More scenes from the 1968 Cannes Film Festival.
As Barbet Schroeder puts it today, even before May, the unrest was “starting to cook” across France, and Cannes coincided with nationwide strikes and protests by French workers and students. For eight days, the festival carried on. Then, on 18 May, there was a special press conference at which François Truffaut led calls for it to be abandoned. What followed was chaotic, absurd, exhilarating and carnivalesque by degrees.
Film-makers “occupied” the festival’s Grande Salle, partly to prevent screenings and partly to hold a prolonged, open-ended debate. […] “Every shade of lunatic-fringe opinion democratically – though often to derisive hoots and howls – had its moment,” the International Herald Tribune reported of the marathon debate in the Grande Salle. There were moments of high comedy: when the festival organisers attempted to show Carlos Saura’s Peppermint Frappé, starring Geraldine Chaplin, the actress, together with Truffaut, clung to the curtain to try to prevent it rising and stop the screening, but were soon hoisted in the direction of the ceiling. “The mechanically controlled drapes began to move and the audience was amazed to witness the protesters literally swing from the sashes,” Henri Behar wrote in his history of the festival. [x]