Poster features nine film business notables

Cannes will reveal the lineup for this year’s festival on April 19. But things are already jumping — literally.

Unlike past years, when fest posters featured semi-abstract graphics, this year’s poster — marking the fest’s 60th anni — is a kinetic mix centered around a photo of nine pic-biz notables, thus putting films and artists “at the forefront of the festival,” according to fest prexy Gilles Jacob, general manager Catherine Demier and artistic director Thierry Fremaux.

The composite includes, clockwise from top, Souleymane Cisse, Gerard Depardieu, Pedro Almodovar, Samuel Jackson, Bruce Willis, Penelope Cruz, Wong Kar Wai and, center, Juliette Binoche and Jane Campion.

Alex Majoli, photographer for the Magnum Agency, last year shot approximately 100 stars jumping in the air, leaving it to the Cannes honchos and graphic designer Christophe Renard to select the final mix for the poster.

Majoli was asked to reinvent the work of American photographer Philippe Halsman (1906-1979), who had said, “When you ask a personality to jump, their attention is particularly concentrated on their leap; the mask of their pose falls, revealing their true personality.”

Clearly, the joint is jumping. The lineup for the May 16-27 event will be unveiled April 19. May 20 is earmarked as the official birthday celebration of the fest. As part of the festivities, Cannes will premiere the specially commissioned film “Each to His Own Cinema,” with 35 directors from 25 countries each contributing a three-minute film (Daily Variety, Feb. 20).

While birthdays often invite retrospection, Cannes is emphatically looking forward, with organizers planning a few changes to surprise fest-goers.

According to the fest trio, the poster was envisioned as a chance “to reunite artists, and to make them share the same impetus of laughter and dynamism that the Festival de Cannes wants to give its future.”

As David Lee Roth sings in the Van Halen tune, “You might as well jump.”

Or, as they say in France, “Sautez!”

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