2013 Cannes Film Festival — Shooting and Jewelry Thefts

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django unchained

Christoph Waltz does the shooting as Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained.

Every year I’m asked the same thing in regards to the Cannes Film Festival.

“Is it pronounced ‘can’ or ‘con’?”

This year, I was asked a different question from one of the suits at a company I’m going to start doing movie reviews for.

“You’re going to the Cannes Film Festival, right?”

I replied, “Sure. I mean, you guys want me there, right? I prefer flying first class, but business class will do just fine.”

I’ve been to many film festivals, but never Cannes. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival started on May 15th, and runs through May 26th. They opened with The Great Gatsby. It’s probably the only audience seeing it that won’t be impressed by the party scenes. They’ve all been to ones just like that.

Steve Spielberg couldn’t get out of jury duty, so he’s the jury president of the 66th festival. Nicole Kidman, Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Life of Pi), and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz will be selecting the winner of the big Palme d’Or.

There’s a lot of buzz about Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring. I’ve always been a bit disappointed by Coppola’s films, but I’m really looking forward to the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis.

inside llewyn

Carey Mulligan and Oscar Isaac in a scene from Inside Llewyn Davis.

Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke is bringing A Touch of Sin, which is a chronicle of social inequities in China. It’s a mix of humor that derives from notorious, actual events. The safe money is to bet on this winning the Palme d’Or.

This is one year at Cannes that the movies are taking a back seat to the other news surrounding the festival.

First, $1.6 million in jewelry was stolen from a hotel room where an employee of Chopard jewelry was staying. Apparently, thieves were looking for lots of “bling rings” in a safe that was ripped from a hotel room wall. Supposedly the items were meant for the celebs to wear down the red carpet. Wonder if there’s that sign in the room most hotels have, saying they’re not responsible for any thefts.

What’s odd is that jewelry thefts are nothing new at Cannes. In 2009, $8 million worth of jewelry was stolen in one incident. At that same festival, thieves made off with $21 million in Cartier jewelry in another theft. You’d think at this point, there’d be better safety precautions. Obviously, the thieves know which room to ransack, too.

It reminded me of the incident at the Brussels airport on February 19th. An armored van, that just got $50 million worth of diamonds off a plane, was robbed by armed gunmen dressed as cops.

I remember a story from the Oscar’s about 10 years ago, where an A-lister was wearing a diamond worth millions. The company that lent it to her had an armed guard that followed her everywhere she went, including the after-party.

Why in the world wouldn’t a company with expensive jewelry have an armed guard sitting in that hotel room 24/7? If that means a maid accidentally takes a bullet, oh well.

On Friday, there was even bigger news than the jewelry theft. Christoph Waltz, who has had so many guns pointed at him in Quentin Tarantino movies, had one pointed at him in real life. He told reporters he thought he was going to die.

He was on a panel at the StudioCanal platform off the beach when a homeless man started firing. He said he feared for his life as he heard the shots being fired into the air. It turns out it was a starting pistol, and just like runners in a track meet – Waltz and French actor Auteuil ran from the set. Bodyguards quickly jumped over barriers and into the crowd, pulling him to the ground. Police found he also had a grenade in his hand, so they yelled for the crowd to run. It turns out that was a fake. The shooter did have one real weapon – a knife.

Waltz and Auteuil were troopers, though. They returned to the set of the TV show and finished their interview.

As they say – The show must go on!

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