Cannes @ 75: 20 September 1936-2021

20 Sep

Critical Divides wishes Festival de Cannes and everyone involved with it over the years, all the very best on the 75th anniversary of the start of the very first festival on 20 September 1946.

The festival had been due to start in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II closed the festival before it opened. Seven years later the 1946 festival ran from 20 September to 5 October and the festivities started in the gardens of the original Grand Hôtel by the American singer Grace Moore singing “La Marseillaise”.

It was said at the time that Cannes offered: “The finest films in the world presented in the finest setting in the world”. That spirit remains true 75 years on.

In 1951 the festival moved to its spring date that we now all know so well, and in May 2022 the actual 75th festival will take place and the celebrations can begin.

A celebration of 75 years of the best of cinema, glamour, business and more that is to be told in the film “Cannes Uncut”.

Joyeux 75e anniversaire.

“Cannes Uncut”: The story of the Cannes shoot

21 Jul

Variety asked Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard to report on the experience of shooting “Cannes Uncut” at the the 74th Cannes Film Festival in July 2021.

Mark Adams speaks to The Hollywood Reporter

21 Jul

At the recent 74th Cannes Film Festival, Critical Divide’s Mark Adams spoke to The Hollywood Reporter to share his thoughts on his favourite things and places in Cannes and his new film “Cannes Uncut”.

“Cannes Uncut”… 75 years of the Cannes Film Festival in a new documentary

23 Jun

With 2022 marking the 75th anniversary of the world’s best known film festival, the feature documentary Cannes Uncut will delve behind the scenes of the gloriously glamorous and glitzy event that has come to represent the best in cinema and the business of showbusiness.

The creative and production team behind Cannes Uncut – Colin Burrows, Richard Blanshard and Critical Divide’s Mark Adams and Chris Pickard – will be filming and conducting interviews at Cannes 2021, the 74th festival, to sit alongside archive material, with the film being ready for the 2022 festival to coincide with diamond jubilee celebrations. Sales agents negotiations are being finalised.

The Cannes Film Festival is famous as an event brimming with stories and characters as outlandish and dramatic as the films that have premiered there, and Cannes Uncut will celebrate the great films as well as the wild parties; the spectacular promotional stunts as well as the iconic talents; the glorious successes and the infamous failures.

This is the documentary that dares to detail all the glamour, red carpets, craziness, deals, parties, movies, and personalities that saw the business of show business implant itself at the Cannes Film Festival. It offers an exciting high-adrenaline, roller-coaster experience of what has played out over the years.

In the decades following its launch in 1946 this initially modest French event established itself as the world’s pre-eminent film festival, and grew to define sophisticated film glamour as the world came to love the images and stories of the stars and starlets as they romped the sunny Cannes beaches by day, looked resplendent in sparkling jewellery and the finest of fashions on the red carpet and partied hard and late into the night.

Some 75 years on, the glorious excesses, triumphs and failures of Cannes is a story that is ready to be told. A story brought together by a band of brothers and sisters who have spent far too many decades pounding the Croisette, sweeping up the red carpet, hiding in the sales bunker, and drinking and carousing late into the night at the Petit Carlton and glamorous parties.

The “Cannes Uncut” team:

  • Colin Burrows is an independent producer, publicity consultant and CEO of the Special Treats Production Company, Europe’s leading production house for audio-visual coverage of the film industry. Clients include all the Hollywood majors, the Bond films for over 25 years, the Harry Potter films, and the The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit films.
  • Richard Blanshard is an award-winning photographer producer, director and director of photography. His career began with special still photography on feature films and television and he was the official photographer to the US and UK film industries at the Cannes film Festival for more than 20 years.
  • Chris Pickard has covered the global film and television industries as a journalist, commentator and critic for more than three decades. He was editor-in-chief of Moving Pictures International, and edited and produced publications at the Cannes, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Sundance, Rotterdam and Karlovy Vary film festivals. He has attended and covered Cannes for more than 20 years.
  • Mark Adams is a critic, writer and film festival consultant. He was most recently Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, joining the festival in 2015. He was Chief Film Critic and Reviews Editor for film trade paper Screen International for four years, and has also been a film critic for VarietyThe Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures International.

13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress

16 Jun

The 13th Brazilian Convention & Visitors Bureau Congress will bring the Brazilian travel and tourism industry and authorities together over two days on 17 and 18 June 2021 (via video conferencing) to look at the challenges facing the industry as it works to reset itself post pandemic. 

While domestic tourism has held up quite well in Brazil over the past 18 months, when allowed to operate, international visitors have been very limited as travel between Brazil and rest of the world has been severely restricted and continues to be so.

