The best part about the Cannes Film Festival is its ability to keep us engaged not just during the 12-day event on the French Riviera, but also in the months leading to the actual event, held every May. Announcements that range from naming the presidents of the main competition jury, Camera dÓr and A Certain Regard to the unveiling of the titles (this year on April 12) in Paris keep Cannes fans in a state of high adrenaline rush.
And the Festival is just out with the news of its plan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick's magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey. It will be a world premiere of, mind you, an un-restored 70 mm print, and the movie will be introduced by no less a director than Christopher Nolan – whose Dunkirk and Inception were seen recently in India and who is one of the few helmers still keen on using celluloid, not digital.
Nolan will champion the cause of movie preservation by hosting a discussion on Reframing The Future of Film in Mumbai on April 1.
Kubrick – renowned for works like Lolita, A Clockwork Orange and Eyes Wide Shut (with the then husband- wife duo, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise) – will be celebrated on May 12 as part of the Cannes Classics. Kubrick's (who died in 1999 just after he had completed Eyes Wide Shut) daughter, Kathrina Kubrick, and his longtime producing partner and brother-in-law, Jan Harlan, will be at Cannes to cheer the space adventure.
Nolan, who will be at Cannes for the first ever time, will hold a masterclass on May 13 where he will talk about film preservation and his love for all things Kubrick.
Nolan said in a statement: “One of my earliest memories of cinema is seeing Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,' in 70mm, at the Leicester Square Theatre in London with my father. The opportunity to be involved in recreating that experience for a new generation, and of introducing our new unrestored 70mm print of Kubrick’s masterpiece in all its analogue glory at the Cannes Film Festival is an honour and a privilege.”
The movie starred Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood as astronauts on a voyage to Jupiter with the computer HAL 9000, following the discovery of a mysterious black monolith, which had a profound effect on human evolution. Kubrick won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, in addition to clinching nominations for direction and original screenplay.
Many, many critics consider 2001: A Space Odyssey as Kubrick's masterpiece, not A Clockwork Orange, a dystopian crime thriller, or Eyes Wide Shut, a study of eroticism.
The Festival's 71st edition will run from May 8 to 19
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is an author, commentator and movie critic who has covered the Cannes Film Festival for 28 years, and may be emailed at email@example.com)