70th Cannes Film Festival in Detail

Mikhail Krichman, Alexey Rozin, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Maryana Spivak and Ukrainian producer Alexander Rodnyansky
Mikhail Krichman, Alexey Rozin, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Maryana Spivak and Ukrainian producer Alexander Rodnyansky
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The Croisette brims with soldiers armed with machine guns. They exude remarkable skill and courage, akin to cavalry guards. Passing by, one may admire their stern demeanor while their vigilant gaze remains fixed on the trigger. This year, the security detail is impeccably organized.

By Kristina Moskalenko

Although their job is undeniably serious, specific surroundings make them look more like hunters — as the influx of «leopards» is staggering. It is, indeed, very unusual for a Londoner to see that many leopard print outfits… But then again, this is the South of France! And it’s Cannes Film Festival. Everyone is on their own hunt here.

Glamorous grey-haired women in hats, flirtatious sandals and transparent blouses indulge in ice cream with reverence, while observing men in their sixties casting intrigued glances at the passing «leopards» — they all have their own «festival» or rather «feast for the eyes»!

An unexpected sight unfolds closer to the beach: business-minded fathers stroll along the Croisette with children and prams in tow.

Amidst the glamour, many ladies opt to forgo their bras, allowing their décolletage to embrace freedom beneath light dresses. A stark contrast to the prim demeanor of London, this adds a touch of spice to the scene.

Robin Wright (@Shutterstock)

Robin Wright made a striking entrance on the red carpet, with all eyes drawn to her bold bust accentuated by a vibrant green backless dress.

Earlier that day, as part of the Women in Motion series of talks by Kering at the Hotel Barrière, she discussed her directorial journey, humorously remarking on Donald Trump borrowing from her ideas for the next season of House of Cards. Amidst anecdotes about her past casting experiences, she opened up about a memorable one involving a rather unconventional request to show her breasts. After she did, she heard: «Previous candidate’s were better». With it the festival’s exploration of the theme of breasts became evident.

Despite the lighthearted banter, Robin remained composed, advocating for women’s representation in cinema and emphasizing the importance of teaching equality to children from a young age. As she spoke, yachts sailed and seagulls glided against a backdrop of glistening waves.

Robin Wright at Women in Motion by Kering
Robin Wright at Women in Motion by Kering

Outside Hotel Barrière the Indian-Dutch pavilion is especially amusing. They are not formally joined, but located so close to each other, that the unlikely adjacency seems comic. In the Indian one there is food and lots of people, in the Dutch there is no food and the atmosphere is a bit boring. But the Dutch lady, who looks more like a broad-shouldered sailor, zealously makes sure that guests of the Indian pavilion do not set foot on the territory of the Dutch one. Although there is no barrier and both pavilions share a carpet. How would one know that they overstepped onto the Dutch part of the carpet? Hindus joke that they are coloured and are not allowed to visit white people. Blondes, however, are allowed everywhere. Especially ones with the cleavage. One might even think that cleavage is the secret weapon against racism!

But in general engaging with foreigners proves effortless; a mere exchange of pleasantries and smiles can swiftly lead to shared coffee breaks or contact details. Such was the case during an interview with the former head of the French Film Commission, all sparked by a simple exchange of smiles. Indeed, a smile has the power to illuminate all.

Over mineral water, discussions unfolded regarding his endeavors in securing permissions from French authorities for Hollywood filmmakers to explore forbidden corners of Paris and its environs.

As the evening chill descended, he gallantly draped his jacket over my shoulders, remarking, «If I am to put something on, I must take something off», as he delicately removed my sunglasses. Truly, the charm of the French is unparalleled.

Later that evening at the Magnum ice cream party, Cara Delevingne cut a striking figure in the VIP area, her unique beauty highlighted by her bald head and black lips. Despite abstaining from indulging in ice cream or partaking in the festivities, the glimmering sparkles adorned both her and the revelers, adding to the allure of the evening.

