Gainsbourg and Bardem open Cannes

Why the cinema experience has to be preserved

by Richard Mowe

Javier Bardem and Charlotte Gainsbourg open the festival
Javier Bardem and Charlotte Gainsbourg open the festival Photo: Richard Mowe
The Cannes Film Festival gathered itself around the notion of film as a communal experience at the opening of the 72nd edition which was beamed out live to more than 600 partner cinemas in France showing the opener The Dead Don’t Die by Jim Jarmusch.

Jim Jarmusch on the red carpet
Jim Jarmusch on the red carpet Photo: Richard Mowe
There was the usual razzmatazz of bad frocks, kissing and bisous as well as red carpet posing and posturing before the proceedings could even get under way in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Javier Bardem officially launched the Festival from the stage in the presence of the jury headed by Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu.

Edouard Baer, Master of Ceremonies, accompanied on the accordion by Aurélien Noel, made references to cinema being about going out together as a group and fuelled by "human warmth”. May be something got lost in translation - or may be not.

There were excerpts from the filmography of Agnès Varda, to whom the poster of this 72nd edition pays homage, in the presence of her daughter Rosalie and son Matthieu.

Iñárritu (speaking in Spanish) again talked about the importance of film as a communal experience - and with 2000 attendees paying rapt attention who could doubt the veracity of his sentiment.

Tilda Swinton, Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver and Bill Murray at Cannes opening night premiere The Dead Don't Die
Tilda Swinton, Jim Jarmusch, Sara Driver and Bill Murray at Cannes opening night premiere The Dead Don't Die Photo: Richard Mowe

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