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Who will steal Cannes?

This year's prestigious film awardsmay see more outrageous stunts

 

Attention seekers. Can't live with them, can't live without them. They say something random and thousands re-tweet them or "like" their Instagram photos, no matter how inane their comment. Sometimes, attention seekers meet, fall in love and have babies. The child of Kimye is going to have 100,000 likes on Facebook faster than you can finish reading this paragraph. But it's hard out there for people in entertainment. You need buzz to validate your presence. Everyone at Cannes is somehow a director, a producer or an actor. And it's much harder out in the very prestigious film market place, which turns 46 this year.

Red-carpet stunts are part of the business, and they make for great stories, not to mention how the right moves jump-start careers. French ingénue Brigitte Bardot was an unknown - albeit very sexy - 19-year-old blonde sunbathing nonchalantly - and topless - on the beach in Cannes in 1953 when she was famously discovered by the paparazzi.

But scene-stealing takes on a whole new meaning at Cannes. It's a creative licence used so liberally for the sake of box-office returns that it smacks of genius and desperation at the same time. Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme, for example, wearing tuxedos, almost came to blows at the 1992 festival in a publicity stunt to promote Universal Soldier. That was perhaps the most memorable scene not in the movie.

Remember the platoon of Stormtroopers flanking the red carpet with George Lucas at the premiere of Revenge of the Sith in 2005? Sure, it looks like a bad Halloween idea now, but it worked smashingly well for the dismal film.

In 2006, Sasha Baron Cohen, in a so-graphic-you-have-to-look attempt at promoting Borat, took to the beach in the horrific lime-green mankini that still gives us nightmares. The world instantly knew who Sasha Baron Cohen was and, more importantly, we knew he was very pasty and hairy. A year later, Jerry Seinfeld was hoisted into the sky in a giant bee costume to promote his movie, erm, Bee Movie.

Even celebrity secrets aren't spared in the dynamics of film promotion. Jack Black caused a sensation at the 2008 festival with a "slip of the tongue" announcement that his Kung Fu Panda voice-over co-star Angelina Jolie was expecting twins. Which leaves us to wonder, what celluloid atrocities await at this year's Cannes? Could Australian director Baz Luhrmann, who helmed the festival's opening film The Great Gatsby, rope in a chorus of 1920s-style showgirls? He had Miuccia Prada's help with the costumes, so there's every possibility of a couture fashion blowout. Will Emma Watson - the British star of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, in which she plays a classy thief who robs Hollywood stars - steal the festival's Palme d'Or as a publicity stunt? That is something I'd really like to see.

The Aristocrat

 

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