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Promotional posters, in their intended manner of deployment, are intended to entice us to explore the product they’re advertising. Be it a new film, an exciting event, or an exotic destination – the right type of poster will either turn you on or turn you off to whatever is being pushed. Seeing as the Cannes Film Festival promises all three of those, and then some, it’s naturally important for whoever is designing the poster to nail the right tone and style that sells all three in equal measure.
Variety has gotten their hands on the poster for this year’s festival, and it is nothing short of a success in all the right places. It’s been 51 years since 8 ½ was released, and yet the image of its star, Marcello Mastroianni, has not dulled a day. His classic suit and tie, an impeccable part in his hair, and those famous black sunglasses; all factors of the image that was cultivated in Federico Fellini’s classic about a self-aware film director who takes his audience on a wild ride through his life and times. That very image, selected by designers Herve Chigioni and Gilles Frappier, is what the heart of Cannes is all about.
Mr. Frappier further backed this approach by explaining their choice:
"The way he looks at us above his black glasses draws us right in to a promise of global cinematographic happiness. The happiness of experiencing the Festival de Cannes together."
Even the late actor’s daughter, Chiara Mastroianni, cited the poster as:
…very beautiful and modern, with a sweet irony and a classy sense of detachment. It’s really him through and through!"
And what is Cannes, if not those exact qualities? Beautiful and modern in its fashion on display, yet sweetly ironic and detached from the rest of the world, as only they could continue a rather opulent tradition originating in a more gainful time. Though at the same time, it’s a happy event where people mingle, enjoy each other’s work, and possibly even start discussing ideas for their next collaboration. You could almost imagine Guido Anselmi, the protagonist played by Mr. Mastroianni, standing in a corner somewhere. He’s hatching out his next picture with a beautiful starlet on his arm, and another just waiting to take her place.
It is an elegant poster for an event full of class, and it promises everything that ever was, and ever will be, associated with the Cannes Film Festival. The festival will run from May 14th to the 25th, with the film program being announced tomorrow and the film Grace of Monaco opening the festivities. In the meantime, please enjoy the original trailer to Federico Fellini’s 8 ½, a movie that makes being a film director look really tiring but really cool at the same time.