Stars and Stripes in Normandy

Emotional start to Deauville’s American Film Festival.

by Richard Mowe

Emotional tribute from Lionel Chouchan, president of the Deauville American Film Festival
Emotional tribute from Lionel Chouchan, president of the Deauville American Film Festival

Emotions ran high at the 40th anniversary opening of the Deauville Festival of American Cinema (last night 5 September). Not only did Festival co-founder and president Lionel Chouchan pay tearful tribute to his collaborator on the event André Halimi, who died at the end of last year, but two of Deauville’s iconic past visitors, the late Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams, were also recalled.

They will both be present on screen in some of their classic roles from now until 14 September when the event closes.

Meanwhile the competition jury (made up of former jury presidents from the preceding decades) were introduced on stage, among them Claude Lelouch, Vincent Lindon, Pierre Lescure and president Costa-Gavras.

Tribute to Robin Williams on the agenda at the Deauville American Film Festival
Tribute to Robin Williams on the agenda at the Deauville American Film Festival

Costa-Gavras said that for the last 40 years Deauville has been “intrinsically linked with American cinema.” He continued: “The Deauville American Film Festival is unique and proves the attachment and loyalty France has for American cinema, when it is innovative, when it surprises us and when it moves us.

“Despite some profound changes in Hollywood over the last few years, the selections show us that creativity in the industry goes on and that it continues to produce major works of great quality which we have always admired.”

The packed first night audience were treated to Woody Allen’s Magic In The Moonlight, a romantic comedy with distinct shades of Noel Coward, which may be inconsequential but has its moments with Colin Firth as a self-obsessed Englishman who also has a thriving sideline as master magician Wei Ling Soo. Emma Stone plays the youthful and blue-eyed medium with whom he becomes embroiled.

Although Allen was not able to make it Deauville he implored the Festival organisers to keep on inviting him because one day he would be sure to be available. “I would love to be with you all,” he said in a videoed message “and step out of the screen like the characters in The Purple Rose Of Cairo.” In a final punchline he quipped: “But it’s not bad in New York either.”

Share this with others on...
News

A place out of time Austin Andrews and Andrew Holmes on Paloma Kwiatkowski, Donal Logue, David Mazouz and The Island Between Tides

Mum's the word Spiros Jacovides and Ziad Semaan on building tragicomedy Black Stone around a formidable matriarch.

'I couldn't stay indifferent' Ilyas Yourish on his motivations for making documentary Kamay

Questions on creativity Hermann Vaske in conversation with Ed Bahlman on Can Creativity Save The World?

A Northern tale Chris Cronin on the ancient legacy behind The Moor

Many lives of Abel Gance’s Napoleon Epic silent film restored for a 'new' version in Cannes Classics

More news and features

Interact

More competitions coming soon.