May 17--Not many of us will ever get to the fabulous Cannes Film Festival currently taking place in the glamorous French resort town. But there is a way to enjoy the Cannes experience vicariously via the films that have used the international festival as a backdrop for narrative features, TV movies and documentaries.
One example is "Seduced & Abandoned," Alec Baldwin and James Toback's documentary chronicling their attempts to raise financing for a project at the 2012 extravaganza. The duo has have returned to the French Riviera this year to screen the film, which has been acquired by HBO.
Definitely worth checking out is indie filmmaker Henry Jaglom's "Festival in Cannes," a well-received 2001 satire of the machinations of filmmakers and the art of the deal at Cannes at the 1999 festival. The stellar cast includes Anouk Aimee, Oscar-winner Maximilian Schell, Greta Scacchi, Zack Norman, Ron Silver and Peter Bogdanovich. Faye Dunaway, Jeff Goldblum, Holly Hunter and William Shatner appear in cameos.
Though it's a bit too lightweight, the 2007 comedy of errors "Mr. Bean's Holiday" is a film the entire family can enjoy. Britain's comedy clown Rowan Atkinson's impish man-child Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes and France is never the same. Directed by Steve Bendelack, the comedy also stars Willem Dafoe as a vain director. The red carpet sequence was actually shot during a premiere of a Portuguese film at the festival.
Before E! Entertainment gave the world an endless stream of reality shows, the cable network tried its hand at TV movies, including "Murder at the Cannes Film Festival," directed by Harvey Frost. The 2000 murder mystery comedy, which manages a few chuckles, stars French Stewart of "3rd Rock from the Sun" and his then-wife Katharine LaNasa. The film, which was shot on location and also in Vancouver, was executive produced by the late Merv Griffin, who makes a cameo in the film.
Then there's "Cannes Man," directed and cowritten by Richard Martini. This 1996 low-budget independent comedy with "The Player" aspirations was produced during the 1995 festival. Francesco Quinn, Anthony's son, and indie legend Seymour Cassel star in this satire that examines the hype and hyperbole surrounding the festival. Several actors including John Malkovich, Johnny Depp, Treat Williams, Dennis Hopper and Jon Cryer pop up, as well as producer Harvey Weinstein.
Several other films have been shot in and around Cannes, including the 1995 comedy "French Kiss," 1988's "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," 1998's "Ronin," 1955's "To Catch a Thief" and 1973's "The Day of the Jackal."
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