Cannes 2014 – Day 8

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The crowds scanned the face and bare legs of Sharon Stone as she arrived on the red carpet yesterday for the premier of Michael Hazanavicius’ film “The Search”, as if looking for signs of scalpel and botox on the suspiciously youthful-looking 56-year-old actress.

It’s a game that goes on a lot at Cannes. Meanwhile, Sophia Loren – who turns 80 in September – showed how it’s done with her photocall earlier that day. She was promoting “La Voce Umana” (the human voice); an Italian short film set in Naples in 1950 and based on a Jean Cocteau play.

The verdict so far on “The Search” – one of a number of French films in competition – is not good. The visceral account of a relationship between a woman working for an NGO in Chechnya in 1999 and an orphaned boy even got whistled and booed at its premier last night; the international press deciding that its director was selected for competition more on the basis of his successful film “The Artist” rather than on the merits of this long film.

It was also premier time last night for “L’Homme q’on aimait trop” – the latest film from André Téchiné (a director who really does divide opinion) and one that many had expected to make the short list of competitors for the Palme d’Or.

Another premier in competition that the public were just dying to see was maverick director (and survivor of the Nouvelle Vague days) Jean-Luc Godard’s “Adieu au Langage”. It’s perhaps no surprise to see such a cinematic innovator getting involved in 3D technology. In this film, he sets a defiant anti-Blockbuster tone with the 21st-century cinematic tool, using three dimensional imagery for a more poetic effect rather than for making things exploding explode in your face. It’s all done with a typically Godard-esque fractured narrative that tries the patience but rewards the patient. The critics liked it, generally speaking, so it’s still in with a strong chance of bringing Godard Palme glory on his seventh occasion to be selected for competition.

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