The truth behind Cannes Film Festival

Always the best film event of the year Cannes is again exciting and filled with the finest films of the year.

The judges however, should be taken aside and guided into what makes a good film and also a good actor. Todays cinema seems to be far inferior to the halcyon days of the early years.

Did you ever see Disney film so dark as to need a torch to watch Sleeping Beauty or Fantasia? Even the seven dwarfs down their mine were easily visible.

If you want mood, or tension, or drama, look to past masters like Hitchcock. He didn’t make films you couldn’t see because of poor lighting.

Also why do we have to listen to music whilst the actors are acting? Orchestras and choirs starting up to add Feeling and Emotion…and when we are trying to hear the words…just bad direction. Time to get up and leave the cinema.

Now, about what makes a good actor?

Gaping is when the actor/actress, is open mouthed throughout the film waiting for his or her line. Or waiting to act or react to the scene. Today it is common to see the actor or actress spend the whole time on screen with there mouth half open. But far worse is actors who cannot speak. They have a script and know what is happening in the film, we on the other hand have to rely on them keeping us informed on the storyline.

Speak clearly and mind the furniture is very good advice. Bad diction and mumbling are killers for the audience.

“What did he say?”… and, “Speak up”, are to be avoided for good actors.

Finally, any actor who says whispering heightens the attention of the viewer is talking crap. If he whispers, call it a day and leave.

So you ask why is Cannes the best?

Its simple really.

Most of the films are in French, so if they whisper, mumble or have bad diction and the film is shot at night in a big deep pit with no lights, you will be able to understand perfectly by reading the subtitles.

Better still, if you are given a book of the film to read during the performance, you won’t need to watch bad actors or bad films.

At Cannes, my star of the show was Nicole Kidman. She looked fantastic and I wouldn’t mind sitting through a dark film with her anytime.

I wish Brad Pitt would do what he’s good at and make films…instead of sitting at home and letting his wife make B films. This is not going to make him a great actor.

Because I was bored with the majority of the films on show, and judges who tried speaking mainly in French, I spent my time making lists.

I am a great list maker.

All great actors had distinctive voices. A list of the best included Claude Raines, Olivier, Gregory Peck, Bogart, Gable, the wonderful James Mason, Orson Welles and Sean Connery.

I leave you to add your own suggestions to my list.

Another list was actors who said the least amount of words in a film, Gary Cooper, Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen .

A list of beautiful women who you didn’t care if they had a good voice or not !

Topping my list was Marilyn Monroe, Betty Bacall, Doris Day Uma Thurman and of course Kidman.

When I tried to list the best actresses of today my list started with Kate Blanchett and Glen Close but quickly began to switch to English, French, Spanish and Mexican names .

Now you know why Cannes is important. Poor judges, films without lighting, and actors who can’t  talk properly. But bringing to the screen, stars from every country and introducing us to great performances and fine actors of the future .

Cannot wait for next year. Oh, to sit in the dark and look at a dark screen…and turn up my hearing aid.

by Helena Bryanlith


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