Cannes opts for real-life romance for festival poster

22nd March 2013, Comments 0 comments

A 50-year-old photo of Hollywood love match Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward locked in a tender embrace will grace the poster of the Cannes Film Festival this year, organisers said Friday.

The remastered black-and-white shot shows the couple lying in the foetal position in a yin and yang pattern, their bodies stretched out in opposite directions but their heads meeting in the middle, and kissing.

They lie against a dynamic background of black-and-white rays shooting out from their central meeting point -- and bold, red letters spell out the festival details.

"To grace the poster for its 66th edition, the Festival de Cannes has chosen a couple who embody the spirit of cinema like no other: Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman," organisers said in a statement.

The photograph was taken during the shooting of the 1963 Melville Shavelson film "A New Kind of Love" in which the couple played the romantic leads.

"For the festival it is a chance both to pay tribute to the memory of Paul Newman, who passed away in 2008, and to mark the undying admiration for Joanne Woodward, his wife and most favoured co-star," they said.

The couple was honoured in Cannes in 1958, the year of their marriage, when their first joint film "The Long Hot Summer" was selected for competition.

As a director, Newman cast his wife in "The Effect of the Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" and "The Glass Menagerie" -- both of which were selected for the festival in 1973 and 1987.

The original photo of the pair was remastered by the Bronx agency in Paris, which added a kinetic effect.

"The poster evokes a luminous and tender image of the modern couple, intertwined in perfect balance at the heart of the dizzying whirlwind that is love," said the statement.

"The vision of these two lovers caught in a vertiginous embrace, oblivious to the world around them, invites us to experience cinema with all the passion of an everlasting desire."

Cannes, one of the world's top film festivals, opens on May 15 and will climax on May 26 with awards selected by a jury headed this year by Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.

Previous festival posters have included portraits of cinema muses, including a photo of Marilyn Monroe blowing out a birthday candle, as well as old, original movie illustrations and new designs.

© 2013 AFP

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