Cannes Film Festival 2012: The 5 Topics Everyone Is Talking About (Sean Penn Not Among Them)

 @Justine__Ashley
on May 20 2012 12:56 PM

The glamorous Cannes Film Festival kicked off on Tuesday, and there's already plenty to gossip about. While Sean Penn's press conference outburst was highlighted by various news media, festival goers couldn't care less about the incident. Celebrity rants are nothing new to film lovers lining the Croisette. Just last year, Lars Von Trier somehow got onto the topic of Nazis while promoting Melancholia. Of course, His statements were far more shocking than Penn's. But perhaps Cannes attendees are desensitized to celebrity bad behavior.

Instead, everyone is talking about the movies and fab red carpet premieres. Here's what people are buzzing about -- and conspicuously ignoring.

Walkouts: It doesn't matter if the films in the festival seemingly represent the best and brightest in the industry. Audience walkouts are more common than one would think. Press screenings for films such as the immensely violent Rust and Bone and the disturbing Antiviral by Brandon Cronenberg (son of David Cronenberg) did not sit well with many. During the film's most gruesome scenes, many excused themselves, never to return.  Many are buzzing about the film's love-it-or-hate-it reaction. Others are having difficulty understanding its bizarre premise.

Paradies Liebe: The colorful dark comedy from Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom, opened the festival and was supposed to be one of its highlights. Instead, most have forgotten about the well-cast indie. It's being said that the quirky director's ensemble-heavy venture was much appreciated by his fans. But the film fell flat with those who aren't avid followers of his work. It seems that a film which debut a few days later has greater staying power. Audiences have been struck by the unsettling plot of Paradies Liebe. The film centers on a middle-aged woman who travels to Kenya and pays locals for sex. Though the premise is disturbing, few have been able to ignore the outrageous illustration of sexuality.

Art Over Popularity: When the Cannes line-up was announced, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart's films were two of the most publicized upcoming premiers at the festival. Cosmopolis and On the Road were believed to be the main attractions at the prestigious event. MTV even listed them as reasons Cannes was going to rock. Yet most journalists and film professionals will be exiting the Riviera prior to the debut of the films. The drama Killing Them Softly starring Brad Pitt has seldom been discussed either. Few have mentioned the much-hyped Brangelina red carpet apperance set to occur next week. In fact the projects are rarely discussed compared to lower-profile films like Amour and Holy Motors. Furthermore, directors and writers seem far more respected and discussed than celebs this year.

Stars Skipping Premieres: From the public's perspective it may seem celebs are attending screenings of their work. Yet most know that the glamorous walk up the red steps to the March Du Film premiere is as far as most stars go.  Red carpet habitues have noticed most actors and actresses going straight from the red carpet into their cars. Though some stay to watch their film, many are only there for a photo op.

Desperate Fans Seeking Invites: In front of the Palace of Festivals, where the screenings take place, countless fans wait for hours in the hopes that they'll be able to attend one of the star-studded premiers. Many of them are dressed in fancy attire and stand on the crowded sidewalk holding up a written plea for an invite. The eager hopefuls range from men in their 80s to bright- eyed young ladies. Unfortunately for them, invitations to the films are almost impossible to obtain. Many have commented on the astounding number of invitation seekers and the fact that they are willing to wait from the early morning until late evening.

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