Where the art is
After all, the Cannes schedule is just filled with subtitled black-and-white films about old people in fields and ballerinas in slow motion, isnt it?
But thats not the case. Youd be surprised at some of the mainstream, commercial and yes, even blockbuster, releases that were first shown at Cannes. Here are some of the unlikely contenders.
Sly Stallones ridiculous rock-climbing actioner screened in out of competition at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, leading many critics at the time to question the festivals artsy integrity (it didnt help that Cliffhanger posters were battling for space alongside Schwarzeneggers Last Action Hero).
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The third film in the comic-book mutant series and the one that has since been wiped from the franchises timeline thanks to X-Men: Days Of Future Past got its premiere outing at the glitzy event, with all the stars attending. Just by the association with Cannes, were pretty sure this officially makes Brett Ratner an auteur.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Tarantinos sophomore effort caused quite the sensation at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. The Weinsteins brought the whole cast with them for the event, and a special unveiling at a midnight screening led to huge acclaim but then, when the film actually won the festivals top prize the Palm dOr the decision was met with boos because many considered that Red, the final part of Krzysztof Kieslowskis Three Colours Trilogy, should have won.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Spielbergs little home-phoner first premiered as the closing gala of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival and it brought the house down, receiving a huge standing ovation, becoming the hit of the whole event.
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith (2005)
George Lucas final part of the prequel trilogy opened the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and was generally met with a positive reaction. At least, in relation to the previous two films. Lucas also accepted the prestigious Festival Trophy at the same event, a special award given to celebrate his entire career. And, presumably given because Revenge Of The Sith was supposed to mark the last of the new Star Wars movies.
One of those films that is always remembered better as a nostalgic treat than by critics who gave it mixed reviews. And yet, when Willow premiered at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, it was met with a warm two-minute-long applause. Director Ron Howard in particular was pleased with the reaction, stating at the after-screening dinner: Ive had applause, but Ive never had bravos before.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
So the story goes that Warner Bros wasnt all that confident in the film during production and wasnt pleased that the film ran over budget until the finished product was screened. The studio loved Kiss Kiss Bang Bang so much that it opened the film at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival in a high-profile slot and it was met there with a huge standing ovation.
Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (2008)
The late fourth installment in the adventuring archaeology franchise marked Spielbergs first return to Cannes since E.T. strangely enough. While the reaction was nowhere near the levels of praise aimed at his previous alien output, it was still pretty positive. Far more so than youd expect considering the backlash it received upon wide release
This was the very first animated film AND the very first 3D film to ever open a Cannes Film Festival. When the film finished, the audience was apparently completely silent. Exec Producer John Lasseter credits Tilda Swinton as the first to break the silence with applause and lead the crowd into a a standing ovation.
The Fifth Element (1997)
Bruce Willis high-fashion sci-fi film opened the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. For the premiere, French studio Gaumont spent somewhere between $1 million and $3 million on constructing a massive area for the screening, as well as putting on a futuristic ballet, a fashion show and fireworks. Guests were also given a Fifth Element Swatch to use as their entry ticket.
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