Tuesday night’s Camera d’Or 25th anniversary dinner at the Carlton was also the setting for a birthday celebration for 78-year-old French icon Charles Aznavour. The legendary singer-songwriter-thesp, co-starring in Atom Egoyan’s Cannes-bowing “Ararat,” famously wrote, “One must leave the table when love is no longer being served.” But based on the love served up in a standing ovation for Aznavour and then sustained over all courses of the glittery evening, neither Aznavour nor the Camera d’Or first-time-director’s competition will be leaving the table of the entertainment biz any time soon.
Past Camera d’Or winners and global cinema luminaries on hand for the Gilles Jacob and Thierry Fremaux-hosted feast included helmers Egoyan, Frederick Wiseman, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Jaco van Dormael, thesps Geraldine Chaplin, Marthe Keller, Maria de Madeiros and one of this year’s Palme d’Or competitors, Paul Thomas Anderson.
Commenting on this year’s line-up, Fremaux laughed about the critical scrutiny of the selections that is as much a part of Cannes as the Leopard Ladies and the overpriced vin ordinaire. “I was talking to one of the top critics in France and he said, completely seriously, ‘Thierry, you cannot do this. You have TOO MANY good films and it’s impossible to absorb them all.’ How can we win?” asks Fremaux, before quickly changing the subject to one of greater interest to the beaming new father of a baby son. One of the three-week-old lads multiple prenoms is Andre, which Fremaux points out proudly is “in honor of Andre de Toth!”