News of the world is up­stag­ing the art

Los Angeles Times - - Calendar - By Nancy Tartaglione-Vialatte

CANNES, France — Has re­al­ity hit Cannes? De­spite the req­ui­site amount of pomp, cir­cum­stance, cel­e­bra­tion and silli­ness, one of the most marked char­ac­ter­is­tics of the fes­ti­val thus far is how the real world keeps creep­ing in among the art and ar­ti­fice.

For ex­am­ple, the face of 4year-old Madeleine McCann, the miss­ing Bri­tish girl who made head­lines last week when a re­ward was put up by such celebri­ties as air­line owner Richard Bran­son and au­thor J.K. Rowl­ing, is plas­tered all over town.

On mul­tilin­gual fliers, the blar­ing head­line “Look Into My Eyes!” is su­per­im­posed over her cheru­bic face with a plea to con­tact Bri­tish char­ity Crimestop­pers with any in­for­ma­tion on her ab­duc­tion. Ac­tor Daniel Craig has even agreed to wear a yel­low rib­bon in sup­port of the cause when he hits town this week­end.

Fur­ther, French au­thor­i­ties blocked a Cannes mar­ket-des­tined film called “Last Looks” from en­ter­ing the coun­try be­cause the film is pur­ported to show the deaths of cast and crew mem­bers dur­ing the shoot­ing of U.S. indie hor­ror film “The Evil Eye” last sum­mer. Out­side the famed Palais des Fes­ti­vals, fliers are be­ing handed out en­cour­ag­ing a boy­cott of the movie.

Dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s jury news con­fer­ence, jury pres­i­dent Stephen Frears and ac­tors Mag­gie Che­ung, Toni Col­lette, Michel Pic­coli and Sarah Pol­ley fielded some ques­tions, but the big ex­cite­ment was re­served for No­bel Prize-win­ning au­thor Orhan Pa­muk.

Jour­nal­ists lav­ished Pa­muk with praise and lobbed ques­tions at the Turk­ish writer about his views on France’s new pres­i­dent and the Euro­pean Union’s po­si­tion on Turkey.

Still, star-wattage has been pretty strong so far with the casts of “My Blue­berry Nights” and “Zo­diac” in town, Moby play­ing at a party on open­ing night, Pamela An­der­son tub-thump­ing “Blonde and Blon­der” and the no-longer-blond Jes­sica Simp­son in town Fri­day evening to launch her latest film.

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