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Day 2, Thursday, May 17
by Jimmy Thomson

OK, OK, I got it slightly wrong. The Bee Movie is not a mixture of animation and live action after all. But why else would Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock be photographed in insect suits in front of digital animation unless it was part of the film? The answer was revealed today when Seinfeld, wearing a giant bee suit, was launched off the 10-storey-high roof of the Carlton Hotel in Cannes to promote his Bee Movie. Seinfeld “flew” over La Croisette to the beach, flew back and descended once more – just in case the waiting cameras failed to get it. The Bee Movie, a Dreamworks animation due at the end of this year, also stars the voices of Chris Rock and Renee Zellwegger in co-starring roles, with Kathy Bates, Rip Torn, Ray Liotta, John Goodman, Sting and Oprah Winfrey lending vocal support. Before Seinfeld launched himself into a brilliant blue sky, his good friend Chris Rock told him, “If anything happens, I want you to know I never thought you were that funny.”

JERRY SEINFELD PRESS CONFERENCE "A lull in the conversation" - Audio clip


One of the joys of festivals like Cannes is that you get to see for free people you would gladly pay to watch. Before his death defying stunt, Seinfeld (and Rock) turned up on stage with Jeffrey Katzenberg to launch the movie. Seinfeld explained that the idea for the Bee Movie was an idle thought expressed during an awkward lull in conversation during dinner with Steven Spielberg. No wonder he’s so desperately keen to promote it – The Bee Movie, four years in the making, is clearly his baby from beginning to end.


Supertight security is no match for old fashioned French manners. Turning up at the highly restricted “conversations” with Norah Jones and Jude Law, I only had to say that a female friend had left her hat inside to be allowed to go in and look for it. OK, it was true but it’s certainly a ploy I might use in future.


By the way, My Blueberry Nights, the movie I dubbed the Ultimate Chick Flick, is somewhat less enthralling than we’d hoped. You could blame the script – except there wasn’t one. Why anyone would entrust the burden of carrying an entire movie to a first-timer and then let her and her co-star improvise their dialogue is beyond me. Scritpwriters of the world rejoice – you jobs are safe if this is the best that actors and directors can come up with. On the other hand, some critics were heard snootily complaining that it was distracting hearing Jones talking over her singing voice. Only it wasn’t her singing, it was Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall) who also makes a brief appearance as Jude Law’s ex.


Surprise hit of the festival so far is Control, the movie about the sadly (self-)truncated life of Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis. It’s dark but it’s funny too with the biggest laugh going to the line: “It could be worse, you could be the lead singer of The Fall.” Sam Riley, who plays Curtis with eerie conviction, played Fall front man Mark E Smith in the movie 24 Hour Party People. And a cameo of punk poet John Cooper Clark – a recent visitor to Australia – turning back the clock a mere 30 years got a murmur of approval too. Control could be a dark horse contender for the Camera D’Or, in more ways than one.


The other big rumour in Cannes this week is about those who temporarily aren’t here. The story doing the rounds is that a select few were whisked off the Cote d’Azure and flown to LA to see sneak previews of the new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie which couldn't be allowed out of the USA for security reasons. Wait a minute. You have the world’s movie press in the South of France and you fly them at great expense back to LA to see a film because you daren’t let it leave the USA? It sounds just ridiculous enough to be true. Certainly the endless queues for everything from screenings to the toilets were being scanned to see who wasn’t there, as much as to see who was.

Wish you were here..

Published May 18, 2007

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Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld - Bee Movie photocall
WireImage.com photo

JERRY SEINFELD PRESS CONFERENCE -"A lull in the conversation" - Audio clip

Bee Movie stunt




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