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Entertainment behind the scenes

Cannes – let the guessing game commence


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.

Antichrist – diabolical or just different?


If Danish director Lars von Trier was out to create a stir with his movie “Antichrist”, he got what he came for in Cannes. After a charged press screening where the movie, in competition at the film festival, was jeered, laughed at and loudly booed, the reviews are in, and unsurprisingly, most of them are, well, diabolical.

Faced with a hostile question during a press conference, the director who won the Palme d’Or in Cannes with “Dancer in the Dark” in 2000, took exception, and said he did not make his film for the press sitting before him or, for that matter, for an audience at all. That only served to wind some members of the press up further, begging the question why he made the film at all.