CANNES, France (AFP) ― Giant portraits of movie stars beamed down on passersby in Cannes on Tuesday as Hollywood heavyweights and first-time directors prepared to pour into the French Riviera resort for the world’s biggest film festival.
Hugh Jackman, French actress Lea Seydoux and Natalie Portman were just some of the celebrities whose faces adorned buildings in the city center, as if the lure of real-life stars making their way to the 67th Cannes Film Festival was not enough.
Ryan Gosling, David Cronenberg, Ken Loach and Sophia Loren are all due to make an appearance at the 12-day glitzy event that kicks off Wednesday with the world premiere of controversial biopic “Grace of Monaco” starring Nicole Kidman.
|South Korean actress and feature films jury member Jeon Do-yeon smiles as she arrives at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, Tuesday. (AFP-Yonhap)|
And in a particularly original stunt, Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger ― the stars of all-action romp “The Expendables 3” ― are due to arrive in town on Sunday onboard a tank.
The festival is known worldwide for its mix of art house gravitas and extravagance.
Every year, movie stars, industry executives, journalists in their thousands and curious onlookers pour into the Riviera resort that lives and breathes cinema for close to a fortnight, its population briefly tripling from just over 73,000 to over 200,000 people.
Luxury hotels on Cannes’ famed Croisette seaside promenade fill up with the great and the good, with suites going for tens of thousands of euros.
Stars wanting to get away from autograph hunters and revelers stay at the Eden-Roc, an exclusive hotel perched on a rock overlooking the Mediterranean between Saint-Tropez and Monaco.
In Cannes, the upmarket Carlton hotel will house New Zealand director Jane Campion, president of a jury that includes Mexico’s Gael Garcia Bernal and Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke.
The nine-member jury will sit down for a Tuesday evening dinner ahead of the opening at the aptly-named, Michelin-starred “La Palme d’Or” restaurant.