Cannes Film Festival goes epic to make up for lost time

Lifestyle

Cannes Film Festival goes epic to make up for lost time

This year’s event was packed with more films after the pandemic rained on the parade of last year’s festival

Features writer, film and series reviewer

The only things powerful enough to stop the Cannes Film Festival from happening in its 75-year history were World War 2 — the inaugural edition in 1939 was cancelled after Hitler’s invasion of Poland, putting the festival on ice until 1946; May 1968  — protests were made by a number of participants in solidarity with the popular uprisings sweeping France; and 2020, when Covid-19 put paid to the usually much-anticipated gathering of glamorous stars and directors on the famous Boulevard de Croisette in the French Riviera.  

This year’s festival was packed with films, while also occurring two months later than usual, smack bang in the middle of European summer holiday season, and under strict Covid-19 protocols that necessitated vaccinations and testing and offered less available audience spaces for screenings.

In spite of this, there was a greater weight than ever resting on the shoulders of jury president Spike Lee and the organisers: as with the return of vaccinated audiences to cinemas in the developed world, all eyes are on what Variety’s Peter Debruge described as the “restarter pistol” for the global film industry...

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