ACTION-packed adventure Robin Hood got the 2010 Cannes film festival underway on Wednesday, kicking off 11 days of movie mayhem on the French Riviera.
A-listers Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, who play Robin and Marion respectively in Ridley Scott’s re-working of the English legend, were expected to be on the red carpet for the opening evening gala. The Hollywood blockbuster is, however, one of relatively few US titles at this year’s festival, reflecting a tough economic climate that has starved Cannes of some of its star power and provides an unsettling backdrop to the celebration of cinema.
“Maybe the main reason is the (financial) crisis, because cinema is an industry … which needs a lot of money,” festival director Thierry Fremaux said.
“As we all know, everywhere in the world money is not something very easy to find and especially to make a film with. But I think also it’s a coincidence. Maybe next year we will have three, four, five American films.”
The sole US title in the all-male, 19-strong competition is Doug Liman’s Fair Game starring Naomi Watts as Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose cover was blown in 2003, and Sean Penn as her husband Joseph Wilson.
Oliver Stone and Woody Allen bring their latest films to the prestigious movie showcase but outside the competition.
Asian cinema features strongly in Cannes, which prides itself on promoting new talent and championing low-budget productions by obscure directors from around the world.
Asia is represented by films from Thailand, Japan, China and two from South Korea –– Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry and Im Sangsoo’s The Housemaid.
“When (South) Korea came out in the festival years ago, we didn’t know if it was one shot or really a long trend and now we can say that Korea, or Asia but especially Korea, is a very strong country for cinema,” said Fremaux. –– Reuters.