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Festivity

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.

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When Cannes Was the Playground of Moatessem Gadhafi

Sex slavery at the Cannes Film Festival is something we would have guessed would be restricted to the Grand Palais and other Croisette event screens. In the form of a documentary, short, tawdry “marché” title or marquee feature narrative sub-plot.

But sadly, this is something that some of the event’s richest attendees have helped abet in real life. From a Hollywood Reporter piece about the infamous illegal-solicitation activities of Elie Nahas on behalf of Muammar Gadhafi‘s late son Moatessem and other super-rich Middle Eastern attendees [bolding is ours]:

The women ran the gamut, from full-time escorts to models to beauty queens, and they serviced men in hotels, on yachts and in the palatial villas in the hills above Cannes, police said. Philippe Camps, a lawyer for a Paris-based anti-prostitution organization that was a civil plaintiff in the trial, tells THR that some of the women were brought to Cannes under false pretenses and coerced into prostitution.

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Here’s Looking at the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival

For classic film fans, there are many reasons to want to be in Key Largo, Florida this weekend following the close of TCM’s latest local celebration. Starting with the following Saturday May 4 lunchtime event:

Join Stephen Bogart and Leonard Maltin as they discuss the life and career of Humphrey Bogart. Topics will include Bogie’s breakout performances, Bogie’s signature acting style, discussion of stories behind some of the memorabilia items and the experience of growing up with Bogie and Bacall.

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Celebrating the Currency of a Great Newspaper Headline

If you click the Web version of a February 17, 2012 LA Times article by Devorah Lauter, the headline reads:”France’s Former Currency is Devalued to Zilch.” Not bad; and, as assistant managing editor for LAT copy desks Henry Fuhrmann noted during a fun Sunday afternoon presentation with colleagues at the Festival of Books, any time the word “zilch” can be worked into an article headline is usually a good thing.

But as the LA Times now does routinely, the print headline for this article was altogether different. Rather famously, here’s what copy editor Laura Dominick conjured up for the newspaper version:

This headline recently helped Dominick win second prize at the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) national conference in St. Louis. She beat out colleagues from the New York Times and Washington Post thanks to her cheeky franks-and-beans word play and several other headlines, including the equally memorable Gallic goof “Look, the Dark de Triomphe.”

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Hollywood Stuntwoman Recalls Trial Balloon Work with Hal Needham

The group of authors who repeatedly defied death in order to make it to a booth at the 2013 LA Times Festival of Books is very small. FishbowlLA was lucky enough to spend some time Sunday chatting with one of them.

Julie Ann Johnson was at the event with her co-author, three-time Pulitzer nominee David L. Robb, to promote their recent release The Stuntwoman: The True Story of a Hollywood Heroine. Though the bulk of the book is about how she was blackballed from the industry for blowing the whistle on unsavory working conditions on the set of Aaron Spelling‘s TV series Charlie’s Angels, we asked her about her experiences with the legendary Hal Needham, author of a similar 2011 tome and the recipient of a recent honorary Academy Award.

Johnson talked to us about the stunt she and Needham did for the 1976 movie Nickelodeon, starring Burt Reynolds and Ryan O’Neal. It is one of several collaborations with Needham she covers in Chapter 18 (“A Piece of Cake”). The scene required Needham to dangle Johnson, doubling respectively for Reynolds and Jane Hitchcock, high up in the air from a hot air balloon:

It was a great scene; the studio even used it in the poster for the film. But it almost got Julie and Hal killed – again…

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Twitter Watchers Wonder: Will Music App Launch this Weekend in Concert with Coachella?

Two events are triggering the rhetorical speculation in Rolling Stone, Billboard and elsewhere. The first is the acquisition by Twitter of Australian-born, San Francisco-nurtured We Are Hunted. The firm was developing Twitter’s music App.

The other is a pair of Thursday tweets from Ryan Seacrest. Per the Billboard article:

One of the tweets said the App “shows what artists are trending, also has up and coming artists.”

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Geoff Boucher’s CapeTown Film Festival Adds Another Major Attraction

It should be a heck of a weekend at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre. On Friday, May 3, as officially confirmed this morning by Geoff Boucher himself, Kurt Russell will appear at the inaugural CapeTown Film Festival for a screening of Escape from New York (the festival is named after Boucher’s EW.com blog). The next day, Saturday May 4, the event will screen Return of the Jedi in honor of Star Wars Day.

As Anne Thompson notes this morning in her updated coverage, Boucher has kept right on going since seguing from the LA Times to Entertainment Weekly. Though the PR for his writing, so far, has been less prominent at his new home, the fans have followed en masse:

Boucher’s new CapeTown blog – covering all things superhero, genre and fanboy/girl – has been a huge success, generating 2.5 million page views in its first month, which is close to the number of monthly readers the five-year-old LAT blog gets.

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Marc Maron Talks Up New IFC Series

Fun interview from the SXSW Samsung bloggers’ lounge in Austin by What’s Trending host Shira Lazar. Thanks to her opening compliments and willingness to drink from the same plastic cup, guest Marc Maron wasn’t sure if this was an interview or a date.

Around the eight-and-a-half-minute mark, Maron tells Lazar about his upcoming IFC show Maron, an offshoot of his podcast success debuting in May. “If you haven’t had your fill of me, there’s more me coming in a different format,” the comedian joked. “It’s all I have.”

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Three Solid Gatsby-Cannes Ledes

A news story doesn’t get much more gilded than this. But ahhh, how to still have fun with it?

Perusing this morning’s rat-tat-tat pick-up of the announcement that Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby will open the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, here are three quick FishbowlLA favorites:

1) Clever: Dave Itzkoff / New York Times “Arts Beat” blog:

Who said there are no second acts in American lives? Oh, right: It was F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose seminal novel, “The Great Gatsby,” is getting a lavish reinterpretation from the director Baz Luhrmann that will open the Cannes Film Festival, its organizers announced Tuesday.

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Dave Karger Rolls Out Second Fandango Series at SXSW

Following his chronicling of 2012 film awards season via The Frontrunners, Fandango chief correspondent Dave Karger is down in Austin with the site’s senior director of PR Harry Medved and editor-in-chief Chuck Walton to officially launch his new Web series, Weekend Ticket. The program will debut on the site March 14 and feature SXSW interviews with Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Paul Walker, Josh Duhamel and Paul Rudd (or, as Andy Samberg so hilariously referred to Rudd during the Spirit Awards, Paul “Reeud”).

Karger hinted when we spoke with him not long ago that he would be making use of the formidable Nate Silver-like predictive data gathered from the site’s ticket buyers. Sure enough, Weekend Ticket will be sourcing a new weekly indicator also unveiled at SXSW:

“Fanticipation” ranks fan excitement around upcoming and current movies based on Fandango’s proprietary data collected from its online and mobile traffic, the social media engagement of its fans and its advance ticket sales…

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