Sitting on Jack Nicholson’s knee and other Cannes tales » Manila Bulletin Entertainment

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CANNES, France (AFP) – The Cannes film festival — the world’s greatest movie showcase — celebrates its 70th anniversary this year.

Jane Birkin (AFP / Jacques Demarthon/ File)

AFP asked actors and directors who made their names at the festival to recount their highs and lows at the star-studded event.

– Jane Birkin –
Some details are missing from British actress Jane Birkin’s early memories of Cannes:

“The first memory that springs to mind is… was when I sat on Jack Nicholson’s lap. It was pretty funny. I don’t really remember the exact context, and actually, there is really no reason anyone should find themselves on Jack Nicholson’s lap. The frivolity of Cannes! I must have been 25.”

Birkin says her best memory was attending the festival to promote Jacques Doillon’s 1984 film “The Pirate”.

“It was a very beautiful moment,” she said.

– Cecilia Roth –
Argentine actress Cecilia Roth says she first went to Cannes in 1999 for the film “All About My Mother”, directed by Pedro Almodovar.

“I remember many things. The euphoria we all felt. We were together, discovering Cannes for the first time,” Roth said, recalling sharing the moment with the other actresses of the film.

“It’s a very special festival. It makes you feel like you’re flying… It was the first time we saw people’s reactions. It was powerful,” she said.

“I was terrified. It was too much at that moment. On the one hand I was dying to win, but on the other hand the situation had gotten so enormous with that film, which won one prize after another, including an Oscar. Everything about that film was very special,” Roth said.

She returned two years later, to host the festival with Gerard Depardieu and Uma Thurman.

“That was also a very special experience. I looked tiny between the two of them. It was very exciting to open the festival, with the whole crowd before us,” she recalled.

“Cannes is a very beautiful, very fascinating festival… It’s effervescent like champagne. You feel like you are inside a bubble of champagne. It’s very powerful.”

– Costa Gavras –
Greek-born director Costa Gavras, who has been to Cannes several times, says every time has been a good memory.

One of his best was jointly winning the Palme d’Or in 1982 for his film “Missing”, alongside Turkish director Yilmaz Guney for “Yol”.

“There was silence in the room, I don’t know if people were wondering what would happen between a Greek and a Turk. And then we embraced, and that was a great moment,” Gavras said.

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