Cannes Film Festival

Most people are attracted to glamor like flies on shit. Not us though, we are sturdy academics, researchers, we would never fall under the spell of cheap champagne or the flickering flash bulbs of the paparazzi, of the phonies and cheats of the film industry, we have no screen plays in our drawers nor aspirations to bag Paris Hilton on video.

Except of course, when we do.

Which isn't to say CIA has a hotline to the Hiltons but rather that we're sending a couple of wide-eyed students to suck in a little sun and cinema at the Cannes Film Festival in southern France.

The mission is serious, the environment dangerous, the films dubious, and the video is coming next week to a channel near you.

Mission #64: Cannes Film Festival
How does the cinematic transform the space of a city?
City: Cannes Country: France


Nothing about Cannes is easy. A vanity fair for movie moguls, porn stars, and art-house auteurs to strut and fret their hour upon the stage, for the past 61 years, the Cannes Film Festival has emerged as a showcase for some of the most important films ever made by some of the most influential filmmakers: Walt Disney, Buñuel, Antonioni, Tarantino, Coppola, Spielberg, Hitchcock, the list could go on. Foundeda s a anwer to Fascist tampering at the Venice Film Festival, the Festival de Cannes has long stood arbiter of international filmmaking, especially by striking a balance between quality and commerce. In the beginning of the twentieth century, Cannes became a resort town with the construction of modern hotels along the coasts of the Mediterranean. Since 1939, the city has grown and changed alongside its most famous festival, from infrastructure to attitude. In the end, the festival is so famous it’s surely difficult to say anything new about it, but one still can approach it in a new way. The Festival promotes a very particular imaginary for the city that affects the locals as well as the visitors. Your role is to discover the shape and influence of this imaginary on the city and its temporary cinematic circus, to show what is not normally shown by journalists covering the festival.


- Go to Cannes and explore the city. Find out how it’s changed to accommodate the festival.
- Discover how the rhythm of the city changes. How do locals and then visitors feel about the space of the city and how it changes?
- Ask people to tell their stories about the Festival, both newbies and long-time festival goers, older locals and kids in the street.
- Find out the shape and expression of the imaginary of Cannes.
- Most importantly, explore the fringes of the festival, attempt to capture moments not normally covered by mainstream media.

Travel bag

Barney Wilen, Cannes Film Festival 1958
Tarkovsky and Bresson in Cannes (1983)

Cannes: A Festival Virgin's Guide
Festival de Cannes: 60th Anniversary

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