The 66th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival (May 15-26) has unveiled its poster, featuring a snuggling stars and husband-and-wife duo Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in an eye-popping black-and-white starburst. Cannes reports that "the couple embodies the spirit of the cinema like no other."
Their photo is both meant as a tribute to Newman, who died in 2008, and a mark of admiration for Woodward. They were honored at the French fest in 1958, the year of their marriage, with the selection of Martin Ritt's "The Long Hot Summer," the first film in which they appeared together. The couple's history at the festival would continue with 1973's "The Effect of the Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" and 1987's "The Glass Menagerie."
Meanwhile, the American Pavilion is celebrating its 25th year at Cannes. I contributed to its founding when Denver and London Film Fest development director Julie Sisk and I wandered the Croisette at our first Cannes in 1987, envious that the Brits and Italians had their own beach side tented homes-away-from-home. So Sisk went home to L.A. and deployed her skills to make a deal with Cannes to launch the first American Pavilion, with sponsors, in 1989. (Negotiating with the French festival administrators was never easy.) There you could pick up mail, buy food, see fellow Americans, take meetings, hook up to the internet, and attend provocative panels and Q & As.
My fondest memories of the Pavilion include watching the finales of "Twin Peaks" and "Seinfeld," a Spike-Lee-arranged Knicks basketball final, David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini doing the Pavilion annual ribbon-cutting opener the year of "Wild at Heart," interviewing Michael Moore there for "Fahrenheit 911," and watching Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese hang out at a film preservation event.
This year Sisk's Pavilion--which had to struggle to ride through the recession like everyone else-- includes American Express and Peninsula Hotels as a sponsor, and will incorporate elements of the Peninsula properties into its anniversary design.
See full Cannes poster and animated video below.