It has been a whirlwind two weeks at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, where dreams definitely came true for some at the awards ceremony on Saturday night. When the names of the winners were read out, those who saw the films shouted for joy, while others sighed, disappointed not to have placed the “winning bet”.
Covering Cannes is like going to the “cinema casino” – from the moment the official selection is released in April, the roulette wheel starts spinning and all bets are on.
I admit that I am disappointed that I did not see the Palme d’Or “Triangle of Sadness” by Swedish director Ruben Ostlund. A colleague told me that he thought it had good chances at a price but I chose to focus on other films and ran out of time. Oops.
Swedish satire on the super-rich wins the Cannes Palme d’Or
The French actor Vincent Lindon, who led the jury, also wished he had had more time.
In his speech, he jokingly demanded that his mandate be extended and said that a festival was not enough.
His elegantly worded observation “let us be reasonable and ask for the impossible … we need four more years” was met with appreciative laughter.
Win some, lose some
When “Stars at Noon” by Claire Denis was announced as one of the two films to share at the Grand Prize, I got a buzz that I had interviewed her earlier this week.
But since I had not seen the second prize “Close” by the Belgian director Lukas Dhont, I wondered what I had missed.
Best Director went to South Korea’s Park Can-wook, a hot favorite among “bookies” and the majority of the people RFI spoke to. Pooh! I saw his odd romantic detective story “Decision to Leave” and it’s exciting to say that my “first Park” was a winner in Cannes.
I liked “Broker” for which Song Kang-ho was named best actor. The Korean was just smiling when he came on stage to receive his award for his role in the quirky family adoption drama by former Golden Palm winner Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.
You’ll forgive me if I do not mention the other winners here … I did not see these films and have nothing but gossip to share with you.
Let’s be honest, with only 24 hours in a day (and the least possible sleep required!), How can you fit into 24 films from the main competition, especially when many are veterans of Cannes?
Beyond that, how can you fit in with the exciting, exotic parallel events like Un Certain Regard, Directors’ Fortnight and Critics week plus some beach parties as well? Sssh, do not tell the boss about the latter even if it provides interesting research.
Apart from the name of the directors, the actor, the film location and a short summary, there is very little information to go on before the festival, much of it was kept “secret” intentionally to create excitement.
Once the two weeks of the festival get underway, rumors begin to spread, critics’ ratings appear, trailers appear on the internet and there are personal favorites from professionals and amateurs. The wheel spins faster and faster …
With just a few days before the closing ceremony, journalists rush crazy around and try to tie loose threads and see the films they think can win something, so they have an opinion and material for an article.
I had to save myself and take a dip because my brain was fried on day 10!
Things do not always go as planned. Interviews are hoped for, scheduled and sometimes canceled. Everyone walks away with a list of movies to watch later when they are released in theaters. Or not. That might be the best thing. That’s part of the fun of Cannes.
Although I liked the main competition, the highlight of this 75th edition of Cannes was being able to see so many documentaries. From South Sudan to Ukraine, through the streets of French cities, I was transported around the world to better understand the challenges people face and how to deal with them.
Postcard from Cannes # 3: Give peace a chance
Who knows, maybe as one person suggested, the “best movie” in Cannes in terms of box office and popularity may well be “Top Gun: Maverick”, with Tom Cruise, which was shown out of competition during the first week.
But Cannes is not really about the box office or audience ratings. It is rather a risky business based on passion (the casino metaphor seems to fit well here again) with no guarantee of the result.
Millions of dollars, hundreds of people, years of work and tireless publicity … all for a couple of hours in a dark room and maybe a happy customer at the end. Long live France, cheers France! Long live the bio!