Film Scouts Diaries

1997 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Day 11: Tired Bodyguards

by Henri Béhar

CANNES, May 17th - Only 2 films left in competition. One of this industry's top cinematographers ("Interview With A Vampire," A River Runs Through It"), Philippe Rousselot makes his directorial debut. "The Serpent's Kiss" is a bit cold, but visually attractive. At the press conference, the journalists are torn between two extremely beautiful women: Greta Scacchi and Carmen Chaplin (yes, she is part of *that* dynasty.

Could it be that even the bodyguards are tired? Coming out of the press conference, a limo whisks Greta Scacchi away to the Carlton Beach where she's having a press luncheon. Another limousine takes Carmen Chaplin away. As a result, director Philippe Rousselot is stranded at the door of the Palais. No problem. He's an old friend. I take him on the back of my scooter all the way to the Carlton.

At 38, director Wong Kar-Wai ("Ashes of Time," "Chungking Express") is one of Hong Kong's best known filmmakers. He has decided to stay in the former British colony after the Chinese takeover. Considering the problems experienced by Zhang Yimou and particularly Zhang Huan, it's not going to be easy. Taking place between Hong Kong and Buenos Aires, "Happy Together" is the story of a couple that is falling apart and the beginning, perhaps, for one of them, of a new affair. But - and it's a big but - it's a homosexual couple that we're dealing with here and the "newcomer" is barely coming out of adolescence. An indication, perhaps, of the high esteem in which Wong Kar-Wai is held in Hong Kong: the roles are played by Leslie Chung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and, as the newcomer, Chang Chen. The equivalent in Western terms would be Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Ewan MacGregor. The direction is dazzling, and so was the party on the beach.

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