Coens riding high through starstruck festival

22nd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - The Coen brothers are riding high in the saddle at the Cannes film festival, as the pre-eminent world cinema event hit the half-way mark of its 60th edition amid a sparkling torrent of celebrities.

CANNES, France, May 22, 2007 (AFP) - The Coen brothers are riding high in the saddle at the Cannes film festival, as the pre-eminent world cinema event hit the half-way mark of its 60th edition amid a sparkling torrent of celebrities.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Hollywood's golden couple, late Monday created a big stir on the red carpet as they turned out for Jolie's new film "A Mighty Heart."

The commotion of their arrival was only surpassed by an impromptu concert U2 gave on the same steps the day before, when Bono and his supergroup played in honour of "U2 3D," a documentary about a recent Latin American tour, and the festival's birthday.

Other high-profile names that have swept into the festival so far include Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, Norah Jones, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mickey Rourke, Sharon Stone and Quentin Tarantino.

George Clooney, Matt Damon and other members of the A-list lark "Ocean's Thirteen" are expected to show in coming days.

The Coens' "No Country for Old Men," an existential Wild West tale about a modern cowboy on the run with drug money and a quirky, implacable hitman has proved the star attraction in the line up of 22 films vying for Cannes' Palme d'Or.

"One of their very best films," movie industry magazine Variety raved, echoing other critics who saw it as the most-favoured of the contenders shown so far, on par with a gritty Romanian film, "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days."

The latter, by director Cristian Mungui, uses a sordid abortion to make a bigger statement about the lack of freedom under communism.

"Zodiac," a dramatisation of events surrounding a true-life serial killer's notorious reign of terror in California in the 1960s and 1970s, was just behind in the rankings, according to British magazine Screen International.

The movie is made by David Fincher, who filmed the blockbuster thriller "Seven," and stars "Brokeback Mountain" actor Gyllenhaal.

Tarantino's long-awaited new film, the car-crazy splatter flick "Death Proof," won laughs and applause at critics' screenings late Monday, but looked unlikely to push its way to the top on artistic merit.

Jolie's "A Mighty Heart," co-produced by Pitt and directed by Britain's Michael Winterbottom, on the other hand, impressed.

It tackles with sensitivity the true ordeal endured by the widow of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by Islamic extremists in Pakistan in 2002.

But movies outside the Palme competition grabbed attention, too, most notably Michael Moore's latest documentary, "Sicko," which slices and dices the failings of the US health system.

Moore, who won the Palme in 2004 for "Fahrenheit 9/11," is in hot water with US authorities for a segment in the new film in which he takes emergency workers who responded to the attack on the Twin Towers to Cuba for medical treatment. He was set to learn on Tuesday whether he might be fined or jailed for the stunt.

"Zoo," another US documentary courting controversy for its subject matter of men having sex with horses, also raised eyebrows and created the cinematic scandal for which Cannes is renowned.

Outside of the projection rooms, 10,000 movie industry types wheeled and dealed in the busy, sprawling market section of the festival -- a zone where movies and movie ideas are bought and sold for a total amount of around a billion dollars.

And, when the sun goes down and the screenings stop for the night, the festival's frenzied party scene gets fully underway, with studios and wealthy individuals staging their own competition to see who can put on the most lavish, champagne-fuelled soiree.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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