Home Arts & Culture CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: The poster, up close

CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: The poster, up close

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Cannes Film Festival 2022 poster

Photo Profimedia

It doesn’t matter that the figure is Jim Carrey, it doesn’t matter that it is a frame from Peter Weir’s “Truman Show” – what matters is the state of the poster – one of the most inspired in the history of the festival. We know what kind of world we live in, the poster seems to say, that’s why we have to escape! There is a sure destination: there is a blue sky above us, regardless of the grotesque convulsions on Earth.

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If the poster for the current edition is an invitation to escape, the first Cannes poster, from 1939, was explicitly titled, by the painter who made it (Domergue), “Invitation to Travel”: a journey into the magical world of film. An elegant couple, a lady in an evening dress, with a bare back, next to a gentleman with a monocle, caught as if in a fashionable snapshot in a movie theater, before the screening began. It’s just that instead of starting the screening, the bombing has started! The “journey” suddenly turned into a trip to hell and no one was burned by a film festival! … The first president of the Cannes Film Festival, Jean Zay – the one who, as a minister, he conceived it as a “festival of the free world”, as a “democratic model” versus the “dictatorial model” of the Venetian Sample – he was arrested in 1940 by the Vichy government and assassinated in 1944 at the age of 39. In 2015 he was moved to the Pantheon …

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The poster for the 1939 Cannes Film Festival

In the summer of 1939 (what a life it is!), Minister Zay made a successful diplomatic tour of the United States and wanted to know, among other things, how American public opinion views the international situation, which is (then, as now) -an extremely difficult geopolitical context. He learned the answer from the director of the largest cinema in New York, who, presenting the hall with several thousand seats, told him: dust the armchairs! ”… Today, people see from home all possible horror images, anytime, all the time, and in their pajamas; but it seems that people are increasingly enduring “images that could affect you emotionally” – no one is destroying their armchairs in their own homes, watching TV, although motives and characters are plentiful!

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In this sense, I understand perfectly the Ukrainian director Sergei Loznitsa, who resigned from the European Film Academy, as a reaction to the “lack of reaction” of the institution to the horrors that are happening to his country. Loznitsa is now present in the official selection of Cannes with the documentary “A Natural History of Destruction” … In 2018, at Un certain regard, when I saw Loznitsa’s “fiction” from that time, entitled “Donbass”, I confess that , beyond the force of memorable sequences, it seemed to me a too confusing, quasi-surreal narrative, from which a stranger could not understand who with whom and why in that Donbass! The war in Ukraine has come and everything looks amazing in Loznitsa’s movie! Only now did I understand it: it was simply an extraordinarily realistic film!

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As of this writing, the competition has not yet begun, but “how is it at Cannes, is it beautiful?”, I receive messages on WhatsApp. The truth is, it’s beautiful. A beautiful spring, a clean and full of exuberant and maskless people, crowded restaurants, bright windows, all culminating, right in front of the Festival Palace, with the stunning Chanel triplet, Dior, Dolce e Gabbana … It remains to be seen how it will evolve the festival on the fine line between “everyone laughs, sings and dances”, cleanliness, toilets, red carpet – and an unquenchable sense of guilt that all this happens while, not too far away, other people live or die in the cold and hunger, in the catacombs …

Do you realize, ladies and gentlemen, that the current edition of Cannes, the 75th, of 2022, the 21st century, is the first edition of the festival in which there is WAR IN EUROPE?

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