Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
May 9: Too Much Hype?

by David Sterritt

Cannes, May 9, 1997--

Welcome to Woop-Woop, indeed. Lest we get carried away by the Cannes filmfest's self-congratulatory hoopla over its 50th birthday--an arbitrarily designated event, as all the world knows by now, since the event really started way back in 1939--it's salutary to notice how many notables are keeping their distance despite good reasons for putting in an appearance this year. Ingmar Bergman, who towers over even Woody Allen as an award recipient in absentis, won't be here to accept his Palm of Palms, the festival's highest prize ever. Clint Eastwood won't be overseeing the European launch of "Absolute Power" on closing night. Terry Gilliam turned down jury duty (for the second time!) in favor of putting his new "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" before the cameras. I'm starting to wonder why *I* showed up, and some of the movies I've seen so far have only deepened the mystery.

Not that 1997 augurs to be a particularly weak year, and I must admit I've encountered some impressively adventurous cinematics in my first couple of days here.

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