- Title: FRANCE: Credit crunch dulls glitz of Cannes festival
- Date: 13th May 2009
- Summary: EXTERIOR OF RESTAURANTS IN STREET MENU FOR 18.50 EUROS WAITER SETTING UP TABLES RESTAURANT EXTERIOR WAITER SETTING UP TABLE EMPTY WINE GLASSES (SOUNDBITE) (English) RESTAURANT OWNER LINDA TAYLOR SAYING "I think it will be busy, busy, a lot of people, but not as much as many years before, it won't be a film festival like the good old years." BAY OF CANNES HOTELS ALONG THE BAY VARIOUS OF LUXURY YACHTS VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING AS LUXURY YACHT PULLS INTO THE HARBOUR
- Reuters ID: LVA38I1HIJ1Z98D21OBHY542YLUH
- Location: France, France
- Country: France
- Duration: 00:01:29
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: The Cannes film festival raises its curtains on Wednesday, but with studios cutting back due to the recession the "feel good" factor at the famously extravagant cinema showcase may quickly fade.
The stars will still turn up and the movie line-up looks good but the tone of the Cannes film festival will be more black and white than technicolor in 2009.
The credit crunch means Hollywood studios are tightening their belts and conspicuous consumption is temporarily out of fashion.
But while the shadow over the glitz and glamour maybe bad for business is actually good for the films and their directors, the Festival Director, Thierry Fremaux told Reuters.
"The crisis is there, the crisis is around the world, it is a financial crisis and it's also a moral crisis almost, and Cannes, not us, not the festival, but around Cannes, perhaps it was just too much sometimes, too much partying. This year perhaps we can think about the cinema, not the stars and the starlets and the excessiveness of Cannes but the emphasis on the films."
The annual celebration of cinema in the south of France, famed for its wild beach parties, giant yachts and red carpets, opens on Wednesday.
On the plus side, Hollywood studios are enjoying a bumper box office in 2009 despite the global recession, and the dollar's relative strength will boost purchasing power. But the protracted credit crunch, added to slowing DVD sales and depressed advertising, will cast a shadow over Cannes, both in terms of business and pleasure.
While they will always be full during the festival, even the more prestigious hotels are noticing the crunch, said the general director of the Majestic Barriere hotel, Emmanuel Caux.
"Two or three weeks ago I would have been more pessimistic, but maybe a little bit more cautious. I think the key thing is that our bookings came later than last year. Major companies and other companies have been a little bit more cautious and they have booked later."
Their rooms might be full, but the Majestic was amongst those worrying that the events might suffer from the slump in spending, Caux said.
Vanity Fair magazine, which last year held one of the festival's glitziest parties, is not coming to Cannes, demand for luxury yachts at the harbour has been slow, and the wine flowing is from the mid-range price list, said restaurant owner Linda Taylor.
"I think it will be busy, busy, a lot of people, but not as much as many years before, it won't be a film festival like the good old years."
The opening ceremony kicks off 12 days of screenings, interviews, red carpets and late-night revelry in the palm-lined resort, which attracts many of the most glamorous and powerful figures in the business.
Brad Pitt is expected in Cannes with Quentin Tarantino's World War Two drama "Inglourious Basterds," one of 20 films showing in the main competition and vying for the coveted Palme d'Or for best picture when Cannes winds up on May 24.
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