danish director Lars Von Trier for his strange outburst during a press conference in which he joked about being a Nazi, a Hitler sympathiser and used the phrase “final solution” to boot.

People variously found it funny, ill-advised, embarrassing, naive or just downright offensive. Kirsten Dunst, the star of Von Trier’s latest movie “Melancholia”, visibly squirmed as the director dug himself into a deeper and deeper hole. In subsequent interviews the arch-provocateur expressed a mixture of regret and defiance, and many of the festival’s reporters and critics disagree with Cannes’ decision to expel him.

Think your family’s bad? Cannes films beg to differ

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This blog was written by Nick Vinocur in Cannes:

With jealous dads, sadistic sons and abandoned children in their key roles, many films in competition for the top prize at the Cannes film festival this year are taking on the very darkest sides of family life.

Two of the movies, Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and Israeli film “Footnote”, ask what happens when jealousy or hatred take the place of love and affection in a parent-child relationship.

from Photographers' Blog:

Shooting on the red carpet

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By Eric Gaillard, Vincent Kessler, Jean-Paul Pelissier, Yves Herman and Christian Hartmann

Each year in May dozens of stars and photographers converge on the French Riviera at Cannes to attend what is recognized as the biggest film festival in the world. Since 1985, a Reuters Pictures team has taken part in the extravaganza.

What to do in Cannes? Not watch movies!

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CannesGrandPrixEach 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.

Carey Mulligan: In “Wall Street”, but out of work

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MulliganShe 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.”

from Global News Journal:

Pusan International Film Festival unveils line up

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The Pusan International Film Festival opens its 14th edition with “Good Morning President”, a movie taking a warm-hearted look at the ruthless and cold-blooded world of South Korean politics.

The festival is Asia largest and runs from October 8-16 in the South Korean port city of Busan. Organisers on Tuesday unveiled the line-up for the festival where 355 films from 70 countries will be screened, including 98 that will be world premieres.

from Global News Journal:

An Interview With South Korea’s Box Office Champ Director Bong Joon-ho

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The South Korean director whose movie about a mutant river monster became the country's biggest box office hit has a new film on what might be an even more terrifying subject -- an maniacally obsessive mother.

Bong Joon-ho sat down last week for an interview with Reuters about his new movie called "Mother"that debuted last month at the Cannes International Film Festival and has quickly become one of South Korea's biggest hits of the year.

Kylie sizzles in Cannes

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cannes5Kylie Minogue’s music may not be to everyone’s taste, but she put on an impressive show late last night at a charity bash in Cannes. Sponsored by Chopard, the party suffered the same fate as other soirees at the film festival this year – the A-list was unusually short. That said, it was fun for the hundreds of mere mortals who did turn up.

In the blissfully uncrowded VIP area the Dom Perignon flowed freely all night, or at least until about 2 a.m. but by then it didn’t matter too much. Colleagues of mine who will remain nameless were quaffing from large tumblers — a crime against champagne if you ask me, but then, they didn’t seem to care what I thought.

Forget 3D. Jim Carrey does Christmas in 4D!

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carrey3Every year, movie distributors pull out all the promotional stops to gain the media’s attention here at the Cannes film festival. Two years ago, it was Jerry Seinfeld, dressed in a bee outfit and attached to a cable at the top of a roughly 10-story hotel that gently “flew” him down to the beach below. He was promoting his ” Bee Movie” from DreamWorks Animation.

This year, so far, the stunt of Cannes belongs to Disney, which turned on snow machines in the heat and sun outside the Carlton Hotel, covering the road with white stuff while comedian Jim Carrey was driven to the front of the hotel in a horse-drawn carriage. Hundreds of photographers snapped away as he promoted his upcoming title, “Disney’s A Christmas Carol.”

Cannes’ famous Croisette lights up the night

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cannes-croisetteHere at the Cannes film festival along the world famous Croisette, which is not unlike a seaside boardwalk in the U.S., a sort of circus atmosphere lights up the night as tourists stroll along the beachside walkway. Posh hotels, designer boutiques and restaurants border the Croisette and its adjacent boulevard. Artists and street performers work the crowds that come out to see film stars who are here to attend the festival. Movie companies advertise their upcoming films, and industry pros take a break from business to schmooze a little. A nighttime view is pictured above, and for a video look, click below:

And to read some of our early stories from Cannes, click below:

Jane Campion

Martin Scorsese

Lou Ye’s banned Chinese Film

Opening Night

Disney/Pixar’s Up

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