Forty Cannes film festivals viewed through one photographer's lens

  • World
  • Thursday, 25 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: The 75th Cannes Film Festival - Screening of the film "Crimes of the Future" in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Cannes, France, May 23, 2022. Guests arrive. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) - When Eric Gaillard first went to photograph the Cannes Film Festival in 1981, it was a smaller, more intimate affair - the kind of place where you could see the greats from Hollywood's Golden Age like Lauren Bacall or Ava Gardner wandering alone on the esplanade or having fun on the beach without bodyguards.

Returning for his 40th time, Gaillard finds a different beast - larger, more multicultural, with more restrictions on where photographers can stand to try and get that viral snap or capture that moment when a movie star gets caught off-guard sharing an intimate smile, striking a goofy pose, or having a bad hair day.

The 76th edition of the festival, taking place from May 16 to May 27, has seen Cannes' usual population triple to 230,000 people to watch films, rub shoulders with celebrities and - in some cases - compete for the coveted Palme D'Or.

Gaillard, who is retiring after this festival, was there for Reuters, snapping Michael Douglas pointing at the camera with a cheeky grin and a besuited Harrison Ford receiving an Honorary Palme D'Or.

He was there in 1997 when Michael Jackson was in attendance, in 2008 when Diego Maradona showed off soccer tricks, and in 2018 when Kristen Stewart kicked off her heels on the red carpet.

A shot from the 48th edition of the festival in 1995 shows a disarmingly young Johnny Depp, while a black-and-white photo from 1987 depicts a tanned, bejeweled Liz Taylor with one-time flame George Hamilton.

More recent photos show cinemagoers wearing masks (the festival was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic but came back the following year with restrictions), increasing numbers of women among the phalanxes of photographers, and attendees using phones to create their own social media posts.

But the essential glamour and fascination of the occasion has not changed - for the stars, or for the journalists. Cannes is, says Gaillard, "an incredible experience."

(Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Richard Chang)

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In World

Iran's Khamenei seeks trusted hardliner to replace Raisi in June vote
Volcano in Iceland erupts for fifth time since December
Analysis-Mexico presidential race has clear favorite, but pollsters say turnout key
Flood-battered farmers in southern Brazil wade through lost harvests
At 101, D-Day US veteran heads to France for 80th anniversary
Kosovo prepares to house 300 inmates from Denmark, raising human rights concerns
Europe’s cybersecurity chief says disruptive attacks have doubled recently, sees Russia behind many
Does your Airbnb have hidden cameras? Here’s how to find them
Poland to reintroduce buffer zone at Belarus border, PM says
Syrians in Lebanon fear unprecedented restrictions, deportations

Others Also Read