Jérôme Paillard, who oversees Cannes's Marché du Film, the business end of the Cannes Film Festival, maintained that contrary to distressing reports of studio marketing cutbacks at Cannes and fewer hotel and yacht rentals in town due to the recession, "we haven't really seen any impact here from the crisis." Cannes Market News , the official daily trade publication distributed by the Marché, reported today (Wednesday) that "organizers expect attendance numbers to come out at around the same levels as last year by the close of the Marché." Paillard suggested that the main difference between this year's festival and those preceding it is that a lot more 3D films are being screened. On the other hand, former Daily Variety reporter Rex Weiner writes in today's (Wednesday) online Huffington Post that both trade publications, Daily Variety and The Hollywood Reporter , have significantly cut back on their Cannes coverage with Variety using a skeleton crew in Los Angeles -- instead of one on-site -- to produce its daily Cannes edition. The Reporter has assigned only four reporters to Cannes (plus two reviewers). Weiner concludes "While the cutback in trade reporting from the field may be yet another symptom of the media's overall malaise, it also marks a tipping point for the Cannes Film Festival itself. The importance of Cannes has diminished in the film world over the years (when was the last time a Palme d'Or winner was also a hit at the US box-office?), and now the lack of serious coverage by industry journalists may prove to be its death knell." As another sign of degeneration, a small group of accredited writers -- who apparently have never had to work in a noisy newsroom -- succeeded in persuading the attendants in a press room at Cannes to mute the monitor showing live coverage of the festival's news conferences -- on the grounds that the audio was distracting.

13/05/2009