Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Cannes 1984: Counting Your Chickens...

 Another short text from Cannes 1984. A filler?

Counting Your Chickens... 
The immortal Geneviève Tabouis used to start her radio broadcast editorials by yelping: “Expect to know that…” This was both a threat and a promise. We felt involved. Today, walking along the light grey concrete of this “rambla” that is the Croisette, leafing through the coated pages of Film Français, or browsing the stands of the Marché du film aimlessly, you come across large posters all going “Expect to see” (implying “and to get your money’s worth”). Films in competition already belong to the past, and those that haven’t been released, finished or even made yet are already on the bill. This is the moment when we really feel the festival happening. 
Is that Adjani scratching her head on a purple background? It announces Zulawski’s Mad Love (with Huster). Can you see two hands in cosmic darkness opening a sort of shoebox emerging out of which are the claws of a space panda? It can only be Gremlins, presented by Spielberg and directed by Joe Dante. Is that a beautiful man in a white dinner jacket, surrounded by a race car, a yacht and a hang-glider? It’s Belmondo on the Croisette already wishing us a Happy Easter, the film he is shooting at the moment in the Victorine studios, directed by Lautner (with Sophie Marceau playing the background). Seven copies of Lino Ventura’s stiff and uncomfortable mask, progressively smaller (and paler)? That’s clearly Pinoteau-Dabadie’s The Seventh Target. Ranxerox (yes, the one by Liberatore and Tamburini) holding a luscious redhead against him and the two, laughing, surrounded by a constellation of white stars on a blue background? That’s another project by Zulawski. A globe with a yatagan cruelly planted in the middle of the Nile delta? It’s one of the most eagerly awaited films: Youssef Chahine’s Adieu Bonaparte (with Piccoli and Chereau). A comic-book Aztec palace in pale Hergé-like colours, with a monkey and Coluche with yellow hair in the foreground? That can only be Gérard Oury’s re-reading of D.H. Lawrence’s The Plumed Serpent
Finally, Noiret (in a brown leather jacket) and Thierry Lhermitte (in black leather) ominously emerging from a fiery red circle under a stormy sky can only prefigure Zidi’s upcoming film. Title: My New Partner [Les ripoux]. There is something rotten in… 

First published in Libération on 18 May 1984. Reprinted in Ciné journal 1981-1986, Cahiers du cinéma, Paris, 1986. Translation by Laurent Kretzschmar and Srikanth Srinivasan.

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