1987-1996 : The first Palme d'Or for a woman director
A winners list that makes waves
The Cannes award winners list has often created a stir, but the controversy has rarely reached the level that it did in 1987, when the Palme d'Or was awarded to Under the Sun of Satan by Maurice Pialat. The reaction to the showing of the film was mitigated. The director was greeted on stage by words of abuse and loud whistling. "If you don't like me, I can tell you that I don't like you either", the director retorted. In 1991, the award winners chosen under the presidency of Roman Polanski stirred up less debate but nevertheless set a precedent. The members of the jury, swept up by their enthusiasm, attributed all the major awards to the film Barton Fink . The Coen brothers won the Palme d'Or and the award for Best Director and the award for Best Actor went to its star John Turturro. From then on the Festival Organisers forbade future juries from attributing all the major awards to one film.
A first for everything
Even when a Festival is forty years old, there can still be a first time for everything. In 1987, the red carpet was first laid down on the steps leading up to the Palais. In 1993, the Palme d'Or was jointly awarded to Farewell, My Concubine by Chen Kaige and to a woman, the director Jane Campion for The Piano . With the fall of the Berlin wall, the first 'Cinema & Liberty' conference was held and attracted a hundred or so directors from all around the world.
Anniversary evening: the Festival is 40 years old
Exceptional evening for the 40th anniversary of the Festival: Yves Montand and Catherine Deneuve, Paul Newman, Monica Vitti, Claudia Cardinale, Liz Taylor climbing the steps, and showing of a film by Gilles Jacob "Cinema in the Eyes", showing of the greatest films presented in Cannes.
Adieu to the master
In 1990, Federico Fellini presented The Voice of the Moon at the Cannes Film Festival. Despite having once said that he didn't like ceremonies, this was the tenth film that he had presented on La Croisette, after films such as The Nights of Cabiria in 1957, La Dolce Vita in 1960, Amarcord in 1974 and City of Women in 1980. The Voice of the Moon would be the last film by the legendary director who died in 1994. He once declared that "Cannes is like a natural harbour for a film to moor in". The Festival paid tribute to him by presenting effigies of his characters on the stage curtain of the Festival's Louis Lumière theatre.
From the awards to the box office
The recurrent reproach is that the Festival rewards cinema d'auteur that is not actually what the public want to watch. The nineties largely proved this wrong. The decade saw the Palme d'Or going to The Piano, Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, Secrets and Lies by Mike Leigh, and other prizes going to Hate by Mathieu Kassovitz and The Eighth Day by Jaco van Dormael, all of which were big box office successes. In certain cases, the Cannes Festival has even helped a film to find its public. Cinema Paradiso initially met with a very poor reception in Italy. In 1989, its director Giuseppe Tornatore shortened it by half an hour before presenting it at Cannes. It won the Jury Grand Prix and went on to be an International success.
List of winners of the 1994 festival
Extract from the award ceremony of the 47th Festival, presented by the jury which was presided by Clint Eastwood and Catherine Deneuve. Surprise Palme d'Or to "Pulp Fiction" by Quentin Tarantino and great emotion for Virna Lisi, who received the Best Actress award.
On the subject of "Hate" and "Underground" at the 1995 Festival
Interview with the Hate team, Best Screenplay award: Mathieu Kassovitz explains the origins of the film and its three actors explain what they got from the film; then Emir Kusturica talks about Underground, Palme d'Or winner at the 48th Festival.
Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne, joint winners of the Best Actor award for The Eighth Day
Interview with Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne, joint winners of the Best Actor award at the 49th Festival. Daniel Auteuil insisted that awarding Pascal Duquenne, down syndrome sufferer, with the prize, meant that all differences had been abolished.
List of winners of the 1996 festival
The great moments of the closing ceremony of the 49th Festival, with a highly commended Palme d'Or for Mike Leigh with "Secrets and Lies", a long ovation for the two actors in "The Eighth Day" Daniel Auteuil and Pascal Duquenne, and a Grand Prix for "Breaking the Waves" by Lars Von Trier.
Cancans in Cannes
A few years earlier, in 1988, La Cicciolina, porn actress turned Italian politician, climbed the steps of the Cannes Festival topless, putting an end to the age old question of how to dress for the occasion. An only slightly more clothed Madonna created a media frenzy when she came to Cannes in 1991 to present her film In Bed with Madonna. The previous year, the Russian director Vitali Kanevski was part of the selection for the first time. He knew nothing about the organisation of the Festival. As he made his way back from a party with a group of Swedish sailors, the police came across him at daybreak. They didn't believe a word of the dishevelled director's story that his film was in competition at the Cannes Festival, but checked just in case, and then escorted him back to his hotel. A few days later he won the Caméra d'Or for Freeze, Die, Come to Life . In 1996 Lars von Trier obtained the Jury Grand prix for Breaking the Waves, but this didn't convince him to brave his fear of flying to make the trip to Cannes. His producer let him hear the audience's ovation via her mobile phone.
Yves Montand talks about the difficult role of Jury president
Yves Montand talks about the difficult role of jury member, who in order to choose a winner must reject films, even though these films represented everything for the directors who made them. He then talks about the different sorts of films, those to escape and those which ask for more efforts from the spectators.
Chronicles of the 1992 Festival: the winners, behind the scenes, the young directors
Tales of the 1992 Festival: glimpse behind the scenes; interview with the directors of "Man Bites Dog", presented at Critics' Week; mixed reactions to the list of winners, which some consider "academic"; finally the Festival seen by the palaces' managers.
Assessment of and reactions to the list of winners of the 1989 Festival
Reaction to the announcement of the winners of the 1989 Cannes Festival, which surprised people by crowning Steven Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies and Videotape". Extract of the press conferences given by Steven Soderbergh after the award.
Presentation of the jury members
Jean Claude Brialy, from the stage of the Palais des Festivals, presents and welcomes the jury members: the president Wim Wenders, Renée Blanchare, the vice president Sally Field, the producer Christine Gouze-Rénal, Hector Babenco, the critic Claude Beylie, the producer Silvio Clementelli, the writer Peter Handke, Krzystof Kieslowski and the musician Georges Delerue.
Jeanne Moreau on the subject of the Diane Kurys film
Showing of the first film in the official competition of the 40th Festival: "A Man in Love" by Diane Kurys, for the French selection. At the end of the showing, Jeanne Moreau tells of her enthusiasm for this film, and underlines its justice and control.