Friday, March 18, 2011
CANNES MAN -- a comedy/satire that combines the goings-on at the Cannes Film Festival with the old standby situation, "I'll bet I can take a complete nobody and turn him/her into a star!" -- would have seemed like a novel lark maybe 15 years ago. Oddly enough, the movie is exactly that old. And, oh, do those years show. Released to DVD and Blu-ray this month via Cinema Libre Studio, this film, so far as TrustMovies is concerned, is not nearly up to the level of the usual Cinema Libre product.
Richard Martini who co-wrote the film (along with Deric Haddad, Irwin M. Rappaport and Susan Shapiro), Cannes Man begins with the funeral of a movie producer/con man named Sy Lerner, played by Seymour Cassel (below, right), who's a wonder, as usual, bringing with him via flashback the only real zing the movie offers. Just as Mr. Martini, shown at left, was wise to get this particular guy for his lead role, equally unwise was he to tap into a fellow named Francesco Quinn (below, left) for the other most important role. Mr. Quinn, son of Anthony, is bearable, but only that. Relatively charmless and non-charismatic, he brings no real zeal to the part and consequently weighs things down rather than goosing them up. This is not helpful when you're doing satirical comedy.
Henry Jaglom made one of his best films -- Festival in Cannes -- that similarly skewers Cannes, moviemaking and egos but does so in a manner that is much funnier and glossier and that makes this Riviera-set festival and its entire crazy movie scene seem both glamorous and a kind of con job. For movie buffs, the ace-in-the-hole that Cannes Man offers will be the several cameos from some BIG stars (some of whom were not quite so big back then, others who've now seen their sun eclipsed).
Johnny Depp (above), who, along with Jim Jarmusch (below, left, with Depp and Quinn), the Sy Lerner character tries to interest in acting, directing, co-producing -- literally anything he can induce them to do -- on his film.
Benicio Del Toro (below), John Malkovitch (further below) and Treat Williams (even further below).