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What’s normal again? The Cannes Film Festival is ready to party | Entertainment

After the 2020 Cannes Film Festival was canceled by the pandemic the 2021 edition was scaled back — even kisses were forbade on the red carpet — the lavish French Riviera cinema soiree is set to return with a festival that promises to be something like normal.

Or at least Cannes’ very particular brand of normal, where for 12 days formal wear and film mingle in sun-dappled splendor, stopwatch-timed standing ovations stretch for minutes on end and director names like “Kore-eda” and “Denis”They are spoken with reverent, hushed reverence

Cannes’ “usual” has never been a typical event, but it has survived the inevitable changes of time. Since its first festival, in 1946 on the heels of World War II, Cannes has endured as a maximalist spectacle that puts world cinema and Cote d’Azur glamour in the spotlight. This year marks Cannes’ 75 anniversary.

A young boy examines photos of Jean-Paul Belmondo (later French actor), in Cannes, France, Friday May 13, 2022. The 75th Cannes Film Festival will be held from May 17 to 28. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)



“Hopefully it will back to a normal Cannes now,” says Ruben Östlund, who returns this year with the social satire “Triangle of Sadness,” a follow-up to his Palme d’Or-winning 2017 film “The Square.”

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  • “It’s a fantastic place if you’re a filmmaker. You feel like you have the attention of the cinema world,” adds Östlund. “To hear the buzz that’s going on, people talking about the different films. Hopefully, they’re talking about your film.”

    This year’s Cannes, which opens Tuesday with the premiere of Michel Hazanavicius’ zombie movie “Z,”This will take place against not only the late ebbs, the rising tide of streaming, and the largest war Europe’s seen since WWII in Ukraine. Begun as a product of war — the festival was initially launched as a French rival to the Venice Film Festival, which Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler had begun interfering with — this year’s Cannes will again resound with the echoes of a not-so-far-away conflict.

    Cannes organizers have banned Russians who have ties to the government and barred them from the festival. Set to screen are several films from prominent Ukrainian filmmakers, including Sergei Loznitsa’s documentary “The Natural History of Destruction.” Footage shot by Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravičius before he was killed in Mariupol in April will also be shown by his fiancée, Hanna Bilobrova.

    Film Review - Top Gun: Maverick

    Paramount Pictures has released this image that shows Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in “Top Gun: Maverick.” (Paramount Pictures via AP)



    Cannes will also host more Hollywood stars than it has in three years. Joseph Kosinski’s pandemic-delayed “Top Gun: Maverick”Shortly before the film opens in theaters, it will be screened. Tom Cruise will walk the red carpet and give an exclusive interview that spans his entire career.

    “Every director’s dream is to be able to go to Cannes someday,” says Kosinski. “To go there with this film and with Tom, to screen it there and be a part of the retrospective they’re going to do for him, it’s going to be a once in a lifetime experience.”

    Warner Bros. will premiere Baz Luhrmann’s splashy “Elvis,”Starring Austin Butler, Tom Hanks. George Miller, last Cannes with “Mad Max: Fury Road,”His fantasy epic will be released “Thee Thousand Years of Longing,”Tilda Swainton and IdrisElba. Joel will not be present for Ethan Coen’s first film premiere. “Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind,”A documentary about rock ‘n’Roll legend created from archival footage. Also debuting: James Gray’s “Armageddon Time,” a New York-set semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale with Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Strong.

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    Warner Bros. Pictures released this image showing Austin Butler in a scene. “Elvis.”(Warner Bros. Pictures via AP).



    Not all of Hollywood will be there. Cannes’ regulations regarding theatrical release have essentially ruled out streaming services from the competition lineup from which the Palme d’Or winner is chosen. This year’s jury is headed by French actor Vincent Lindon.

    Last year’s Palme winner, Julia Ducournau’s explosive “Titane,” which starred Lindon, was only the second time Cannes’ top honor went to a female filmmaker. Five movies were directed by women this year in competition for the Palme. This is a record for Cannes and a low percentage when compared with other international festivals.

    This year’s lineup, too, is full of festival veterans and former Palme winners, including Hirokazu Kore-eda (“Broker”), Christian Mungiu’s (“RMN”) and Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes (“Tori and Lokita”). Iconoclast filmmakers like Claire Denis (“Stars at Noon”), David Cronenberg (“Crimes of the Future”Park Chan-wook (“Decision to Leave”) are also up for the Palme, as is Kelly Reichardt, who reteams with Michelle Williams in “Showing Up.”

