Kusturica rocks

Jury prexy kicks out the Cannes jams with band, Bardem

Cannes jury president Emir Kusturica and his No Smoking Orchestra earned the Palme d’Or for hi-jinks Sunday night, playing their raucous brand of Balkan punk folk long into the night at a party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Belgian distrib Cinelibre.

Fellow juror Javier Bardem made a guest appearance as drummer, while Salma Hayek danced on stage before a crowd of delighted, foot-stomping fest-goers.

“Shall we bring this lovely tent down?,” screamed bare-chested band leader Dr. Nelle, while in a departure from the usual things jury prexies do, Kusturica — newly nicknamed “The Judge” — sweated under the stage lights and strummed his electric guitar. At one point he and a band violinist played their instruments on a pole-vault sized bow across the stage.

“I’ve known Emir since before ‘The Time of the Gypsies,’ ” recalled distrib Eliane Dubois, revealing that the Martinez beach concert was planned before Kusturica was asked to preside the jury.

Also present were fellow jury members including Toni Morrison, Agnes Varda and Benoit Jaquot, thesp Gael Garcia Bernal and Gallic helmer Christian Carion, whose “Merry Christmas” was screened out of competition Monday evening.

Penny Wolf was among a contingent from HBO while Studio Canal execs included exec VP intl. sales Muriel Sauzay, among many sponsors of the soiree.

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