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» By some description, this is one of the most political editions of Cannes Film Festival in recent memory, both on screen and off. After three days, the brouhaha over #MeToo (the festival has a dedicated hotline for sexual harassment report, which begs the question: why here and now?), the comment by Jury President Cate Blanchett on the small percentage of female filmmakers in the programme, and the fact that two of the directors whose films are in the competition are under house arrest in their respective countries (Iran and Russia) -- all of this cast a mixed shadow over the 71st edition of the world's largest film festival that still boasts influence and glamour while struggling to maintain its relevance.
» This is the question I've been asked several times -- not because I'm a veteran of the fabled Cannes red carpet (it's long, intimidating and tedious, plus I'll never invest in a tuxedo that would make me look like a waiter anyway), but because I've been a ringside witness to the said red carpet in the past 16 years of my visiting the festival. All the thousands of photographs of stars, models, actors -- beautiful people of planet Earth, or planet Cinema -- preening down the tapis rouge at Cannes have become even more famous, more recognisable, more awe-inspiring than most of the films shown here. The aura of glamour, fame and radiance actually makes a lot of people think of Cannes as the red carpet, and not the films it shows or its coveted top prize, the Palme d'Or.
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