The average movie goer doesn’t care about the Cannes Film Festival.
They’ll never attend the swanky event. They’ll probably avoid at least 80 percent of the festival’s movies.
And some don’t know how pronounce the festival itself. It’s “Can” like a can of corn.
That doesn’t stop the entertainment press from fawning over it. To be fair, the festival does pack major talent and offers a rich history of cinema’s past and present. And some films will be part of the awards season chatter come fall.
Yet what’s most obvious this year is the complete nonsense being uttered between screenings. And you wonder why most Americans tune the festival out.
Let’s start with far-left filmmaker Michael Moore. He’s got a sequel planned for his 2004 hit “Fahrenheit 9/11,” one targeting President Donald Trump. Just consider the hyperbole from his canned statement announcing the project.
“Facts, reality, brains cannot defeat him. Even when he commits a self-inflicted wound, he gets up the next morning and keeps going and tweeting,” Moore said in a statement quoted by Screen International magazine.
“That all ends with this movie.”
Sheesh. That rush-job feature “Michael Moore in Trumpland” didn’t do the trick last year. But this will, of course.
Want more over the top rhetoric?
Richard Abramowitz, president of the independent production and distribution company Abramorama, praised Cannes for its calming nature.
“The presence of the festival, and the opportunity it provides for people to watch and talk about movies, is a welcome relief from the drumbeat of watching civil liberties and human decency deteriorate,” he says.
Listen to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who seems to talk far more about President Trump’s temporary travel ban than the theocracy roiling his own country.
Director Asghar Farhadi … suggested that Cannes, with its multiculturalism, stands in stark relief to the xenophobia taking place in other parts of the world.
Actress Monica Bellucci of “Spectre” fame didn’t arrive alone at Cannes. She brought a straw man along with her to the French festival.
“We are all stars in our own way,” said Bellucci. “Some stars are banned from shining and expressing themselves. Each star has to find back the freedom to speech and the light it deserves.”
The only freedom of speech under assault these days is on western college campuses. It’s pretty clear she isn’t talking about that, unfortunately.
Vanessa Redgrave, who at age 80 continues her far-left activism, took it upon herself to create a film documenting the refugee crisis across the globe.
“I can’t forget how much my parents did during the war to help other fleeing migrants like the Jews persecuted by the Nazis. And I can’t close my eyes to the insensitivity and powerlessness of single individuals, governments, and international organisations who are passively present at a horrendous genocide that is turning the sea into a large mass grave,” she said.
The Obama administration’s horrific foreign policy played a key role in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis. Did she lament that during the 2016 Cannes Film Festival? 2015? Even The Guardian called Redgrave’s film out on this point.
Meanwhile, a dose of reality is omnipresent at the event. After President Barack Obama’s two terms in office, and Europe’s shrugged shoulders approach to terrorism, the festival is now run like a police state.
This will be the second edition of Cannes held under the state of emergency put in place by Francois Hollande’s government in the wake of the Paris attacks in November 2015. For the second year in a row, people may approach Cannes with a heightened awareness of terrorism, which is why Lescure and his team will be meeting each morning with the antiterrorism squad, police and local and regional authorities to discuss security protocol.
How many films this year will address terrorism, the root causes of it or the ideology behind it? Now, how many projects are tackling refugees, climate change and Trump?