And to make things even steamier, the stage was occupied by muscular men, glistening with massage oil, confidently striding in heels and lingerie. Well, after all, brands need new audiences, so men in heels are being normalised for the sake of sales. And they do sell.

<img class=”size-full wp-image-5223″ src=”https://russianroulette.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Cara-Delevingne.jpg” alt=”” width=”1280″ height=”1920″ /> Cara Delevingne (@Shutterstock)<img class=”size-full wp-image-5228″ src=”https://russianroulette.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Gary-Sangha.jpg” alt=”” width=”640″ height=”480″ /> Gary Sangha, KRISTINA MOSKALENKO

Early next morning in the Russian pavillion, amidst the buzz, rising star Maria Darkina basked in the glow of her recent role in Emir Kusturica’s «‎Along the Milky Way»‎, where she starred alongside Monica Bellucci.

Maria Darkina

— How is it is it like to act alongside Monica, besides the fact that it is an honour?

— When I was driving to meet her, a wheel fell off the car. It was a starry night in Serbia and we waited for the police. So our meeting was delayed and then… never happened! But then we met at festivals. Monica is a very modest woman. True Lady. When she came to Moscow, all men that came into contact with her «blossomed like brooms in a trash heap», as my mum would say with her peculiar sense of humour. Monica’s restraint is very attractive. For her part in Kusturica’s film she learned to milk cows and learned Serbian.

— What’s it like filming with Kusturica?

— Scary. He is very laconic and looks very stern. You won’t understand whether he likes your work or not. I had to learn to understand him without words, to improvise. But I know that instead of learning to be comfortable with such a work style, many actors panicked.

The presentation of the Russian war film «‎T-34»‎ followed. Suddenly unexpected excitement filled the air as producers Ruben Dishdishyan and Leonard Blavatnik, alongside journalists, engaged in lively discussions regarding the film’s staggering budget of 600 million. Hollywood luminary Brett Ratner, known for his work on «‎Rush Hour»‎ and «‎X-Men: The Last Stand»‎, couldn’t contain his astonishment upon hearing such figures. Seizing the microphone, he exclaimed, «‎Wait, 600 million?!»‎ A sum that rivals the budget of «Wonder Woman», which cost 200 million. The revelation sparked jovial banter, with laughter echoing throughout, because the budget in question was… in roubles. Producers just forgot to mention it…

In the evening another Russian film director Andrey Zvyagintsev and his team stood on the red carpet before the screening of «Loveless» with such a solemn air, as if they were being launched into space. Like Belka and Strelka — the famous dogs to survive an orbital trip in outer space in 1960 before humans were send in for the first time.

Foreign reviewers praise «Loveless», but many domestic critics find it lacking in subtlety.

But while you grace the red carpet, you notice petite Chinese women in trendy shorts and men in vests standing along the route holding signs: «I’ll buy a ticket, please». There’s a peculiar charm to this «please»…

Meanwhile, along the road, genteel women in their sixties donning light dresses, sandals, and hats also seek access to the red carpet. It’s endearing. I’d love to oblige, but press passes don’t grant red carpet access; those are reserved for producers. To acquire producer accreditation, one must produce a film, whether about singing bowls or abandoned children, and pay a membership fee to a young producers’ organization. Alternatively, one can befriend a producer who, in exchange for a Mona Lisa smile, will arrange a red carpet ticket.

The key here is not to be lost. Red carpet photographers are oblivious to identities. If you exude confidence, clad in sequins or nearly bare, sporting Louboutins, tossing back your hair with a stunning smile, you might be mistaken for a local celebrity. This entails enduring a barrage of camera clicks, as local newspapers may pay handsomely for celebrity photos.

The ladies are savvy about this. Yet, it requires experience.

As photographers snap away, they shout fervently, treating the scene as though capturing Pokémon or witnessing a medieval witch’s execution. All one can do is pose until stern attendants usher you into the cinema, instructing not to block the passage. Unless you’re Scarlett Johansson, you’re herded along the red carpet like sheep. Women struggle with selfies, heels, and dresses, yet they persist, resulting in a splendid array of Getty Images. What about the movie? Does it even matter? You needn’t watch it at all. Simply perch on the edge of the hall, slip off your heels, gather your skirts, and dash off for cocktails with friends after five minutes. The most important part of the evening is done — red carpet photos are snapped!

