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Rollo Ross

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Can Cannes Do It?

Posted: 16/05/2012 10:14

I've been going to Cannes for more years than I care to remember and it's always fascinating when I return back home after 12 days of hell and champagne to hear what reports people have seen or read about this - the most iconic of festivals.

Some years it barely registers with the general public, while other times you feel like you've been a VIP at the centre of the universe and all your friends get green-eyed while talking over a beer in Camden.

You see, like every festival, Cannes, despite its reputation as leader of the pack, has to work hard to hit the front pages and like the Oscars, this is more likely to come about from a celebrity or their fashion or a combination of the two. But it's the programming of the official selection that will dictate the flow of editorial and will decide if the festival is a success or not.

If news editors around the world give up on their coverage of the world famous red carpet (which is more common than you'd think) then the festival is sunk - and so are all the brands associated with the festival who spend a fortune trying to get a large dose of not-so-free publicity.

So, it's more than important to kick off the festival with a bang; or rather an American film where all the stars are globally recognizable.

This year, it's Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom which spearheads the Cannes charge with the likes of Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray and then the game is on to keep these stuffy news editors interested.

Cannes has a few aces up its sleeves this year. Brad Pitt will be in town to premiere Killing Them Softly slap bang in the middle of the festival which will no doubt cause a flurry of media interest - "Will Angelina come? Will she do that leg thing again? Will they have engagement rings on? Do they fart and if they do, do their pumps smell of roses?"

Following on from Brangelina, the Twilight Saga is coming to Cannes in the only way it would ever be allowed; both leads, Kristen Stewart who wouldn't know a smile if it kicked her in the teeth and her awkward public schoolboy boyfriend Robert Pattinson are both making appearances; the former in the Jack Kerouac adaptation On the Road and the latter in David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis.

And as if that wasn't good/bad enough, Zac Efron is making his Cannes debut in The Paperboy. The only teen superstar missing is Justin Bieber but if I've learned anything over the years at the festival, it's important not to rule anything out.

Like, who would have thought Kylie had gone back into acting and was appearing at the festival in what looks like a very strange French film called Holy Motors? This, unlike Kylie, is bound to raise eyebrows.

Towards the end on the 24th, there's the perennial amfAR event (American Foundation for AIDS Research), the stock cube of Cannes celebrity juice, where all the stars from the festival turn out to have one massive party conveniently in front of the world's press.

If all goes according to plan, it would appear on paper that you're going to hear quite a lot from this year's festival but you never know how the world will turn and how the brains of news editors work.

I personally won't know until I get back to the UK and go to the pub with my friends. They'll fill me on what they've heard on-line, in the papers and on TV about the fashion faux-pas, the celebrity gossip and the rumours.

However, they'll always end up asking "But what were the good films?!"

 

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