The temple of stars with its luxury and beauty. For ten days, Cannes is once again under the world’s media spotlight. Competing festivals consider Cannes as a festival of glitter and razzmataz, saying the festival is more about the glamorous stars than film itself. Unfair, claims Edouard Baer. The master of this years ceremonies says there are the stars and the Cinema: “Nobody is left out of the circus. Everything is noisy and borderline vulgarity. We show footballers, models, the latest hairstyles, dresses, false teeth and yachts – Now that the cameras are all here we might as well show them the films. that is the heart of the matter.”
The most important thing: To focus the festival and its raison d’etre: Film. Cannes has rewarded film-makers who have used the festival as a springboard for world recognition. Thierry Fremaux, festival delegate general said:” This year we wanted to get across what was most important about the festival. Yes, there are parties. Yes, there is the cote d’azur, the business and the glamour. But it’s the cinema that is the most important. “
No one else better embodies this serious public image than the president of this years jury – Sean Penn. Known for his political views, the actor and filmaker didn’t miss the chance to criticise George Bush and the war in Iraq at Wednesday’s opening. He said: ‘‘I think that films are about love and that art is about love and so you have the insight that the brain actually has a purpose in connecting to the heart and when somebody operates without a brain and without a heart they kill hundreds of thousands of people around the world’‘.
Penn hinted his judgement will be influenced by recent events in China and Burma. With most of this years Twenty two of the films competing touching delicate subjects, it will probably one of these that wins the Le Palme d’or.