Restored Masterworks at Cannes Classics 2017
For its 70th anniversary, the Cannes Film Festival takes a look back at its history with a series of screenings of classic films and documentaries. The Cannes Classics selection aims to highlight the work of production companies, right-holders, cinematheques, and national archives around the world by projecting restored versions of sixteen films that both marked the history of cinema and of the festival. In total, twenty-four sessions will be scheduled, each featuring one short film and five documentaries from countries related to the festival’s history. Among those films, the iconic 1953 drama film The Earrings of Madame de … by Max Ophüls will be in the limelight. The chef d’oeuvre is highly anticipated as one of its lead figures, singer and actress Danielle Darrieux, turned one-hundred years-old on May 1st this year. The film’s restoration was ordered by the film studio Gaumont Pathé as a tribute to the eternal Danielle Darrieux. Its remastered version will be introduced by Dominique Besnehard, Pierre Murat, and Henri-Jean Servat. In addition, Servat will offer commentary on the latest filmed interview of the now one century-old French actress.
Also, Cannes Classics will show other classics such as René Clément’s Battle of the Rails (digitized, restored, and presented by INA), Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-up (whose restoration was carried out by the film’s director of photography Luca Bigazzi), and Bob Fosse’s All that Jazz (1980 Palme d’or).
The Cannes Film Festival & International Cinema
Besides the digitization and restoration of classic film prints, Cannes Classics puts the spotlight on Belgian cinema by screening Henri de Gerlache’s documentary La Belge Histoire du Festival de Cannes. The road movie, narrated by Belgian actor Stéphane de Groodt, shows how Belgian cinema has emerged and has grown up along the Cannes Film Festival for the past seventy years. Hitting the road in a mobile home, the crew travels back in time to transport the spectator into different epochs of Belgian cinema. The van stops by celebrities that have marked the history of the Festival to finally reach La Croisette for this 70th edition. The documentary includes archival footage and images as well as interviews and pictures of the filming that occurred during the 2016 edition. La Belge Histoire du Festival de Cannes is the perfect bridge between past and present as it superbly retraces 70 years of the festival’s history.
In a story from further afield, film critic David Stratton speaks about the history of Australian cinema and of its creators in Sally Aitken’s A Cinematic Life. The documentary, produced by Stranger Than Fiction Films along with Screen Australia, ABC TV Arts, Screen NSW, and the Adelaide Film Festival, relates the narrator’s personal journey from England to his adopted country, Australia. Stratton explains how he discovered the “strange and exotic landscapes” of Australia through the medium of film before he moved there in 1963. In A Cinematic Life, the film critic discusses iconic themes that still run in our cinematic legacy and gives the floor to giant Australian actors that accompany him in this love adventure.