* Joining the likes of David Bowie, Nadine Gordimer and Clint Eastwood, Bruce Willis has been named a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters, France’s highest cultural honour. According to reports, France’s Culture Minister said the medal was to pay tribute to his contribution to film over the past thirty years, citing his diverse body of work from Moonrise Kingdom to Pulp Fiction and, of course, Die Hard.
*Phillip Lim was among the designers who showed their Fall 2013 collections on Monday and he delighted at Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week-goers with his neoprene jackets and biker chic style. Meanwhile, drapes and capes, sometimes fused with leather, made their appearance at Donna Karan, and disco is back for Marc Jacobs!
* Punk comes under the spotlight at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s next fashion exhibition, to be held in May. Organizers say it will trace how high fashion has appropriated the subculture for its own . No doubt among the highlights will be Alexander McQueen’s corseted ball gown from 2008, with its patch-worked bodice of the Queen’s face with a safety pin through her nose.
* Among the films screening at the Berlin Film Festival this week is banned Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s latest one, Closed Curtain. Panahi, who defied a 20-year ban on filmmaking to secretly co-direct the film, continues to be one of the country’s most important filmmakers, even without being able to travel freely to show his work.
* And while 28 million Americans were watching the Grammys (a 30 % drop from last year), over 12 million others tuned into The Walking Dead. In spite of killing off main characters and firing lead production members , the show still seems to rule the TV pack with its record-setting audience numbers.
And with that – the 65th Cannes Film Festival is a go!
Wes Anderson’s movie, Moonrise Kingdom officially opened the festival. I saw the screening in the morning – pain au chocolat in hand – and was carried away by the whimsical delight of first love, set against a backdrop only Wes Anderson himself can create. At the press conference, the cast of Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Bruce Willis delighted us with anecdotes about the kind of set the director creates and how much fun and relaxed it is to work with him. Bill, dressed in a fantastic checked shirt, joked that he only works now because Wes keeps giving him parts and keeping him employed.
Tilda Swinton and Wes Anderson
After that press conference, there was another one introducing the jury that will decide which films will be awarded top honours at the end of the festival. Led by Italian director Nanni Moretti, the jury consists of 8 other filmmakers, a bunch he calls “very joyful, very happy people” – Palestinian actress and director Hiam Abbass, British writer/director Andrea Arnold, French actress Emmanuelle Devos, actress Diane Kruger, designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Haitian writer/director Raoul Peck, writer/director (and recent Oscar winner) Alexander Payne, and actor Ewan McGregor, who joked that he’d been running five miles a day for three months in preparation for Cannes.
I asked Gaultier about what he wants to bring to the jury – seeing as it’s the first time a designer has been on it – and he replied that he’s coming in as a fan who loves movies and critiques them like any other cinema-goer. “We go in asking, are they good or bad? Sometimes you go ‘oh my God this is so beautiful’, and sometimes you don’t feel anything. But it can be inspiring too, and I will share my reaction,” he added.
Reactions were shared when General Aladeen, aka Sacha Baron Cohen arrived on a camel at the Carlton Hotel for his movie The Dictator. I was in the cinema so I missed the stunt, but having seen him in New York recently, I have no doubt it drew just the kind of buzz he wanted here – before all the official business of Cannes kicked off.