The conference, organised by the Brasil Convention & Visitors Bureaux (BC&VB), will emphasise the growing importance of tourism to many areas of Brazil, and look at the challenges to be faced by the accommodation and aviation sectors post pandemic, flights being of key importance to a country the size of Brazil. Sustainable transport is on the agenda, and the participants will also hear about the current global situation for travel and tourism and how other destinations are looking to re-launch and open when it is safe to do so.

Via the magic of Zoom Critical Divide’s Christopher Pickard has the honour of giving his view of world events in a presentation entitled “O Mercado Global de Turismo – um olhar na realidade.” (The Global Tourism Market: A Reality Check).

Cannes Film Festival selection 2021

3 Jun

The Cannes Film Festival has announced its official selection of films for the 74th Festival de Cannes that is scheduled to take place from 6 to 17 July 2021. The selection covers films screening in competition, hors concours, Un Certain Regard, as well as special and midnight screenings. The full list can be found at Critical Divide’s site Cannes the Guide.

The festival will open with a screening of Leos Carax’s Annette, his first feature in English, on Tuesday, 6 July, when the director, actress and American producer, Jodie Foster, will be the guest of honour and receive the Festival’s Honorary Palme d’Or in recognition of her “brilliant artistic journey, and a unique personality with a modest yet strong commitment to some of the major issues of our time.”

True Crime Documentaries in Demand by Global Audiences

23 Mar

A new study by “True Crime Mania” has found that online searches on Netflix and IMDb for true crime documentaries, according to popularity and critical rating, have risen by 114% since May 2020. The study found that while staple mysteries like The Black Dahlia and Jack the Ripper remain among the most-searched cases, it’s the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann that has garnered the most worldwide interest to date. But some viewers are watching true crime docs with no preference for case, as it’s Netflix’s 2020 “Unsolved Mysteries” series that is the most-streamed show globally, with Season 1 Episode 3 House of Terror considered the best of the bunch. The series seeing a massive 696% increase in searches. The top 10 true crime shows based on search volume since May are according to True Crime Mania as follows:

  1. Unsolved Mysteries
  2. Making a Murderer
  3. Wild Wild Country
  4. Abducted in Plain Sight
  5. The Act of Killing
  6. Bowling for Columbine
  7. The Thin Blue Line
  8. The Keepers
  9. The Imposter
  10. The Devil Next Door

Critical Divide will be hoping to add to the list with a new documentary about the life of the Great Train Robber, Ronnie Biggs. “Ronnie Biggs’ Rio: No One is Innocent” is currently in pre-production.

Nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards

15 Mar

The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced from London on 15 March 2021 by Actor-producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas and singer, songwriter and actor Nick Jonas.

For a full list of the nominations and Oscar news, visit our site www.oscarstheguide.com

The 93rd Academy Awards is now scheduled to take place on Sunday, 25 April 2021 at Union Station Los Angeles and at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will televised live in the US on the ABC Television Network.  The Oscars will also be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic it had been scheduled for 28 February 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical Divide features Mangueira for 2021

10 Jan


The Critical Divide calendar for 2021 features Estação Primeira de Mangueira’s parade at Rio’s carnival on 24 February 2020.

Sadly our On Parade with Mangueira: Carnival in Rio project will now have to wait until 2022 as it needs a proper full-blown Rio carnival to work, and that won’t now happen in 2021, although there may be parade of the top samba schools in July.

If that parade takes place, Mangueira samba will be “Angenor, José & Laurindo”, which refers to three of the school’s most iconic figures, the great composer, Cartola, (Angenor de Oliveira); the singer, Jamelão (José Bispo Clementino dos Santos); and the dance master or mestre-sala, Delegado (Hélio Laurindo da Silva).

2021 marks the centenary of the birth of Mestre Delegado who performed for the school from 1948 through to 1984, when he retired as the Mestre-Sala after Mangueira had won the Super-Championship to mark the first year of the Sambódromo. In that period Delegado had always scored a maximum 10 for his presentation.

Hopefully good things come to those that wait, but until then you can keep up to date on carnival and Rio at www.riotheguide.com.

Flying Down to Rio with British United

10 Jan



A blast from the past when British United flew between the UK and Brazil.

British United took over BOAC’s South American routes to Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay on 5 November 1964. Those routes, flying VC10s via Madrid, Lisbon, Las Palmas or Freetown, became profitable for United by late-1968. In November 1970, the airline was sold and merged into Caledonian to form British Caledonian that continued to fly to South America, replacing the VC10s with Boeing 707s in 1972, which allowed for a non-stop service between London Gatwick and Rio.

British Airways took over the routes from British Caledonian in 1985.