Cool for cannes

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Last updated on June 15th, 2017 at 02:52 pm

Vulgar Americans just can’t cut it in classy Cannes, reports The Age’s Stephanie Bunbury:

Nowhere, with the possible exception of a NATO summit, throws into relief the culture gap between Europe and the United States more vividly than the Cannes Film Festival …

Once Hollywood’s management hits town, helping the festival swell the ageing local population tenfold, it becomes clear that there is a gulf in style that is much broader than the mere Atlantic. And just yesterday, watching Jeffrey Katzenberg, supremo of animation films at Dreamworks, stand on a French stage telling people that a car boot is actually a trunk, the contradiction that is Hollywood on the Riviera – where a boot is, in fact, un coffre – grows a little too stark for comfort.

“Trunk” is derived from the old French tronc, by the way. So, stylish Cannes* is too cultural for US slobs, is it? Stephanie didn’t think so in 2002, when way-elegant sack of shit Michael Moore bollarded into town:

Wherever you went at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, one film was being discussed: Bowling for Columbine. “Columbine” as in the Columbine High School massacre. “Bowling” as in what the murderers did before they opened fire on their classmates. Film as in a mad, furious, funny documentary about America’s gun culture by Michael Moore, the lumbering scourge of stupidity.

“How about that!” the Cannes crowd kept saying. What about that bit where he bails up Charlton Heston, film star and head honcho of the National Rifle Association! In his own home! They would repeat the film’s lines from memory, playing out scenes as people once recited their favourite Monty Python sketches. Except Bowling for Columbine isn’t about silly cheese-shop owners. It’s about death and fear. It’s about white America’s fear of black people next door and Muslims in the next country.

Those Islamic Mexicans! They’re terrifying! And in other times-have-changed news:

A strongly pro-war film has been premiered at the Cannes film festival – and it comes from Iraq.

The main part of Hiner Saleem’s Kilomètre Zéro, premiered in competition for the Palme D’Or, is set in 1988 against the backdrop of the deaths of thousands of Iraqi Kurds at the hands of Saddam’s cousin, “Chemical” Ali Hassan al-Majid.

It is framed by scenes of the main characters, now exiled in France, rejoicing at the fall of Baghdad in 2003.

We await Stephanie’s review.

(Via Alan R.M Jones and Bob Bunnett)

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Posted by Tim B. on 05/14/2005 at 01:25 PM
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