The opposite of illuminating, “A Special Day” merely trails, through Cannes’ Palais des Festivals, the three dozen or so filmmakers who contributed shorts to the omnibus pic “To Each His Own Cinema” in 2007. Woefully insufficient sound recording reduces the docu to stargazing images of auteurs leisurely traipsing from photocall to press conference to screening to dinner and then to a party — another of which, five years on, provides the pic’s apparent raison d’etre. Climactic shots of the directors enjoying caviar and such do little to diminish the sense that it’s the viewer who’s getting served.
Clips from the filmmakers’ shorts — including Roman Polanski’s “Cinema Erotique” — pad the pic’s running time, although the majority of the absurdly sycophantic movie involves near-silent shots of the directors’ flapping lips, the substance of their informal chats impossible to determine. All one can know for sure is that Jane Campion evidently gabbed a fair amount with Michael Cimino, and Gus Van Sant with Polanski. Momentarily breaking the embargo on the reproduction of dialogue, director Gilles Jacob allows himself to be described onscreen by one director as an “old-school gentleman.”