By nine in the evening, cafés near the main cinema teem with long-haired sirens clad in dazzling dresses.

Some girls lament model Winnie Harlow’s appearance on the red carpet, her vitiligo patches boldly on display. But does it truly matter? One could even paint oneself green. It’s Cannes! She embraces her spots, even adorning some for symmetry!

Everyone wonders how Irina Shayk looks post-baby. Well, she looks splendid! One can’t help but envy…

Irina Shayk, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL, 2017 (@Shutterstock)

Interestingly, professionals generally pay little heed to attire. They navigate Cannes clad in combinations just like their grandfathers’ would do, unfazed by fashion’s allure. They reminisce about the Cannes Film Festival’s earlier days, before it succumbed to glamorization and commercialization, and they sigh.

Yet, in today’s Cannes, one’s attire serves as an introduction. For instance, the producer of “Gangs of New York,” “The Rum Diary,” “Coriolanus,” “The Young Victoria,” and “My Week with Marilyn” was once denied entry to a party for lacking a jacket. Consequently, he now declines attendance unless specifically summoned thrice. He finds solace in lounging in the meadow of the Grand Hotel, puffing on a cigar, and sipping whiskey. Just like in the old days.

Producer Colin Vaines, Producer Kemal Akhtar
Producer Colin Vaines, Producer Kemal Akhtar

However, not everyone holds such pride. There exists a cohort of seasoned individuals for whom gate-crashing — attempting to gain entry to an uninvited party — is a favored pastime.

Persistence is key! One must charm a security guard or an aloof gatekeeper holding the coveted guest list, devise a cunning plan, perhaps even scale a fence, lurk like a shadow beneath Gigi Hadid’s purse, locate the list-holder amidst the throng, and surreptitiously snap a photo of the prized document. It’s a test of acting prowess and primal instincts. The thrill of adrenaline! Such feats are often undertaken in pursuit of forging new acquaintances, particularly those adorned in short skirts.

Making friends in Cannes is equally remarkable. Picture this: you stand in a skirt so short, that only in Cannes and only at night can one dare to flaunt it. Suddenly, from around the corner emerges a man dressed impeccably, sporting a frilled shirt, his eyes ablaze with unmistakable desire to prolong the revelry. He’s just broken free from a party where the array of women’s legs failed to satisfy him. With determination and without a word, he seizes your waist, whisking you away like the enchanted broom from Monica’s tale above. Soon enough, you discover he’s Antoine Verglas, the photographer who famously captured a naked Melania Trump (then Knauss) adorned in diamonds and fur for the cover of GQ back in 2000. His lens continues to grace the covers of men’s magazines worldwide, featuring elegantly naked women.

“Melania is incredibly astute. The way she outmaneuvered Trump! Her only hindrance is her accent. Quite charming, actually; the French adore it. I doubt Melania’s pleased with the current state of affairs; she’s more of a homebody. She never sought the limelight. Prior to meeting Trump, she rarely made public appearances, but when she did, they were quite striking. Her legs are stunning!” he proclaims.

The next morning, over a glass of rosé, you plan to discuss with him whether there can be friendship between a nudes’ photographer and his models, and what it’s like to photograph nude women. Instead, he takes the poster for François Ozon’s film “Duplicitous Lover” and transforms it into an erotic thriller. Quite the discerning eye!

"Duplicitous Lover" poster transformed into something else by Antoine Verglais
“Duplicitous Lover” poster transformed into something else by Antoine Verglais

In general, navigating your way into a glamorous party, even with an invitation, feels like an escapade from an opera titled “How to Navigate a Crowded Chicken Coop and Emerge Unscathed.”

