“The French Dispatch,” a star-studded comedic anthology based on the most recent edition of a literary magazine, was set to premiere here last year but was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead of releasing his film in the meantime, Anderson decided to wait another year, and he eventually got his wish at the lavish Cannes premiere on Monday night.
Also, there’s the film festival. Cannes is based on literary worship and movie star adoration, and “The French Dispatch” has provided plenty of both. Timothée Chalamet, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Benicio Del Toro, and Owen Wilson are among the cast members who have shown their support for Anderson’s picture, contributing to what is probably certainly the most significant movie premiere ever.
The French Dispatch: Cannes retaliated, with a standing ovation for “The French Dispatch” at the Grand Théâtre Lumière nine minutes after the credits had ended. One of the festival’s most well-known eccentricities is its huge clapping orgies, although tourists must find the standing ovations perplexing: Is it true that the audience cheers for that long? Isn’t that getting a little old?
Allow me to demonstrate how a standing ovation in Cannes works, using last night’s O for “The French Dispatch” as a minute-by-minute example. Anderson has been anticipating a standing ovation for almost a year, even though he seemed to want it to end as soon as he began.
One second into the video: The credits roll, the lights turn on, and the ecstatic crowd rises. Anderson and his actors are seated in the center of the theatre, and a cameraman rushes to them. As he records them, the footage is concurrently shown on the Light’s enormous screen, eliciting even more cheers from the audience.
Six seconds into the video: Even though Anderson has risen from his seat, the rest of his cast has remained seated. He tries to urge them to stand by his side, but the performers refuse: they want Anderson to have his moment where he can be singled out for his accomplishments.
Thirty-six seconds into the video: Anderson can only handle about a half-minute of adoration before becoming visibly uncomfortable. Chalamet and actress Lyna Khoudri, who represent French rebels in the film, is standing to his right, and Anderson encourages them to rise up. They begin, but when Chalamet looks around and realizes that no other actor has risen, he remains seated.
Murray comes up and greets the ecstatic audience after 45 seconds. “Well, if Bill Murray has to get up, then I guess it’s time to get up,” the rest of the cast thinks to themselves. They all rise to their feet.
Murray pulls out a fan and starts blowing cool air on his director after 1 minute and 10 seconds. If the standing ovation is going to continue for several minutes, you might as well intersperse some amusing moments to keep the audience entertained.
After 1 minute and 30 seconds, actor Mathieu Amalric takes out his iPhone and begins filming the casting. Since everyone in the Light has an iPhone trained on them, some adjusting is required.
Swinton descends the line of his co-stars after 1 minute and 50 seconds, giving del Toro and Adrien Brody double kisses on the cheek. Swinton’s ensemble, which comprises a satin pink top, sparkly green sleeves, and an orange skirt, reminds me of the most dazzling fruit dish you’ve ever seen.
Two minutes into the video: A standing ovation in Cannes can’t possibly last more than two minutes. The key is that instead of recording a broad view of the cast, the Lumière cameraman now changes to sustained close-ups of each performer. This permits the crowd to give each artist their round of applause, which is why films with a vast ensemble receive longer standing ovations at Cannes.
As the camera moves from a close-up look of Amalric to Khoudri at 2 minutes and 20 seconds, Brody leaps from his place at the very end of the cast and walks over to where the action is. The camera pulls back to cover him as he hugs Amalric, who is near the front row.
Chalamet gets his close-up at 2 minutes and 37 seconds. As the audience erupted in applause, Chalamet responded, “Thank you.” He then points at Anderson and tells the cameraman to focus on him.
2:55: Anderson joins Wilson and appears unconcerned about enduring another half-minute of intense public scrutiny. Instead, the camera focuses on Swinton, a Cannes veteran who appears in three films this year. Swinton shakes her head and motions to her manager, despite being a seasoned pro at taking a standing ovation. She eventually takes the initiative and moves the camera closer to Anderson.
3:23: The cameraman lingers on a close-up of Anderson, eliciting another round of applause and chanting from the exhausted crowd. However, it’s evident that the director has no idea what to do with himself when he’s the only lens in the frame. Murray steps in for another hug and saves him.
Brody goes in to kiss Anderson on the cheek and ruffles her hair 3 minutes and 53 seconds in. We haven’t even gotten halfway through this.
Swinton removes the “Tilda Swinton” placard from her seat and places it on the back of Chalamet’s silver jacket at 4:30. We’ve arrived at the improv-comedy portion of the evening.
After 5 minutes and 25 seconds, The videographer has now fulfilled his job to allow each of the performers to have their own solitary applauding session after finding del Toro at the end of the cast list. So, what’s going to keep the standing ovation continuing? Get rid of the bad. The camera pans back to Chalamet, who is hiding his face behind a sign that reads “Tilda Swinton.”Swinton grabs it from her hands and replaces it on her back.
After hugging Brody for 5 minutes and 50 seconds, Chalamet turns to the camera and gives the “LA fingers” hand motion. Brody provides the camera with a solemn kiss.
Six minutes and 5 seconds: We’ve made it to minute 6. Anderson removes a pink handkerchief from his pocket and wipes his brow. His eyes appear to be filled with tears.
6:35 into the film, Chalamet turns to Anderson and bows in an “I am not worthy” homage. The applause starts to fade a little. Now is the time to call in the major guns.
Anderson is handed a microphone at 7:07 into the video. He grimaces and attempts to avoid it, but the Cannes officials press him nevertheless.
Anderson, who resides in Paris, begins speaking to the audience in French around 7 minutes and 15 seconds. After seven seconds, he turns to Chalamet and cracks in English: “I don’t know what else to say.” “Hope we come back with another one soon,” Anderson says as the audience chuckles. Thank you a lot.”
After 7 minutes and 30 seconds, Anderson’s short speech has re-energized the audience, and the applause has returned to its previous intensity.
After 7 minutes and 50 seconds, Anderson tucks his long hair behind his ears and surveys the audience, yelling “Bravo!” in a French accent.
Murray approaches Anderson after 8 minutes and 24 seconds and says he’s ready to go. Anderson couldn’t agree more, speeding down the aisle to the point where he collides with the cameraman who is still shooting him.
At 8:40, it appears that the cameraman has obstructed Anderson’s route. He’s not going to get out of this easily! Instead, Anderson is obliged to stand in the aisle and take in even more applause and encouragement from the audience. Her expression is something between a silly grin and genuine, shocked delight, and it will earn you a standing ovation for over nine minutes.
Nine minutes into the video: The cameraman relents and allows Anderson to continue. The applause dies down as the director and his actors exit the theatre. People in France hurry outside to smoke, Americans rush out to tweet, and I hear a plaintive query in a few different languages: “Is there an after-party?”
Learn More About Latest News