    France Cannes 2022 Preparations

    Festival workers place the official poster at Grand Theatre Lumiere in preparation for the 75th international festival, Cannes, France, Sunday May 15, 2022. The Cannes film festival runs May 17th through May 28th 2022. (AP Photo/Dejan Jankovic)



    What is the festival’s ability to go back to its roots? Last year’s light-on-crowds edition included masking inside theaters regular COVID-19 testing for attendees. It still produced some of the year’s most acclaimed films, including the best picture-nominated “Drive My Car,” “The Worst Person in the World” and “A Hero.”Cannes remains a unique platform for the very best in cinema but is still open to criticisms of representation.

    What’s not likely to return anytime soon is the same amount of partying that characterized the years where Harvey Weinstein was a ubiquitous figure at the festival. COVID-19 concerns aren’t gone. Attendees won’t be tested and are strongly encouraged to mask. Few companies that are not streaming have the funds to throw extravagant parties. But how many people will return to Cannes?

    “It’s going to be different than it’s ever been before,”Tom Bernard, co-president at Sony Pictures Classic and a long-time Cannes regular, said: “Are they going to have parties? Are they going to have COVID concerns? Or is everyone going to go there and just try to ignore stuff?”

    Film-Cannes-Preview

    FILE – The Promenade de la Croisette appears prior to the 74th international film festival, Cannes, in southern France, on July 5, 2021. This year marks Cannes’ 75 anniversary. (Photo by Vianney le Caer/Invision/AP. File).



    Bernard noticed that some practices in Cannes market where distribution rights for films can be bought and sold are still virtual. According to Bernard, initial meet-and greets with sellers in which executives and producers often hop between hotels along Croisette have been largely conducted on Zoom before the festival. Deal-making has become more focused. Cannes, which is known for being both high-minded, and frivolous has perhaps become slightly more sober.

    “It’s a reshuffle of an event that’s always been sort of the same, in every way,” says Bernard. “The routine, I think, will change.”

    One thing you can count on at Cannes is the constant and passionate overtures to the preeminence of the big-screen, despite the ongoing sea changes in film industry. Some films, like Östlund’s, which co-stars Woody Harrelson, will hope to straddle the disparate movie worlds that collide in Cannes.

    “The goal we set out for ourselves,” says Östlund, “was to combine the best parts of the American cinema with the European cinema, to try to do something that’s really entertaining and at the same time thought-provoking.”

    Cannes in B&W: A look back at the festival’s glory years

    1955: Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd

    In this file photo, Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd are surrounded at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. It is one of the most memorable moments that the Cannes Film Festival has ever created. More were likely to be made in 2020, when the festival opened. This year’s festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Babout, File)



    1955: Eddie Constantine and Helene Mussel

    This file photo, taken April 28, 1955, shows Eddie Constantine, actor and singer, kissing Helene Mussel in front of photographers at the International Film Festival in Cannes. It is one of the most memorable moments that the Cannes Film Festival has ever created. More were likely to be made as it opened on Tuesday May 12, 2020. This year’s festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Babout, File)



    1956: Kim Novak

    This file photo of Kim Novak, April 25, 1956 shows her hustle through the crowd to attend an evening performance during the Cannes Film Festival. This is one of many memorable moments that the Cannes Film Festival has made throughout its history. Many more were likely to be made at the Festival’s opening on Tuesday May 12, 2020. This year’s festival has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo, File)



    1961: Sidney Poitier

    Sidney Poitier (centre) appears at Cannes Film Festival, Cannes France, for the screening of his film. “A Raisin in the Sun,”. Jean Seberg, actress, is at right. (AP Photo, File)



    1962: Natalie Wood

    This file photo of Natalie Wood, May 11, 1962 shows her pose for an unidentified U.S. seaman on La Croisette, Cannes. It was taken upon her arrival at Cannes Film Festival in France. Natalie appears in West Side Story. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)



    1965: Andre Maurois, Olivia de Havilland and Rex Harrison

    Rex Harrison and Olivia de Havilland pose on the festival hall’s roof in Cannes, France. (AP Photo/Jean-Jacques Levy, File)



    1965: Ursula Andress

    After Ursula Andress’s arrival at the International Film Festival, this file photo by press photographers is taken May 21, 1965 on the Croisette, Cannes. (AP Photo/Levy, File)



    1966: Macha Meril and Orson Welles

    This file photo of Macha Meril, May 8, 1966 shows her looking into the camera lens as Orson Welles films her at the Cannes Film Festival’s garden party at the Mandelieu Golf Club. (AP Photo/Jean Jacques Levy.



