During the two festival weeks in Cannes, it is often difficult to distinguish cinema from real life and vice versa. While newcomers are overwhelmed by the experience of their lives becoming cinema, for those who already have their place on the red carpet, life is nothing but cinema. Dressed in white satin and jewels while watching a film about Middle Eastern immigrants’ daily misery or the hopeless world of Aboriginal youngsters, they are participating in a true cinematographic scene in itself.
In fact, a deep, unanimous sigh filled the spacious salle Debussy, full of journalists and professionals, when the video showing this year’s superb jury divas smiling to a million of admiring eyes was cut off before the beginning of the opening film. One could ask if there is any borderline between cinema and real life, after all. Cannes’ bubbling atmosphere shows that there is none. At least not around the Palais.
Introducing his first full-length feature in the Un Certain Regard section, Australia’s rising star Warwick Thornton mentioned he couldn’t think of anything sophisticated enough to welcome the audience. Until he finally admitted that life was more important than cinema but that in his case, cinema has saved him from falling apart. The huge applause after the screening proved that his message was understood. The whole desirable and glamorous fantasy world of Cannes can indeed provoke a confusing perception of reality, yet it can also change lives. And luckily, even save some of them.