But there’s one place where you can sip drinks, enjoy yourself, and avoid the swarm of fortune hunters: the Mouton Cadet wine bar atop the Palais des Festivals. Designed by Mathias Kiss, a rising star in French arts. Google his work; observe how masterfully he handles perspective. It might just inspire you to renovate your bathroom!

In the evenings, there are parties overlooking the port, and in the afternoons, there’s chilled rosé with ice and interviews with actors, actresses, and directors from around the world. It’s worth noting that interviews were conducted here with Ruben Östlund, who eventually received the main award. It’s a place of reverence, a joyful place. Eva Longoria’s charity evening, The Global Gift Initiative, also took place here, and the festival jury gathered here before the closing ceremony: Pedro Almodóvar, Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Paolo Sorrentino, Agnès Jaoui, Maren Ade, Fan Bingbing, Park Chan-wook, and Gabriel Yared. Right there, an Ice Party was held with a pink dress code. Someone took the dress code humorously and showed up in a suit adorned with pink flamingos. It turns out the designer was William Arlotti, whose dresses are as dreamy as the Festival itself!

I urgently want to shed some weight and wear one of those dresses! But weight loss isn’t necessary. In the South of France, they appreciate all body types. Imagine yourself sitting on a sunny veranda with a glass of iced rosé, letting a drop of wine accidentally fall on your chest, slowly trickling down and glistening in the sunlight. Then indulge in a pink strawberry or light green pistachio macaron and let your curls cascade freely. This is the essence of life.

Before indulging in all this splendor, a visit to the L’Raphael spa at the Martinez Hotel is a must. They do an exceptional job of rejuvenating guests after parties and preparing them for upcoming events. Most guests emerge looking fresh and juicy as a candy. Some are literally wrapped as a candy.

By the way, dresses that look like candy wrappers are also in fashion at the 70th festival. Those were was spotted on Eva Longoria, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Hart and models Isabell Kristensen at the show during the festival.

Isabell Kristensen и модель
Kendall Jenner (@Shutterstock)
Eva Longoria (@Shutterstock)
Jessica Hart
Bella Hadid in Ralph & Russo (@Shutterstock)

Besides being glamorous these wraps are amusing too.

Do you see similarities here?

But funny and amusing is good for the glamour and creativity too. During the press-conference for his film “Redoubtable” Michel Hazanavicius recounts how Anne Wiazemsky initially refused to see him the rights for her book “Un an après” on which the film is based. However, upon expressing his amusement with the material in a letter, she exclaimed, “You’re from another planet! Nobody besides me finds it funny. Let’s meet.” So, when faced with rejection, try finding humor in the situation. Who knows, it might just work.

When Hazanavicius approached Louis Garrel to portray Godard, Garrel quipped, “So you want me to play Jesus?” Hazanavicius responded, “Well, I wouldn’t expect a high school driving instructor to portray a race car driver, but yes.” (That was intended as a compliment.)

Despite the media declaring the 70th festival as feminist—commending the celebration of women’s achievements in cinema and beyond—actresses at press conferences often sat quietly, waiting for their male counterparts to finish speaking before seeking the floor. Even when they did speak, their time was often limited to a mere 30 seconds. So, while feminism may be celebrated, it seems to come with conditions.

At a party hosted at an Indian tycoon’s villa, there was a notable absence of trash cans in the toilets. Gentlemen, if you’re inviting a large number of ladies to your villa, it’s advisable to provide a trash can in the bathroom, preferably one with a lid — after all, one never knows. Failing to do so, despite the presence of flowers, mirrors, and marble, is a significant oversight that speaks volumes about the owner’s attention to detail.

Studio Elysium Bandini threw a party at Nikki Beach to celebrate Joaquin Phoenix’s thriller “You Were Never Really Here.” Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins, renowned for his film “Moonlight” that famously triumphed over “La La Land,” warmly embraced blonde attendees eager to snap photos with him. It’s suspected that he might have been seeking inspiration for his new series “Dear White People” during these interactions.

