So here I am, back on the Croisette for my 6th year in a row of covering the Cannes Film Festival – and it’s celebrations all round for it’s 65th anniversary!
Much has been made of the fact that this year’s Cannes has a strong cast of American filmmakers and movie titles vying for some of that film fest buzz. It also seems apt then that the festival poster stars Marilyn Monroe, the most iconic of American actresses.
All these big names means a fabulous array of stars will shine on the red carpet, including Cannes’ darling couple, Brad and Angie, who caused much excitement when they announced their engagement a few weeks ago, and have become a fixture on the red carpet every year that I’ve been here. They shack up with their kids on a French estate and have a grand time. I’ll never forget when they decided to take the kids shopping at Bon Point, which was two doors away from where I was staying. They caused such a spectacular scene that stopped traffic in the street and had every passer-by giddy with excitement – okay, so even I got caught up in the thrill when Brad smiled from under his white fedora, his then-blonde locks shining in the South of France sun.
Brad will be here again this year with Killing Them Softly, and over the course of the next 12 days, the festival will premiere films starring the likes of Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Hardy, Zac Efron, Shia LaBeouf, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, and Matthew McConaughey. The animated Madagascar 3: Europeâ€™s Most Wanted will throw in a little fun to the mix as well. Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom officially opens the festival tomorrow night.
My first Cannes was on the very auspicious occasion of the event celebrating its 60th Anniversary. This year, the grande dame of film festivals turns 65 – another great step in film history. It’s also a year of celebrating family ties that influence a new generation of filmmakers. David Cronenberg will show his film, Cosmopolis, based on a Don DeLillo novel, while son Brandon debuts his first, called Antiviral, and Katrine Boorman will pay tribute to her father, director and actor John, with Me and My Dad, screening in Cannes Classics.
As ever, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the South Africans taking part at this year’s event too. Although we don’t have any films screening in an official capacity, the country’s strongest contingent of South African producers, directors and actors are attending, many with the support of the National Film and Video Foundation (which has also contributed towards some of the cost of my being here) that hosts the SA Pavilion on the glorious seafront.