Between glamor and politics, the competition begins at the Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival opens the race for the Palme d’Or this Wednesday with the film “Tchaikovsky’s Woman”, by Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, critical of his government, and on the red carpet Tom Cruise will provide glamor with his new “Top Gun”.

The Russian filmmaker’s film, about the tumultuous relationship between the famous composer and his wife Antonina Miliukova, kicks off this year’s 21 feature film competition.

Already in contention last year with “Petrov’s fever” and with “Leto” in 2018, the director, known for his positions in favor of the LGTB + community, could not travel to Cannes in those years because he was convicted of diversion of money , in a case denounced as a political maneuver by its defenders.

This time you will be able to climb the famous steps of the Palace of Festivals and attend the gala screening of “Tchaikovsky’s Wife”, about the author of “Swan Lake” and whose private life “Russians are totally unaware of”, according to he told AFP recently in an interview in Berlin, where he is now based.

Serebrennikov, whose mother is Ukrainian, told AFP the “horror, sadness, shame, pain” he felt at the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, at the end of February, the organizers of the event have already positioned themselves and announced that they would not receive “Russian official representatives, government agencies or journalists who represent the official line.”

The intervention by videoconference of the Ukrainian president, Volodimir Zelenski, on Tuesday at the opening gala to ask for the support of the world of cinema confirmed the political tone of this edition of the event.

“We need a new (Charlie) Chaplin to show that cinema is not silent,” Zelensky told a star-studded auditorium.

The festival has also decided to program several Ukrainian directors, such as the veteran Sergei Loznitsa and the new director Maksim Nakonechnyi. And the film “Mariupolis 2”, by the Lithuanian Mantas Kvedaravicius, who died in April in this Ukrainian city, whose images could have been edited by his girlfriend.

With regard to the conflict in the former Soviet republic, the president of the contest’s jury, French actor Vincent Lindon, said on Tuesday at the traditional press conference that he hoped the environment “would be dignified, respectful (…) even if it is only as a tribute to those who live much more complicated days than us”.

The other film in competition presented this Wednesday will be “Le otto montagne”, by the Belgians Felix Van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch, about the friendship of two boys, one who lives in the city and the other in the mountains.

But, without a doubt, the most anticipated moment of the day will be in the afternoon, with Tom Cruise and his “Top Gun: Maverick”.

According to US media, the 59-year-old Hollywood star could even reach the red carpet by helicopter.

Cruise, who was last in Cannes in 1992 for the premiere of “A Far Far Away” with his then-wife Nicole Kidman, now returns as the veteran aviator, who has to train a group of graduates for a very dangerous mission.

Unlike other big names in Hollywood, such as Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, the interpreter has managed to stay at the top of the industry for much of his 40-year career, even now that superheroes dominate the sector.

With its presence at Cannes, the event continues its tradition of bringing the top stars of the seventh art to its red carpet, which Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio and Cate Blanchett have recently passed through.

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