Walking toward the Festival Palais on the opening night of the 72nd Cannes International Film Festival, the pounding rhythm of the bass from the sub-woofers of the mighty speakers lining the red carpet makes it sound like the city is under siege by cannons. It’s going to be this way every night through May 25, but tonight the crowds thronging the street in front of the Palais are keyed up with opening night fever, and the prospect of eyeballing stars including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Adam Driver, and Chloe Sevigny. The whole event, including the red carpet, the ceremony, and the opening film, Jim Jarmusch’s “The Dead Don’t Die,” was also being simulcast into 600 French movie theaters.
The arrival of the international jury, was led by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Mexico), the first-ever Latin American to serve as a Cannes jury president. Director Kelly Reichardt and actress Elle Fanning comprise on U.S. representation in a diverse group that also includes directors Yorgos Lanthimos (Greece); Alice Rohrwacher (Italy); Maimuna N’Diaye (Burkina Faso); Pawel Pawlikowski; and Robin Campillo (France); plus graphic novelist Enki Bilal (France).
This red carpet opening parade is the night of all nights for fashion statements,