Cannes Day 1: The swag and the bag

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The swag of Cannes, day one.
The swag of Cannes, day one.

The swag of Cannes, day one.

The official Cannes Film Festival bag is filled with all sorts of info, and it’s usually bright and shiny and zippable. Not this year. It looks like a small blue laundry bag, seen at the left of the photo above.

There’s been much talk about security at this year’s festival, and earlier this month, the Cannes folks even staged a mock terrorist attack on the red carpet, to see if they were prepared for such an event. They say they are. But I wonder if the open bag might have something to do with security concerns. I’m sure I’ll spill a lot of stuff on the floor with this kind of bag. Oh well.

The bag has all sorts of program notes and other info about navigating the festival.

The official program, which is big and orange and yellow, includes descriptions of all the films in the official selection. And early word has it that at least two U.S. movies are getting good buzz: Jeff Nichols’ “Loving” and Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson.”

Another indication of quality comes from Sony Pictures Classics, which picked up U.S. distribution rights today for Paul Verhoeven’s “Elle,” starring Isabelle Huppert. The official program has this description of the film: “Michele seems indestructible. Head of a leading video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michele’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game — a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.”

“Elle” won’t screen for the press until late in the festival, but Sony Pictures Classics, co-founded by University of Texas graduate Michael Barker, got an early look, and they’re giving it a thumbs up, for sure.

Only one other movie plays in the big theaters tonight: “Sieranevada,” by Romania’s Cristi Puig. It’s quite  timely, given the security concerns at this year’s fest. Here’s the description: “Three days after the terrorist attack on the offices of Parisian weekly Charlie Hebdo and forty days after the death of his father, Lary, a doctor in his forties is about to spend the Saturday at a family gathering to commemorate the deceased. But the occasion does not go according to expectations. Forced to confront his fears and his past, to rethink the place he holds within the family, Lary finds himself constraint (sic) to tell his version of the truth.”

This, of course, sounds nothing like what I was expecting. Sierra Nevada? The mountain range in the West? Don’t think so.


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