Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999

1999 Cannes Film Festival Diaries
Days 2 through 9 (Part II: What Surfaced, What Stuck)

by Henri Béhar

Film Scouts on the Riviera 1999 is brought to you by:

CANNES, Thursday, May 20

From the chaotic files of my semi-delirious mind of the last six days...

Leos Carax (Pola X) is a rarely-seen, rarely-filmed, hardly-talks kind of director. Questioned as to how his being in Cannes while also being a hermit, he replies, "I asked for it, didn't I?" First question at the press conference concerns the explicitness of the sex scenes. He pauses: "I see. So we'll start with...le cul" After which, one of the two leading actresses - the heavy-maned, heavy-accented one who brings destruction then perhaps redemption to the character that Guillaume Depardieu plays in this violent, intriguing, borderline incestuous tale (did I say "borderline"?) - anyway, said leading actress piped in: "Your first question was with le sexe. How bizarre!" and then clammed up for the rest of the press conference.

Handsome as the devil, and outwardly the epitome of cool, Guillaume Depardieu was actually shaking just below camera level. Nice. Makes him human, rather than The Son of a Myth About to Turn Into a Myth Himself that the international press is eager to label him.

Asked whether Leos Carax's take on the Family had taught him anything about his own, he replied: "Taught, no. But I recognized a lot of what I had already experienced." He didn't volunteer more, and wisely, no one ventured into that territory.

More on Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Steven Soderbergh, Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda, Pedro Almodovar, Atom Egoyan, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Vanessa Redgrave, when I get back from the David Lynch screening and from the Lynch and Dogma press conferences, which I am moderating virtually back to back.

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