The taste of money: Cannes festival
Recently I went through a very rare and significant book written by Jagan (his full name is B.Jagannadha Rao). Jagan is a well-known cine journalist...
The book is very well brought out with a good number of photographs of the film scenes printed on art paper. Akkineni Nageswara Rao, the doyen of Telugu film world had written a foreword to this book. K.Srinivas, well known journalist and the editor of the newspaper where Jagan is an employee had written his impressions on it. Meenakshi Shedde, national award winner for best film critic and a member of Jury for Cannes, Berlin and Venice film festivals had written another foreword to this book.
Cannes Film Festival is the most prestigious film festival of the world. At many places like Berlin, Venice, Los Angeles etc., every year film festivals are held and some of the world's best films compete here for awards in different categories of film making like direction, acting, photography, editing etc., But of all the film festivals, Cannes Film Festival (the correct pronunciation of Cannes, according to Jagan is Khans) occupies the place as Meenakshi Shedde says "the Cannes Film Festival is the Mt Everest of the film festivals of the world. It takes place at the city of Cannes in France every year between May 15 and May 26th.
To quote Meenakshi Shedde again "Film makers of the world dream of walking the red carpet at Cannes one day because it represents the best films made all over the world, decided by an international jury as against the Oscars, which are glamorous but nonetheless, awards are given only by the Hollywood film industry" "Cannes is a beautiful city in France but is a very costly city" says Jagan. It seems Benz cars are used as taxies in this wonderful city.
By this one example, we can understand how costly this city is. All those elderly people who reached the last stage of their lives come to stay here to spend their last days in peace and tranquility. Guy de Maupassant, the great short story writer of France spent his last days here. The great film personalities of the world like Julie Andrews, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Clint Eastwood, Akira Kurosawa and many others went to Cannes in search of genuine lovers of good cinema.
Jagan says that the cine people at Cannes are great admirers of India. For them India is the land of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Shyam Benegal. They describe India as "Incredible India", "the Great India". They anxiously wait for a film from India to be selected for exhibition at Cannes. They know that the Indians are great lovers of films and India produces largest number of films in the world. But unfortunately except a few film makers like Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Shyam Benegal etc., the presence of Indian film makers at Cannes Film Festival is negligible.
Akkineni Nageswara Rao in his foreword to this book says "Telugu film makers never made films with a view to send them to international film festivals like Cannes. Technically Telugu films had achieved tremendous advancement. But our films failed to come out of silly songs, sexy dances and lengthy fights, tear jerking sentimental scenes and cheap humour. If our directors plan for internationally acceptable films, we too can participate in film festivals like Cannes." Jagan also says the same thing. He is optimistic about a Telugu film, making its presence at Cannes Film Festival in near future.
Satyajit Ray came into limelight at the international level only after his first film 'Pather Panchali' (Song of the Road) was shown at Cannes Film Festival in the year 1956. Though everyone in the jury appreciated the film, it narrowly failed to win the "Golden Palm Award". But the jury awarded the 'Best Human Document' for this film. This award had given a big boost to 'Pather Panchali' and made it to win many more awards at the national and international levels. However, the first Indian film screened at Cannes, was 'Neechanagar' made by Chetan Anand in 1946.
After 10 years, in 1956, 'Pather Panchali' was screened at Cannes. Afterwards, many of Satyajit Ray's films like 'Devi', 'Ghaire Baire' competed at Cannes for 'Golden Palm Award' but none could get this coveted award. In this book 'The Taste of Money" Jagan had introduced 15 great films screened at Cannes Film Festival in 2011. These 15 films are 'Amour'(Love)directed by Michael Hanke � it won best film award at Oscar in best foreign film category. 'REALITY' � directed by Matteo Garrone � this film is a biting satire on so called reality shows.
'THE HUNT', directed by Jagten, is about how a small lie leads to a big disaster. 'BEYOND THE HILLS', directed by Dupa Dealuri is about psychological conflict in two orphans. The titles of other films are 'Rust And Bone', You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet, 'Like Someone in Love', Hemingway And Gellhorn", Renoir, 'The Taste of Money", 'Three Worlds' 'Anti Viral', 'In Another Country', 'Killing Them Softly". Jagan tells us that only small films made with small budgets could corner many awards at Cannes. Big films with big star cast like 'Killing Them Softly', 'The Paper Boy' and 'Lawless' failed to win any awards at all.
Film makers of the world dream of walking the red carpet at Cannes one day because it represents the best films made all over the world, decided by an international jury as against the Oscars, which are glamorous but nonetheless, awards are given only by the Hollywood film industry