Focus Features was happy to book Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" on opening night for several reasons. One, Anderson had never gotten the Cannes treatment. There's nothing like a rousing walk up the Palais red carpet for a filmmaker. And, says James Schamus, they decided to follow the playbook established so successfully by Sony Pictures Classics last year with Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris," which opened in Europe and America right after its Cannes debut and went on to become the original screenplay Oscar-winning, highest-grossing indie title of the year. The Cannes response to "Kingdom" will suggest whether a repeat performance is in the cards.
Searchlight is at the fest with Ben Zeitlin's Louisiana bayou drama and Sundance grand jury prize winner "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and will be in the hunt for titles. Sony Pictures Classics, which acquired Michael Haneke's "Amour," starring Jean_Louis Traingnant and Emmanuelle Riva, and Jacques Audiard's "Rust & Bone," also starring Cotillard, who is supposed to be very good in it, will slug it out with IFC Films for foreign titles, scouring the fest thoroughly. IFC has already grabbed the Romanian competition film from Cristian Mungiu, "Beyond the Hills." They also handled his Oscar nominee "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days." IFC also brought Adam Leon's Bronx-shot SXSW debut "Gimme the Loot" and Rodney Ascher's Sundance Stanley Kubrick doc "Room 237."
Magnolia Pictures, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, CBS Films, Music Box, Open Road, Oscilloscope, FilmDistrict, LD Releasing and Cohen Media, as well as studio acquisitions groups, will also be searching for a range of fare marketable in the U.S. "A whole lot of people are looking for movies," says SPC's Tom Bernard. "Everybody's got a different agenda on what they're going to do with them."
After four hours of Delta transatlantic sleep, I'm ready to engage with Cannes 65. The sun is out, the sky is blue, the wifi is speedy, I've got my pink badge. Our Indiewire apartment has about two electrical outlets as well as only two keys for four people, but we'll manage. The location is ideal, just blocks from the oceanside Croisette, about halfway between two major meeting nexuses, The Grand and The Majestic.
I've already rescheduled two meetings at The Grand, with Toronto Fest Director Cameron Bailey and Venice Fest's Guilia D'Agnolo Vallan, from today to tomorrow, and will meet the usual gang of miscreants at the Pizza tonight, a venerable Cannes tradition. Tomorrow, "Moonrise Kingdom."