Exeter filmmaker Ashley Thorpe has had his work accepted at the Cannes Film Festival for the second year running, with his film The Hairy Hands being selected as part of the Short Film Corner. Ashley’s busy scribbling away at another couple of projects, so The Hairy Hands producer Tom Atkinson sent this report from the world famous festival. Take it away, Tom
Well, here we are again! Cannes 2010 trembles in its Jimmy Choos as Carrion Film screens its latest frightful flick at the world’s greatest film festival. My hotel room is small, the en suite even smaller and the carpet is certainly not red! However, with the 2010 Cannes Film Festival in full swing and The Hairy Hands screening to critics and buyers left right and centre, I have little time to dwell on my room or the ridiculous rate I am paying for it.
It truly is a glorious place to be when the sun shines, the salty sea ruffles your hair and the smell of money makes your head spin.
I have spent the first days of the festival exploring the labyrinthine layout of the festival and bumping into old friends and colleagues, all of whom are twitching with glee at the possibilities this festival can hold for the boldest and luckiest filmmakers who meet the right person who just happens to be looking for exactly what they are screening.
Moments like this are the stuff of dreams and yes I am on the lookout for just such an opportunity. Personally, I would like to meet a horror-mad Hollywood producer whose pockets are weighed down with money, whose brain is addled with champagne and possibly cocaine, whose only aim at the festival is to meet a young British Producer with a stunning, short animated horror film that could (and has) been described as ‘A tense, playful and ultra-stylized slice of modern gothic macabre’ by such luminaries of the genre as Chris Alexander of Fangoria magazine. This is, however, unlikely but where there is hope there is well, me.
This hope was boosted the other day as I sat through a screening of the tawdry and pointless yet much vaunted Robin Hood. This film is the final nail in the coffin of my already tattered faith in Sir Ridley Scott. It is awful, and my sense of the ridiculous actually burst off the scale when it was reported to be a more sensible and historically accurate version of the -by comparison -academically precise, Kevin Costner film from the 90s. The narrative is choppy and unbalanced, the cinematography is woeful, the accents are questionable in the extreme and the only thing remotely convincing was the filth and the sweat on the actors’ faces. It was an uninspiring and unworthy of opening the festival.
By comparison, The Hairy Hands looks glorious up on the big screen and audiences so far have cried out in fear, ooohed and aaahed in the right places and the bubble of chatter during the credits is a very positive sign. Silence as the credits roll is akin to the silence among the crowd after the trap hs dropped and the hooded offender twitches and gurgles in the noose. I am here for the duration and will report back upon my return to the UK or as soon as that champagne addled Hollywood exec puts his arms around my shoulder and says: ‘Hey kid, this is the film I have been looking for!”