Cannes festival losing cinema focus

May 20, 2008

CANNES, France (UPI) -- The Cannes Film Festival in France is becoming more focused on partying and celebrities than on cinematic accomplishments, attendees say.

Actress Jeanne Moreau says since she first attended the annual film festival in 1955, it has changed from a simple cinematic gathering to a celebration of excess and celebrities, The Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

"The festival has really evolved," Moreau said. "There used to be far fewer people: Cannes was a good, joyful child who took his turn to stand up on the table and sing. Now, it's a kaleidoscope of emotions -- and often a festival of vanity more than anything else."

The heightened party atmosphere has not been overlooked by Cannes residents, who appear to dislike the direction the May gathering has taken over the years.

"It's always the same every year," a Cannes street cleaner identified only as Christophe told the British newspaper.

"In the morning, you find crazy things: people sleeping in the street, in amongst broken glass. They come to Cannes to party, work or both, and reduce themselves to terrible states -- especially you English."

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