Day 1: The Cannes International Film Festival 2011

One of the most prestigious film awards is happening in Cannes and this year Bollywood has a whole brigade that’s representing India. Shawn Arranha reports exclusively on Bollywood Hungama to give you updates of all the happenings at Cannes Film Festival 2011. Here’s taking a look at the opening day celebrations in the land of the golden palms. The opening ceremony started with the red carpet premiere of director Woody Allen’s film Midnight In Paris. Uma Thurman walked the red carpet followed by Woody Allen who came with Lea Seydoux and rest of the cast of the film. Our very own Minissha Lamba too walked the red carpet at the premiere. With all the fan fare the Indian actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stepped up to the carpet on the opening night followed by actor and president of the festival jury Robert De Niro. Singer Lady Gaga too arrived with a ga-gaggle of bodyguards to rehearse for a French television show. While most made a sedated entry, actors Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek behaved like idiot tourists in France during a photo call for their movie Puss In Boots. Depp, who is all set for his next release Pirates of The Caribbean 4, was at Cannes along with director Rob Marshall who are currently developing a remake of the classic mystery franchise The Thin Man. Few artists are so strikingly attractive and so smart as Tilda Swinton. The patron saint of truly independent filmmaking, Swinton is at the fest with We Need To Talk About Kevin. This film is a major step up to the plate for director Lynne Ramsay. Pedro Almodovar is a long time favourite of Cannes and returns again and again. But somehow he’s never been in Competition at the right time with the right movie to win the Palme d’Or. Of course, he’d like one. Almodovar’s new movie is a grim, gothic affair akin to Korea’s Oldboy. Gosling is simply one of the best actors working today and at Cannes he’s paired with the wunderkind Nicolas Winding Refn on Drive. However, with the festival soon underway here are a few movies that are not to be missed at Cannes this year: The Tree Of Life – An exciting look at childhood and suburbia in the 1950s that stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. Sean Penn is also at Cannes with This Must Be The Place, an oddball movie about a retired rock star who is hunting down the ex-Nazi who executed his dad. Strange, but it’s from the Italian director of Il Divo. The Boy With The Bicycle – If you’re a serious movie buff, the Dardenne brothers are even more important to you than the Coen brothers.

Their new movie is The Boy With The Bicycle and like the Coens, any film they bring to Cannes is an immediate front-runner for an award. Kung Fu Panda 2 – If you thought the original Kung Fu Panda was a very pleasant surprise and featured some of the best action scenes of the year (the original didn’t screen at Cannes but it did bring some razzle dazzle to the fest with a crazy stunt and Jack Black, who is a crazy stunt all on his own) then throw in Angelina Jolie, Jackie Chan and Dustin Hoffman and you’ve got one of the best animation comic film sequels. With hundreds of movies screening in various markets and competitions like Directors Fortnight and Critics Week, we’ve only scratched the surface. Lars Von Trier is sure to stir up trouble if he can with his valentine to the end of the world. Gus Van Sant is back with Restless. Wu Xia aka Swordsmen could be martial arts fun, along with the latest Takashi Miike. Though we couldn’t find a copy of the graphic novel/memoir Drifting Life, but the animated film Tatsumi could be a treat as it celebrates the life of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, the artist who revolutionized manga. Kim Ki-Duk, Joseph Cedar, Aki Kaurismaki, Hong Sangsoo, Bruno Dumont and heck, did we forget to mention Nanni Moretti… his new movie We Have A Pope is about a reluctant Pope who freaks out over his new job and starts seeing a therapist/psychologist. Think of it as Robert de Niro’s Analyze This, but with more praying and a lot less cursing. De Niro, by the way, heads the jury but that doesn’t really matter to journalists. Except for a boring press conference where jury members say they’re looking forward to watching a lot of movies, they’re not heard from again until they make their quixotic choices at the end of the fest. Watch this space for more coverage on The Cannes International Film Festival 2011 Shawn Arranha is Bollywood filmmaker who directed 2010 thriller ‘Hide & Seek’. Currently, working on his next film, Shawn is attending Cannes Film Festival this year and reporting the hot happenings at the event exclusively for Bollywood Hungama.

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