The City of Fear –  Is this the best film on the Cannes Film Festival ?

At the end of this 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival and of a Giant Carioca near the Palace of Festivals and Conferences, The City of Fear is back in the hall. The opportunity to talk about this handful of films that have made the Croisette their home : Femme Fatale, Claire’s Camera… without forgetting the Entourage and Call My Agent ! series. Display.

By Paola Dicelli

Reading time 4 min.

The City Of Fear


Alain Chabat said “no, or very drunk”. And yet they did it ! On May 16, he and Gérard Darmon danced “La Carioca” during the presentation of The City of Fear at the Cannes Film Festival, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the film. This film with many cult replicas is considered by many to be “the” film about the Cannes Film Festival. A paradox, since this mainstream comedy is anything but a Cannes film. But the first film of the Losers was made at the time today distant where Canal + made the rain and the beautiful weather on the Croisette.

This story of the projectionist killer spreading panic during the Festival has become the reference film on the subject.Scorned by some, praised by others, it is the one that best tells the backstage of the Festival… Between the press secretary (Chantal Lauby) ready to surf over murders to make publicity for her film, and the nanars who are plebiscite following a buzz, all the ingredients, however exaggerated, are there.

The movie of Losers was made
when Canal+ was making good weather
on the Croisette

Another eminently Cannes film, Femme Fatale (2002), where Brian de Palma places his incipit on the Croisette and imagines the robbery of a star’s jewels. But in spite of its Cannes decor and Sandrine Bonnaire as a figurante (to make «So Frenchie»!), the scene of the beginning crumbles under the implausibilities: at the top of the steps, a star, all of diamonds adorned and escorted by two bodyguards, is seduced by one of the photographers and leaves to join her in the toilet. A big colossus in suits sneaks in, and steals the jewels. Ocean’s Eleven, a little cheap. Where the climb of the steps is only there to plant a decor – that of a robbery, in this case – which could just as well have taken place on the evening of the Oscars or at the Met Gala.

Copyright : Jour2Fête

Likewise in Claire’s Cam of Hong Sang-Soo (2018) the Festival is only a background.Shot almost improvised during the event, the filmmaker having benefited from the presence of Isabelle Huppert. There is a director or an international film salesman (Manhee, accused of dishonesty by his boss and dismissed) but their jobs are only a backdrop. When the two women, Claire (Isabelle Huppert) and Manhee meet, it is almost never a question of cinema. On the other hand, La Caméra de Claire shows the life of the Croisette. The professionals who go to press screenings every day: small cafes, lively alleys, the beach… A more indirect but original chronicle.

Paradoxically, the series, which are not the stars of the Festival, give it a nice place. The last episode of the 4th Entourage season («The Cannes Kids») was shot during the 60th Cannes Film Festival, and we can even see briefly the journalist Laurent Weil. On the French side, Call My Agent! also dedicated the final of his season 2 to the event, inspired by the flop of Sophie Marceau’s speech in 1999. The episode follows a Juliette Binoche in her own role, from the essay of her dress, to her urge to go to the toilet a few minutes before the award ceremony, to end up in a Cannes party by a pool like you don’t see much anymore. A realistic and effective incursion into the backdrop. On the film side, The City of Fear is still the best look at the event, and Simon (the camped actor Dominique Farrugia) can vomit of joy by saying «I’m too happy!».

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