Monday, April 15, 2019

#Cannes2019 Poster and Signatures

Festival official poster has been unveiled and contrary to insistent rumors it has NOT Alain Delon in photo but none other than outstanding director Agnès Varda when she was 26-years-old in a behind the scenes photo from La Pointe Courte.

Below it's the original photo that generated a fabulous composition for the poster with hot colors in the background.  My only problem with poster is the division of CAN and NES, which is a big No-No in branding.  Anyway, montage and design was done Fore Maquin, signatures created by Philippe Savoir (Filifox), and photo owner is Agnès Varda and her children.

The official graphic design presentation has the following rationale.

Agnès, in the bright sunlight.

All the way up.
As high as she could go.
Perched on the shoulders of an impassive technician.
Clinging to a camera, which seems to absorb her entirely.
A young woman, aged 26, making her first film.

It's August 1954: we are in the Pointe Courte neighborhood of Sète, in the South of France. In the dazzling summer light, Silvia Monfort and Philippe Noiret explore their fragile love, surrounding by struggling fishermen, bustling women, children at play and roaming cats. Natural settings, lightweight camera, shoestring budget: with La Ponte Courte (presented in Cannes, in a screening on the rue d'Antibes, in 1955) the photographer from Jean Vilar's Théâtre National Populaire is paving the way for a young cinema, of which she will remain the only female director.

Like a manifesto, this still photo from the set sums up everything about Agnès Varda: her passion, aplomb, and mischievousness.  Ingredients of a free artist, forming a recipe she never stopped improving.  Her 65 years of creativity and experimentation almost match the age of the Festival de Cannes, who celebrates each year visions which reveal, dare and rise higher.  And who remains keen to remember.

As she liked to point out, Agnès Varda is not a woman filmmaker: Agnès Varda is a filmmaker.  She often attended the Festival de Cannes to present her films: 13 times in the Official Selection.  She was also a Jury member in 2005 as well as President of the Caméra d'Or Jury in 2013.  When she received the Honorary Palme d'or, in 2015, she evoked "resilience and endurance, more than honor" and dedicated it "to all the brave and inventive filmmakers, those who create original cinema, whether it's fiction or documentary, who are not in the limelight, but who carry on".

Avant-garde but popular, intimate yet universal, her films led the way.  And so, perched high on this pyramid, surveying the beat at Cannes, young and eternal, Agnès Varda will be the inspirational guiding light of this 72nd edition of the Festival!

As you can see in above photo, the girl working on a clapperboard was taken out of the poster composition, which makes final design a lot more intersting, even when now we know man is looking at girl and nothing else (lol).

I'm glad Festival de Cannes is celebrating Agnès Varda life and work, especially when they chose a photo from a film that many critics claim "invented" the New French Wave.  As part of my celebration I invite you all to read an article by Ginette Vincedeau from January 22, 2008 in the Criterion site that's here.  Enjoy!

Unfortunately when we take a look at the signatures we notice how improvised was the change of poster due to Varda's passing away as signatures have nothing to do with poster design and when seen together, they look sad, colorless, cold.

The announcement of the 2019 Official Selection by Pierre Lescure, President of the Festival de Cannes and Thierry Frémaux, General Delegate, will be live on Thursday April 18, from 11am on Youtube, Dailymotion, Facebook, Twitter, and the Festival's official website.

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