Entertainment behind the scenes
Welcome to the world of the movie junket. Ever see “Notting Hill”, where Hugh Grant waits around in a swanky hotel waiting for his few minutes with the stars of a new movie?
It’s a reasonable representation of the “junket”, a rather unflattering but nonetheless apposite term to describe the short TV interviews studios organise to give news channels and agencies access to stars. The reason: news media need soundbites for their stories.
Today was another “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” day on the junket front, and the blockbuster which had its world premiere in Cannes has taken over the 7th floor of the plush Carlton hotel for the last few days.
So, we finally saw the new Indiana Jones movie, which is the biggest show in town at the Cannes film festival this year.
There was a scramble to get into the packed press screening, with reporters waiting up to two hours to ensure a spot, and reviewers were sending out their opinions on the internet within an hour of it finishing.
Angelina is in Cannes and Cannes has gone crazy, well, the media has, and as she graces the red carpet for two films featuring at this year’s festival, the fans will soon get their chance to join them.
Of course, public and press alike all love an A-lister, but the interest has grown along with Jolie’s bump, and she has just confirmed she is expecting twins. Her flowing white dress is a valiant attempt to keep our focus on the films, not the family, but it will be to no avail.
Around 40 extras dressed in giant panda suits waddled on to the pier outside the Carlton Hotel in Cannes with actor Jack Black on Wednesday to promote Dreamworks’ animated feature “Kung Fu Panda”.
The stunt, carefully orchestrated and watched by dozens of photographers and camera crews, underlined the importance of the world’s biggest film festival for promoting movies which have nothing to do with the main competition.
It is just over 12 hours until kickoff for the world’s press in Cannes covering this year’s film festival. Looking out from a swanky Wifi cafe at the Palais des Festivals, the view is the picture of tranquility — gleaming yachts bob up and down in the marina, couples stroll along the Croisette seafront as the sun sets, and glamorous girls serve coffee to reporters still tapping away at their laptops.
The calm won’t last. Reporters are advised to start limbering up for their first scrum. That is likely to be a “media event”, otherwise known as a chaotic stunt, to publicise “Kung Fu Panda“, a Hollywood animation comedy coming to town. Minutes later, there is the press screening of the opening film “Blindness”, which officially gets the 2008 edition of the festival underway.
It may seem a little premature to be discussing who may win this year’s coveted Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes film festival. The festival doesn’t start until Wednesday, there are 22 movies in competition and only a handful of them has actually been screened to critics and reporters.
That does not stop the speculation. France’s Le Monde newspaper has an interesting point — that Steven Soderbergh’s four-and-a-half-hour epic “Che”, only just completed in time to qualify for the main competition, would not be the first “last-minute” entry to walk away with the main award.
The New York Times has re-visited the issue of the demise of the “old media” film critic, after a number of U.S. dailies and weeklies laid off staff amid falling advertising revenues, fears of a full-blown recession and competition from free Web sites and blog pages.
Critics have long been defending their corner, many embracing (at least publicly) the rise of the film blogger and stressing the difference between reviewing (personal opinion, reactionary) and criticising (analysis, broad knowledge base) a movie.