Seen and heard at the Cannes Film Festival

AP News
Posted: May 21, 2013 3:50 PM
Seen and heard at the Cannes Film Festival

CANNES, France (AP) — Associated Press journalists open their notebooks at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival:



Within hours of his last performance of "Orphans" on Broadway, Alec Baldwin was on a plane to Cannes.

He arrived, exhausted, with his pregnant wife, Hilaria Thomas, with fresh wounds from a challenging stint on the stage. Baldwin flew to the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of the documentary he made with James Toback, "Seduced and Abandoned," about Cannes' movie marketplace and the process of trying to finance a film.

The revival of Lyle Kessler's play began with Shia LaBeouf leaving the production in a public dispute. Although it earned two Tony nominations, sales were lukewarm and the play closed Sunday, more than a month before its run was to conclude. Baldwin also chafed at some of the negative reviews.

"We did not have the result that we wanted," he told The Associated Press. "In some camps we did. But The Times and things like that were rather unkind about the play and me. You realize: It's just about having the experience. If you go and do it and you're angling for some result — nominations and things like that — then you're going to be disappointed."

"It's not like the TV show," he said, referring to the recently concluded NBC comedy series "30 Rock." ''I did the TV show and myself and everyone on the TV show, we won every prize they had three or four times in a row. So doing the play was a bit sobering."

Still Baldwin said being in the play was "a great, great privilege."

— Jake Coyle,



The transition from actor to director was not an easy one for Keanu Reeves.

Reeves, who showed clips from his upcoming film "Man of Tai Chi" to a select crowd at Cannes, said it took him a while to get into the director's mindset.

"The first day of that was not too much fun," he laughed during an interview.

"As an actor you are concerned with your role, you are concerned with your story," he said. "The director's side is much more other, it is looking out. "

Reeves describes the movie in which he also stars as "a contemporary Kung Fu film." The film is in Cantonese and English.

Reeves said he didn't want to try his hand at directing until he had the right story. He found it while he was working on "The Matrix" franchise and was working closely with Chen Hu, a martial arts specialist.

"He is who the story is based around. He has a traditional past, he was a young person, Tai Chi champion, National Chinese champion," Reeves said. "On the other hand, he is also a stunt man who has worked in Beijing and Hong Kong and Hollywood. He has gone out into the world."

Reeves grew up attracted to martial arts movies.

"For me, it was attractive in the sense of the physical-ness of it, maybe the independence, maybe the community," he said. "It is the right and wrong, or the struggle that the characters often face, like 'They're going to shut down the temple' or 'They have killed your brother' or 'You're being attacked' and you have to defend or explore. And the exoticness of it, and they look cool."

"Man of Tai Chi" is set for release in China this summer, with release dates in other countries pending.

— Sian Watson,



After taking time off to become a mother, India's Aishwarya Rai says she's ready to sink her teeth back in to her movie career — as long it's the right role.

Rai, who gave birth to a daughter in 2011, said her time away from the film world has "flown by."

The former Miss World says her career choices from here on in will have to fit in with raising her family.

"Right now I am talking to you while she is taking a nap," she noted during an interview at The Martinez Hotel in Cannes on Monday. "You just naturally discover how to do it because even, like everything else in my life you are just multi-tasking, you just figure out a way to schedule your life."

This is Rai's 12th visit to the Cannes Film Festival. Besides being a L'Oreal brand ambassador, she was asked to be guest of honor at a special event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema.

"It's very gracious of the festival to acknowledge it, to have an evening dedicated to celebrating it," she said.

— Adam Egan,



The late-night Cannes party for James Franco's movie, "As I Lay Dying," held in the compact luxury men's clothing store Smalto, already promised to be a tight-knit affair. But the event became even more intimate with guests rubbing elbows — and much more — as the soiree went well above its capacity limit on Monday night.

Franco didn't seem to mind the cramped quarters. Dressed in a tuxedo, he held court on a black leather couch, huddled with good friend Ahna O'Reilly and others, laughing at one point as they looked at their phones.

The event was put on by the charity Art of Elysium, which provides entertainment for sick children in hospitals.

— Nekesa Mumbi Moody,