[ENTERTAINMENT]Cannes Gets Off to a Heel Clicking StartCANNES － The 54th Cannes Film Festival started May 9 and is scheduled to continue through May 20 at this resort city in the south of France.
"Moulin Rouge" (2001), directed by Baz Luhrmann and featuring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, was the first film shown. This musical depicts a doomed love affair between Christian (McGregor), a gifted poet, and Satine (Kidman), a singer and dancer. Against the wishes of his bourgeois father, Christian leads a nonconformist life in the artists' mecca, Montmartre, and falls in love with Satine. A singer and dancer at a social club called the Moulin Rouge, Satine struggles to overcome her lower social status at the end of 19th century.
Kidman could put a few professional singers to shame with her vocals in this movie. The 33-year-old actress, though in the middle of a divorce from Tom Cruise, had a radiant smile on her face the opening day.
During the press conference held after the preview of "Moulin Rouge," she looked quite jovial as she playfully snatched McGregor's cigarette and began smoking. Kidman stated, "I am totally thankful for the director Luhrmann . . . he is like my guardian angel." Luhrmann, also the director of "Romeo and Juliet" (1996), succeeded not only in earning Kidman's accolades, but those of the critics as well.
Also to be shown are the films of directors whose names are mentioned time and again when recounting the history of modern-day film. Among the 23 feature films in the competition, more than half are the work of celebrated directors. Jean-Luc Godard, the 71-year-old French director, has a brand new film titled, "Eloge de l'Amour" ("A Hymn for Love"). In this film, Godard, known most recently for his 1990 experimental art production "Nouvelle-Vague," portrays the true meaning of love as shown through the lives of three couples, young, middle-aged and elderly.
Ermanno Olmi, the 70-year-old master of filmmaking, who represented neo-realism in Italy during the 1960s, presents his new film, titled "Il Mestiere Delle Armi" ("A Man Making Arms"), lampooning the stupidity of humankind and war. Joel Coen, who is a regular guest at Cannes, presented "A Man Who Wasn't There," and David Lynch unveiled "Mulholland Drive."
Japanese and Taiwanese filmmakers, such as Shohei Imamura and Ming-Liang Tsai, were invited in an effort to distribute opportunities equally around the globe. While this recognition can only be applauded, the nearly complete absence of young, up-and-coming directors with radical and brilliant ideas was disappointing.
Not one Korean film received an invitation. Instead, more than 50 Korean films, such as "Seonmul" ("The Last Present"), directed by Oh Gi-hwan and "Haru" ("A Day"), directed by Han Ji-seung, were presented at the Korean booth of the Cannes-affiliated film market, where foreign buyers purchase movie rights.
by Park Jeong-ho