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Kenneth Turan Remembers When Cannes Was a Much Easier PR Ride

Those were the days. At the top of his reminiscence piece about covering the Cannes Film Festival, LA Times film critic Kenneth Turan paints a delightful, junk-the-junket picture:

Cannes was more casual back in 1971, of course. You could hang out with Italian director Luchino Visconti without much planning or go see Jack Nicholson in his hotel room and spend the afternoon discussing his first directorial effort, Drive, He Said, with no more preamble than running into a friend of his on the street.

There were 800 credentialed journalists back then; today, there are around 4,000. Turan cites the 1999 Greek sci-fi parody Attack of the Giant Moussaka as one of his all-time favorites from the less carpeted Marché side of the annual event.

If you speak French, here is an intriguing interview with Moussaka director Panos Koutras, done in the fall of 2009 in connection with a revival screening in Paris. The Greek filmmaker explains that it took four years to make this debut feature, that he paid none of the actors and that his early inspiration was John WatersPink Flamingos. Read Turan’s full essay here.

[Photo of Nicholson at 2002 Cannes Film Festival: Featureflash/Shutterstock.com]

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