Virtually every year since its inception in 1946, the Cannes Film Festival has served both to represent and to contribute to changes underway in the world of cinema. It embraces the high-brow and the high-glam - new cinema from Iran or China, red carpet parades from Madonna or Nicole Kidman. Who is not familiar with Cannes' iconic paraphernalia of paparazzi scrums, beachfront happenings and world premieres? Cannes makes or breaks reputations, and is properly seen as a pageant of glamour and power, one that renews itself annually. But the history of Cannes is also a prism which, when looked through over time, gives onto a history of world cinema since WWII - not just the emergence of major directors and national cinemas, but a series of scandals and controversies that reveal Cannes as an artistic playground where the great nations of the world have gathered and clashed. For more than purely aesthetic reasons did the Festival give 'Fahrenheit 9/11' its grand prize in 2004. The history of Cannes is littered with key moments, flashpoints, that changed the world of film. CANNES will not be exhaustive or blow-by-blow but will move nimbly and lucidly over the most striking of these flashpoints, recounting the best and most revelatory tales that show the interrelation of Cannes, world cinema, and the wider world. It will be organised thematically rather than chronologically, and the substance of each story will be teased out and unpacked via accompanying analysis and newly-sourced, first-hand accounts from key players.
Kieron Corless currently writes for 'Time Out London' and the film magazine 'Vertigo'.He has also written extensively about film and TV for 'Sight and Sound', 'The Independent' and numerous other publications in recent years. He has served as a jury member at the Bucharest and Lisbon international film festivals. Chris Darke is a film critic whose work is published internationally, in 'Film Comment', 'Sight and Sound', 'The Independent', and 'Cahiers du cinema'. He has also published a collection of essays, 'Light Readings: Film Criticism and Screen Arts', and a monograph on Godard's 'Alphaville'. He has also directed documentary items on film and art for BSkyB and Film Four. His video portrait of Chris Marker was included on the DVD of Marker's La Jetee and Sans soleil.