    1966: Michael Caine

    After his press conference at the Film Festival Palace on May 9, 1966, actor Michael Caine poses with several girls. This was taken during the Cannes Film Festival in France. He is promoting Alfie, his film that won the Special Jury Prize. (AP Photo/Jean Jacques Levy File)



    1969: Jane Birkin and Michael Dunn

    In this file photo, Jane Birkin (singer) and Michael Dunn (American actor), pose on the Cannes beach, France, during the Cannes Film Festival. The two actors play the leading roles in Bob Zaguri’s French entry, “Trop Petit, Mon Ami.” (AP Photo/Raoul Fornezza, File)



    1971: John Lennon and Yoko Ono

    This file photo, taken May 5, 1971, shows John Lennon and Yoko Ono walking on the Croisette in Cannes. They are presenting their films “Apothesis” and ” The Fly” at the 25th Cannes International Film Festival. (AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz, File)



    1972: Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack

    This file photo was taken on May 7, 1972 by actor Robert Redford, and Sydney Pollack, director. They were there before their film was presented at the Croisette Boulevard in Cannes. ‘Jeremiah Johnson’at the International Film Festival Cannes, France. (AP Photo/Levy, File)



    1972: Alfred Hitchcock

    This file photo, taken May 15, 1972, shows Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense film director, pedaling his bicycle to Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes France. (AP Photo, File)



    1974: Jack Nicholson and Gerald Ayres

    This file photo was taken on May 15, 1974. It shows Jack Nicholson, actor, and Gerald Ayres, producer. They were presenting the American entry at the Cannes Film Festival. “The Last Detail.” (AP Photo, File)



    1976: Dennis Hopper

    In this file photo from May 17, 1976, Dennis Hopper, director and actor arrives at Festival Palace to present “Tracks”Cannes International Film Festival, Cannes, France. (AP Photo/Neal Ulevich, File)



    1976: Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro

    This file photo was taken on May 25, 1976. Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro are pictured together before the presentation. “Taxi Driver,”Cannes Film Festival, France. (AP Photo, File)



    1976: Charlotte Rampling and Tennessee Williams

    In this file photo, Charlotte Rampling and Tennessee Williams (American playwright) share a joke in Cannes. They are both members the Jury of Cannes International Film Festival. (AP Photo/Jean Jacques Levy.



    1977: Arnold Schwarzenegger

    In this file photo taken May 20, 1977 by Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is his documentary film “Pumping Iron”He will be presenting his film at the Cannes Film Festival. (AP Photo, File)



    1977: Roger Moore and Barbara Bach

    This file photo of Roger Moore, alias James Bond, was taken on May 20, 1977. Barbara Bach, his co-star, is accompanying him as they arrive at the screening. “The Spy Who Loved Me”Cannes Film Festival, French Riviera (AP Photo, File)

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    1978: Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson

    This file photo, taken May 29, 1978, shows Martin Scorsese and Robbie Robertson in Cannes, France. They will be presenting their films there. “Last Waltz”At the 31st Cannes International Film Festival. (AP Photo, File)



    1979: Richard Gere

    In this May 19, 1979 file photo actor Richard Gere arrives to promote Terrence Malick’s “Day of Heaven”Cannes International Film Festival. (AP Photo/Levy, File)



    1979: Joan Collins

    Joan Collins presents The Bitch, a Brent Walker movie in Cannes for the 32nd International Film Festival. (AP Photo/ Jean Jacques Levy. File).



    1982: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale and Werner Herzog

    In this file photo from May 21,1982, Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale pose with Werner Herzog, German director, at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France for the presentation of the German entry. “Fitzcarraldo,”. (AP Photo, File)



    1983: Jerry Lewis and Pierre Richard

    This file photo of actor Jerry Lewis and Pierre Richard, taken on May 7, 1983. (AP Photo/J Langevin, File)



    1986: Grace Jones

    Grace Jones, a file photo taken on May 13, 1986, makes a memorable appearance with Press photographers at Cannes’ 39th film festival. (AP Photo, File)



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