Best of the Fest: Cannes

if you're hunting for the rich and famous, head straight to Cannes. Located on the French Riviera, it is a popular hangout for rich, yacht-owning leisure seekers all year round. But in May, a plethora of bright young things descend for the Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival) turning the entire town into one of the world's most exclusive parties.

By day, the sun glistens on the rippling water and by night the lavish architecture lights up the sky. Of course there is more to the town than lights, yachts and movie stars: take a stroll and admire the stunning architecture of Le Suquet or walk La Croisette; or wander further from the water where the Old Town boasts winding streets lined with shops and cafés.

To celebrate the style and glamour of Cannes Film Festival, we're bringing you four previous winners of the Palme d'Or, the festival's top prize. Kick back at home with a bottle of bubbles and your pearls. It's almost as good as being there (almost).

Pulp Fiction, 1994
In short, Quentin Tarantino's eagerly awaited follow-up to Reservoir Dogs follows the intertwining lives of two hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits. The story unfolds over four tales of violence and redemption. It was a huge hit at Cannes, with the whole cast flying over for the premiere including John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Uma Thurman.

After winning the Palme d'Or, Tarantino picked up the Best Screenplay gong at the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globes. Pulp Fiction started a life long love affair with Cannes for Tarantino, who became president of the festival's jury in 2004.

Apocalypse Now, 1979
The premiere of Apocalypse Now at Cannes almost didn't happen, because director Francis Ford Coppola was unsure about showing an unfinished three-hour edit of the infamous Vietnam epic. His decision to finally go ahead was received with rapturous applause from the audience after the final credits. It still won the Palm d'Or despite being incomplete.

The film is now regarded as a classic. Its iconic helicopter attack scene, set to the strains of "Ride of the Valkyries" remains one of cinema's most memorable scenes. After Cannes, Coppola won a Golden Globe for Best Director, and the film picked up two Academy Awards for sound and cinematography.

La Dolce Vita, 1960
Federico Fellini’s three-hour panorama explores modern society in Rome, showing both the rich class and the poor class. The story is told through the eyes of reporter Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni), whose job brings him close to an unhappy society girl, a famous film star, two children who lie about a false miracle, and the suicide of an intellectual.

The images of a Jesus statue carted by helicopter above the city, Anita Ekberg walking through the Trevi Fountain in her evening gown, Marcello Mastroianni ending in moral exhaustion on a beach all made for unforgettable snapshots of a society in glamorous decay. After winning the Palme d’Or the movie became an international hit and one of the most important Italian films ever made

The Piano, 1993
Acclaimed as a passionate, romantic film with stunning visual and emotional imagination, "The Piano" impressed all who saw it at Cannes.

Writer and director Jane Campion is (to date) the only female, and the only New Zealander, to scoop the Palme d'Or. The period drama tells the story of muste pianist Ada (Holly Hunter), who comes to mid-19th-Century New Zealand from Scotland with her 9-year-old daughter to make an arranged marriage with Stewart (Sam Neill), a man she's never met. 

The film enjoyed extraordinary success and critical acclaim. Hunter went on to take Best Actress awards at almost every major awards ceremony, including the Oscars and Golden Globes, while Michael Nyman's soundtrack became a bestseller.

Have you seen any of these classics? If you've got more to add, leave your reviews in the comments section below. Or head to twitter and Facebook to share with other Peregrine movie lovers.

If you'd like to soak up some of the glitz and glamour, why not take a look through all our trips to France. You never know who you'll end up rubbing shoulders with! 


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