There's a lot of discussion here about "the future of the theatrical experience." What will happen to the theatre in the high-def, digital, flat-screen VOD world where all your movie needs are met by Netflix and Rogers Cable?
At the 60th edition of the world's second-oldest film festival, people are so worried about this that fest prez Gilles Jacob commissioned a pile of filmmakers to make short films for the event about movie theatres, Chacun Son Cinéma , which played Sunday evening.
At Cannes, 2,400 people show up at 8:30 am to see the new Gus Van Sant . People outside the theatre at 8 am beg for spare tickets -- for a Gus Van Sant movie. Sure, he made Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho. But he also made Finding Forrester and Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, so this is not a sure thing.
It's this way all over the festival. At the Director's Fortnight at the Hilton, 800 people line up for the press screening of Tom Kalin 's Savage Grace . Okay, I'm there because I'm a huge Julianne Moore fan, but Kalin hasn't made a film in 15 years. Does Swoon have that big a following?
I head over to The Orphanage , a new Spanish horror film "presented" by Guillermo del Toro . More people don't get in than get in.
Crowding increases during the opening and closing weekends, because the festival straddles two long weekends.
The organizers keep adding screens in odd places, like the roof of the Riviera Building the Marché occupies behind the Palais, but there don't seem to be more films in the Marché itself. In fact, there may be fewer, or maybe sellers have just decided to offer DVD screenings instead. Dragging cans of film around the world to screen in a theatre is so 20th-century.
And they wonder why theatrical screenings may be dying?
Read John Harkness' Cannes Festival Blog