Peter Bart: Cannes Festival-goers Rave About Parties and Applause While Bleak Week Fans Fall Into Grateful Despair - Latest Global News

Peter Bart: Cannes Festival-goers Rave About Parties and Applause While Bleak Week Fans Fall Into Grateful Despair

As the Cannes Film Festival celebrates its parties and standing ovations, audiences in Hollywood and New York are preparing to wallow in despair. And they will (almost) enjoy it.

The festival, called Bleak Week, will present 43 films to an expected audience of 10,000 this week in theaters including the restored Egyptian in Hollywood, the Aero in Santa Monica and the Paris in New York.

Created by the American Cinematheque, Bleak Week features celebrity and Q&A sessions explaining why their projects deal with existential dread, nihilism and “inconvenient truths,” like Bleak Week creative director Grant Moninger, as it puts it.

Unsurprisingly, there will certainly be alcohol consumption after the screening for moviegoers looking to ease their pain.

As the Cinematheque details, Bleak Week was not sparked by Gaza, student protests, geometric storms, or the potential loss of another studio (Paramount).

Rather, its stated aim is to celebrate an important, if long-ignored, area of ​​American cinema – the dark stuff. OK, the downer.

And the theaters (and bars) will be packed.

Although Bleak Week has remained largely unpublished, it is an initiative of an increasingly ambitious nonprofit organization (the Cinematheque) that is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The aim is to expand its restoration and education program – and to promote appreciation and cinema attendance worldwide.

“The films are dark, but they are art and have nothing to do with the horror genre,” says Moninger, who leads a team of six programmers. Next weekend, the 1995 film “David Fincher” will be shown in the extensively renovated Egyptian Theater Seven (funded as Se7en), starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman as detectives hunting a serial killer. Critics called it “brilliant but brutally unforgiving.”

More titles to follow: Natural Enemies, Menace II Society, Manchester by the Sea, Panic in Needle Park, Scarecrow And I’m thinking about ending things.

Q&A guests include Al Pacino, Jerry Schatzberg, Lynne Ramsey, Kenneth Lonergan and Elliott Gould.

Festival organizers agree that the definition of “bleak” varies depending on taste. Some fans of the genre support popular titles like I killed the family and went to the cinema And It’s hard to be God.

My personal candidate would be Day of the Grasshopper, will soon celebrate its 50th anniversary. I promoted the John Schlesinger film to Paramount after admiring the filmmaker’s work Midnight Cowboy. grasshopper shot side by side in the studio Chinatownalso a classic piece from the time.

But during Chinatown thrilled an audience, grasshopper I “hide” it. After the premiere I dined with Schlesinger, who had been watching his sombre audience. “How did I manage to depress everyone?” asked the filmmaker.

“It’s the power of your image,” I replied lamely.

The film was acclaimed by critics and filmmakers. It could be Bleak Week next year.

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