’French Can-Cannes’ – 51. festival international du film ’98.
A sort of a ’festival disease’ can be detected
in some of the film critics at the Cannes Film Festival.
An obsession to be present at each and every projection,
either of the films in competition or of those featured
in many of the Cannes’ additional programmes since that
is where the greatest discoveries can be made. And these
artistic discoveries are the essence of the festival –
the Cannes Festival is basically a cinephile festival
and not an Academy Awards indication of box office success.
The permanent feature of the Cannes Film Festival is a
constant presence of some of the »legendary« auteurs:
e. g. Anghelopoulos, Loach, Boorman, De Oliveira, Imamura,
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Tsai Ming Liang etc.
Although this could
be irritating for those who have made Cannes a place of
their pilgrimage, it can help in gaining a better insight
into the evolutionary currents within the Cannes Festival.
As this years Festival advanced, it became obvious that
there is a prevailing fascination with dreams or dreamlike
scenes: Liang’s The Hole, Benigni’s La vita e
bella, Miller’s La classe de neige, Haynes’ Velvet
Goldmine, Hartly’s Henry Fool, Joshua’s Slam etc.,
all these films show either distinct oneirism or direct
dream sequences. The trend of dealing with ’taboo’ themes,
set in the previous years, continues. This year the subject
was paedophilia. More shocking scenes could be seen in
the Cannes film programmes then in Hot d’Or porno
awards party, which attracted the greatest publicity at
All in all, hot festival atmosphere greatly corresponds
to the final sequence of Rennin’s French Cancan,
its hilarious spectacle of colour and movement. This year
»French Can-Cannes« has not been a disappointment: it presented
some interesting films, four masterpieces (Danish and Taiwan
duo), and that is quite satisfactory.