THE POPCORN REEL FROM OVER HERE: COVERAGE OF THE 61ST CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, MAY 14 THROUGH MAY 27, 2008
Gael Garcia Bernal and Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore and Gael Garcia Bernal share a laugh during the photocall in France for their new film "Blindness", which is directed by Fernando Meirelles and based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago.  The film kicked off the 61st Cannes International Film Festival, which began yesterday on the French Riviera.  (Photo: Agence France Presse)

On Day One Cannes Can, And Cannes Does

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel

May 15, 2008

Yesterday "Blindness" kicked off the 61st Cannes International Film Festival, with the new film from Fernando Meirelles getting its world premiere on the beautiful French Riviera.  The film is about a disease known as "white blindness" and about everyone in a society who suddenly and inexplicably goes blind.  "Blindness" has been described as a disturbing film by several critics who are currently at the Festival.  "Blindness" is based on the novel by Novel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago from Portugal and stars Julianne Moore (the only character in the entire film who doesn't go blind), Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alice Braga, Don McKellar and is narrated by Danny Glover.  Filmgoers will remember that Ms. Moore was afflicted with agoraphobia in the unforgettable Todd Haynes film "Safe" several years ago. 

"Blindness" will be released in the U.S. by Miramax Films this September.  Mr. Meirelles directed "City Of God" and the Oscar-winning film "The Constant Gardener".

"Indiana Jones" fever was in full force, amid trepidation according to published reports, that it would be greeted rudely by the press contingent at Cannes.  The jury is still out as the film will get its world premiere at Cannes in a matter of hours.  Jack Black was in attendance for "Kung Fu Panda", which is also showing at Cannes out of competition.  And Woody Allen's film "Vicky Christina Barcelona" which is rumored to be hot property, was also screened out of competition, as was the new "Indiana Jones" movie.  "Vicky Christina Barcelona" was shot entirely in Spain and stars "No Country For Old Men" Oscar-winner Javier Bardem as a philanderer who raises the ire of his wife-artist (played by Penelope Cruz) after she finds out that he is having affairs with a character played by Scarlett Johansson, and with a third woman.  Patricia Clarkson also stars in Mr. Allen's film.  Much is already being made of a reportedly steamy sex scene between Miss Johansson and Miss Cruz.  The Weinstein Company will release "Vicky Christina Barcelona" in the U.S. sometime this summer or fall.

Although there are numerous films from around the world on display at Cannes this year, the motion pictures bringing the biggest buzz are American: Steven Soderberg's two biopics on Ernesto "Che" Guevara featuring Benicio Del Toro as the Argentina-born leader, and Clint Eastwood's "Changeling", a kidnapping mystery set in the U.S. in the 1920's.


Trailer: Woody Allen's "Vicky Christina Barcelona




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