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Why The Cannes Film Festival Is Awesome

Cannes: Where It's Okay To Heckle A Filmmaker

Cannes: Where It's Okay To Heckle A Filmmaker

The Cannes Film Festival sounds like a great time. Not only do you get to see what are normally some high quality films, you are totally allowed to boo and harass the filmmakers if you are displeased with what you are seeing. I have personally got up and left once while seeing a movie (“Showgirls”…not even the nudity kept me in my seat) but it is commonplace at Cannes. It seems like there is always one movie that appalls the crowd the most and this year, that movie is Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist”. This Reuters report says that the film “elicited derisive laughter, gasps of disbelief, a smattering of applause and loud boos” over the weekend. I am guessing that Lars, who is known for his shock value, was not looking for that reaction.

So why does this make Cannes awesome? Why, you can boo or cheer a movie and it is completely acceptable. The idea of this is very appealing to me. I’m a big sports fan and this is a practice that makes movies more like sports. If it’s an awful flick (a blowout in sports), you can leave early. If you are stuck to your seat in excitement, let them know at the end with a standing ovation. Being that I have never been to a film festival, I don’t know if this behavior is commonplace or really a product of Cannes.

The odd thing is that when I go see a movie and the audience applauds at the end, I get extremely annoyed. The actors/director/producers can’t hear your cheers. The same goes for booing. I don’t know why it does, but when people cheer or boo at the end of a 7:15 showing of “Star Trek”…I get extremely irritated and dismiss each of those people as complete buffoons.

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  1. Adam
    May 19, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    I have only applauded one movie after a theater viewing. That movie was The Dark Knight. I didn’t feel silly or ridiculous applauding. It’s no different than applauding during a sporting event if you have nosebleed seats. Actually, it’s a lot better. I’ve never seen someone shout, “Joker, you suck!” or “Batman, you’re the shit!” in a theater though I have seen people scream, “Jeter, you’re a sissy!” and “Hey Brady ‘90210’ Anderson, you’re a bum!” from 500 feet away. Unless you’re willing to get into a one-on-one confrontation, shut your drunken piehole. A movie is a production and if it’s a genius production, I’ll applaud.

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