The first-in-the-world hype accompanying Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull's premiere at Cannes appears to remain the only story of interest to most festivalgoers, with everything from live-blogs of the screening to more meditative reads ("I was bored out of my mind," writes Manohla Dargis) peppering the spectrum of feedback. Of course there's always Harvey Weinstein, who continues his Cannes dealings with impunity despite our corporate death sentence leveled last week. And people actually seem to like Woody Allen's latest! It's the '80s all over again!
Part of me thinks that some flea-bitten Parisian radicals should come and close this shit down right now. And part of me thinks: You know what? Cannes needs Indy. We've had five days here of earnest and serious filmmaking, ranging from mediocre to outstanding, but nothing that feels like a movie that will rock the world. ... But if you want to know whether Ford, Spielberg and Lucas can recapture their mojo almost 20 years after Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the only answers I can provide are frustrating ones, like kind of and maybe and it depends what you mean.
Such qualifications are everywhere this morning as reviews surge forth, but Harrison Ford and company couldn't seem to care less. "It is not unusual for something that is popular to be disdained by some people," Ford said at Sunday's press conference. "I work for the people who pay to get in — they are my customers. My focus is on providing the best experience I can." We have our own (spoiler-rific) ideas about the results, but even the worst lambasting wouldn't prevent Ford's "experience" from raking in upwards of $140 million over the five-day Memorial Day frame.
Meanwhile, down the block, Harvey Weinstein announced a $60 million adaptation of the novel The Alchemist, to be directed and produced by its leading man Laurence Fishburne. The Hollywood Reporter quotes Harvey as saying: "The book means so much to people on a spiritual level. ... I think there is a bridge to the Middle East in this story." Finally — world peace! From the Weinsteins!
It's no less ambitious than restoring Woody Allen's name, we suppose, which the Weinsteins may have done as well with his much-appreciated Cannes premiere Vicky Cristina Barcelona. (The film even has Timecritic Richard Corliss flirting with relevancy with one of his best reviews in years.) Not to be outdone, Harvey's wife Georgina Chapman is designing its stars' premiere attire. Synergy is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes in the form of a "creme silk gown with embroidered straps" on Penelope Cruz. Alas, Harvey, we have not forgotten about Fraggle Rock. You can't stop what's coming.
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