Curiosities of the Cannes Film Festival

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This year is the 68th edition of the Festival. And for the first time in its history, there will not be one president of the jury but two, the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, who were awarded the Palme d’Or in 1991. The Coen brothers are part of the history of cinema with Joel as director, Ethan as producer, and both brothers as screenwriters. In addition, 2015 marks the 120th anniversary of the invention of cinema by the Lumière brothers. The festival renders tribute to all brothers whose work has served to enrich the history of cinema. Besides the Coen brothers, other recipients of the Palme d’Or include the Taviani brothers in 1977, and the Dardenne brothers in 1999 and 2005. 1854 films were submitted to this edition of the festival, of which only 49 make up the festival’s official selection.

The glamorous Cannes Film Festival has opened the door to great movie talents, and is considered a springboard to new fashion and social behavior trends. Over the years we’ve witnessed polemical, extravagant, and rebellious acts that are part of the legacy of the most prominent festival in the history of cinema.

Let’s revisit some of the moments that marked the Cannes Film Festival:

Borat’s Mankini


Who could ever forget Sacha Baron Cohen’s 2007 walk down the red carpet in a mankini not unlike the one sported by the protagonist of his movie, Borat. He strolled around the city dressed in his extravagant one-piece swimsuit, and tried to lie on beachgoers.

Claudia Cardinale’s Cheetah


In 1963, Italian actress Claudia Cardinale let herself be seen in the company of a cheetah strolling down the beaches of Cannes to promote her new movie Il Gattopardo. Without a doubt one of the first rebellious moments in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.

The May 1968 Protests


In 1968, the festival was cancelled because of the student demonstrations in Parisian universities. Three days after its start, the students protested against the festival. Many film directors, among them Roman Polanski and Jean-Luc Godard, showed their solidarity and support for the students by demanding that the festival be called off. That year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival was indeed cancelled after Polanski, Vitti and Malle abandoned their post as members of the jury.

Brigitte Bardot’s Bikini


During the 1953 edition of the festival, French actress Brigitte Bardot wore a bikini that caused a stir among the general public. Women worldwide started wearing bikinis to protest against sexism and conservative social norms. Two-part swimsuits owe much of their success to Brigitte Bardot.

Steven Soderbergh, the Youngest Director


In 1989, American Steven Soderbergh was the youngest filmmaker to have been awarded the Palme d’Or for his movie Sex, Lies, and Videotape, when he was just 26 years old. The movie was a big commercial success, and today he is one of the industry’s most acclaimed directors.

The Triumph of Fahrenheit 9/11


In 2004, American filmmaker Michael Moore took home the Palme d’Or for Fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary about the 9/11 terror attacks of 2001. The political character of the film was polemical and argued that US president George W. Bush used the attacks to further his agenda of war on Iraq.

Irreversible, the Film that Left its Mark


Two people fainted during the screening of Irreversible in 2003 due to the graphic violence of the movie starring Italian actress Monica Bellucci. It’s remembered as one of the most controversial moments in the projection room in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.


If you also want to attend the Cannes Film Festival, take advantage of one of our apartments near La Croisette.




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