Kristina Moskalenko, Barry Jenkins
Ekaterina Samsonov, Joaquin Phoenix, Rain Phoenix and guest

Thirteen-year-old Russian-Ukrainian Ekaterina Samsonov, residing in LA, where such a blend of genes finds peaceful coexistence, portrayed a girl trapped in sexual slavery in the film. Draped in a Chanel dress, she resembled a delicate porcelain figurine.

Amidst sipping Perrier Jouët, discussions revolved around a streaming platform offering a variety of content for $10 a month, including feature films, documentaries, and interviews championing young artists who bring art to diverse audiences by performing in hospitals, prisons, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and schools for troubled children.

Cannes is teeming with schemes and organizations offering opportunities to make a difference while indulging in champagne-fueled revelry.

Joaquin Phoenix made an appearance with his sisters, Summer and Rain, who bear evocative names. Speculation arose about what lay beyond their window on their birthday. Notably, Phoenix sported dress shoes, an interesting choice considering he attended the closing ceremony to accept his award for Best Actor while clad in sneakers.

The closing ceremony proved to be a spectacle! Monica Bellucci gracefully commanded the stage, exuding an effortless radiance. Standing and shining may seem straightforward, but not everyone can master it. Moreover, delivering a speech within a strict time frame and then returning to radiate requires finesse. But Monica wouldn’t be Monica without a subtle hint adorning her dress—a flirtatious butterfly in place of a fig leaf—asserting her authority with playful elegance!

Monica Bellucci (@Shutterstock)
edit into good english: And it was the best undressing of the festival! Although many tried to undress. For some, the AmfAR party is not about AIDS, but about who can undress the best. Bella Hadid tried the hardest.
Although it is, of course, difficult to outdo Emily Ratajkowski in terms of undressing. It’s better to take master classes!
Emily Ratajkowski (@Shutterstock)

DiCaprio conveniently ended his relationship right before the Cannes Film Festival! He rented a villa and extended invitations to 150 models. Perhaps that’s why the host wasn’t seen at DiCaprio’s party—rumor has it he assessed the attendees merely by their appearance! Wasn’t he vigilant about the fence-jumping and tunneling antics of his esteemed guests?

Throughout the festival, whispers circulated that Zvyagintsev would emerge victorious. At two o’clock on the day of the awards, he was even called to confirm his presence in town. No one knew the source of the call, but it lingered in the air like a scent. Invisible yet palpable!

During the closing ceremony, many rooted for Zvyagintsev. With only 10% battery left on my phone, I intended to save it to capture Zvyagintsev with the palm tree. However, they abruptly called his name at the beginning. I barely had time to activate the camera as I sat mesmerized by Monica, grappling with my limited French comprehension, anticipating a stirring Russian speech at the end.

Amidst the chaos, we decided to drown our sorrows with the British director Kemal Akhtar, who was also disheartened. Foreigners truly appreciate Zvyagintsev’s films!

We attended the closing party, snapping photos with all the world’s Oscar winners and palm tree bearers, indulging in champagne and chocolate from the fountain.

Let’s rewind to four in the morning. By then, shoes were comfortably tucked into strong male hands. As we strolled along the Croisette, we spotted Zvyagintsev, clutching women’s shoes like a bouquet! Men exchanged knowing glances, tapping the tips of their shoes and then their tongues in jest. Conversations veered towards cinema and festival organization, each attendee holding the shoes close to their hearts, while Zvyagintsev’s wife and I, newly arrived, shuffled barefoot on the scorching Cannes asphalt.

Kristina Moskalenko

Incidentally, the film “Square,” which emerged victorious, is also quite remarkable. It delves into contemporary art and society. While Zvyagintsev’s “Loveless” stands as a seasoned classic, meticulously crafted with scientific precision, reverence for Fibonacci, and an intricately woven narrative, Ruben Östlund’s film exudes modernity and freshness! It may not find its place in university curriculums, but those with a keen interest in art and media will find echoes of their own lives in nearly every frame.

Ruben Östlund, Kristina Moskalenko