Clooney, Pitt make Cannes heist for Darfur

25th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and other members of the all-star caper "Ocean's Thirteen" made off with millions at Cannes ahead of the movie's red-carpet premiere Thursday.

CANNES, France, May 25, 2007 (AFP) - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and other members of the all-star caper "Ocean's Thirteen" made off with millions at Cannes ahead of the movie's red-carpet premiere Thursday.

The A-list cast raised 9.2 million dollars (6.8 million euros) at an exclusive charity bash on a yacht off this Riviera resort for Sudanese uprooted by the savage conflict in Darfur.

It was "a chance to raise some money for something we thought was important," Clooney told reporters.

The problem in Darfur, which he has seen in person, "isn't going to go away until the rest of the world is outraged enough to stop it," he said.

Damon added: "This is a life-and-death struggle going on right now."

Late Thursday, they and the rest of the film's cast were to don tuxedos for the premiere of "Ocean's Thirteen", the third in a series of heist films directed by Steven Soderbergh in the mould of the "rat pack" movies of the 1950s and 1960s

The feature -- to be released worldwide next month -- was one of the most highly-awaited entries in the official festival line-up, even though it was not in the race for the Palme d'Or prize.

As well as Clooney, Pitt and Damon, the movie stars Al Pacino, Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle and Ellen Barkin.

It follows Danny Ocean (Clooney) and his team of hustlers as they knock over in spectacular fashion a Las Vegas casino run by a ruthless businessman with mob connections.

Played mainly for laughs, it features many inside jokes, as when Pitt's character advises Ocean to try to keep trim (a reference to Clooney's overweight role in "Syriana"), and Ocean shoots back that Pitt should "settle down, have a couple of kids" (as he has, with girlfriend Angelina Jolie).

All but Pacino turned up for the most packed media conference of the festival -- a journalistic crush for some of the biggest stars on the planet.

Clooney and Soderbergh, who have both won Oscars for their weightier work, defended "Ocean's Thirteen"'s lightheartedness.

"I think there's a great place for entertainment, and there's a great place for smaller films," said Clooney, looking increasingly like Cary Grant.

Soderbergh said the "Ocean's" films were deceptively superficial, and often demanded more technical innovation on his part than other movies he's done. "They're tricky, very tricky," he said.

The presentation then turned into a gag-laden affair, with the actors playing off each other with easy cameraderie carried over from the big screen.

Several jokingly picked on Damon, who in turn elected Cheadle, who is black, "my favourite aphrodisiac -- Afro-disiac."

At one point, Damon said that, with the third "Ocean's" movie and his third "Jason Bourne" film due out in months, "it feels a bit like being a prostitute, putting out two number threes this year."

Clooney shot back with scatalogical humour: "And you've done three number twos."

In another exchange, an acrobatic Chinese actor used in the film, Qin Shaobo, was asked, in Chinese, what he thought about his character being used as the butt of interlinguistic jokes in the film. After a long reply, also in Chinese, came back his translation: "It's just entertainment."

Pitt kept relatively quiet during the media conference. But he had already spoken at length earlier in the festival about another film he was involved in, "A Mighty Heart".

That movie about the widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was co-produced by Pitt and stars Jolie. The couple were in Cannes with their children.


Copyright AFP

SUbject: French news

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