Michael Douglas ©AFP / Valery Hache

CANNES: I know, I know. I Cannes’t take it being stuck here either.

Like you, I’d rather be galloping in France as well. Cannes to be exact. Sunning on the beaches of the French Riviera. Watching the passing parade. Going to movies. Croissants and coffee in the morning.

And walking the city streets to check out an exhibition of monumental photographs of stars and celebrities in which France’s movie capital celebrates itself.

Starting 11am Wednesday May 16, 17 shots of stars, taken by photographers of Agence France Presse (AFP), will be seen on the city walls and the Rue d’Antibes. AFP, with the support of the Workshop Image and Company, are presenting a selection of photographs that trace 65 years of Cannes Film Festival. The exhibition debuts at the foot of City Hall at a splashy event attended by the Mayor of Cannes and the President of Palais des Festivals. The title of the exhibition is “Cannes Fait le Mur.”


As you can see from this AFP slideshow, the selected photos have a lot of pointing and waving and gesticulating in them: Alfred Hitchcock fingering the viewer directly, Michael Douglas waving in the air, Tony Curtis also pointing a finger, Quentin Tarantino with two palms up in the air, and Sophia Loren also with her arms up. There are the postures adopted by Hollywood and French stars since 1946. So let those poses be a guide to you (in case you find yourself trapped by the paparazzi flashing those bulbs) on how to look accessible, enigmatic or disarmingly natural.

“The public will be able to relive the magic of seeing stars going up the famous walkway steps, something that every year makes headlines around the world. From unforgettable arrivals to portraits that use the city as a background, the agency photographers capture the grace and pride of the stars and directors that make the Cannes Film Festival such a unique event,” says AFP Chairman and Chief Executive Emmanuel Hoog in a prepared statement.

AFP, one of the three world news agencies, has been covering the festival since it began. The exhibition, which runs through June 30, pays tribute to AFP photo-journalists who each year produce over 6,000 images during the fortnight of the festival, alongside videographers, editorial staff and computer graphic artists.  The agency’s photographic archives can also be accessed via its Image Forum database (www.imageforum.afp.com).

“The agency in 2011 launched a vast restoration and digitisation programme involving over three million glass plates, negatives and prints going back to the early days of photography. Articles, collections and funds acquired in the 20th century will be gradually made available by AFP to its clients to share images of conflicts, cultural events and sporting moments”, Emmanuel Hoog added.

Où voir les bâches?

7 bâches sur les murs de la ville (Translation: seven tarps are on the wall of the city):
• Sophia Loren (1964) – Lycée Jules Ferry, 81 boulevard de la république
• Monica Bellucci (2002) – Espace Ranguin
• Alfred Hitchcock (1972) – Hôtel de ville
• Sophia Loren/Alain Delon/Romy Schneider (1962) et Michael Douglas (2010) – Hôtel Renoir, 7 rue Edith Cavell (voie rapide)
• Annie Girardot (1972) – Hôtel Cannes Riviera, 16 boulevard d’Alsace, vue de la voie rapide
• Tiffani Thiessen, Woody Allen, Debra Messing (2002) – Cinéma les Arcades, 77 rue Félix Faure
• Brigitte Bardot (1956) – 169 avenue Francis Tonner

Johnny et Laeticia Hallyday ©AFP / Loïc Venance
Johnny et Laeticia Hallyday ©AFP / Loïc Venance

10 bâches aériennes rue d’Antibes (10 are overhead Antibes Street):
• Ingrid Bergman (1956)
• François Truffaut et l’équipe du film La Nuit américaine (1973)
• Fred Astaire et Gene Kelly (1976)
• Jean Carmet, Stéphane Audran, Claude Chabrol et Isabelle Huppert (1978)
• Marco Ferreri, Marcello Mastroianni et Gérard Depardieu (1978)
• Bernard Giraudeau (1983)
• Tony Curtis (1985)
• Brad Pitt et Angelina Jolie (2007)
• Quentin Tarantino (2008)
• Johnny et Laeticia Hallyday (2009)

Michael Douglas ©AFP / Valery Hache
Michael Douglas ©AFP / Valery Hache
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