Cannes Blog: Angelina's twins took my seat!

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Two minutes before I snapped this amateur photo, the pro shooters featured in it had unceremoniously displaced me from my coveted spot -- crouched on the floor with my laptop, within cord’s reach of what had been the last open AC outlet in the Orange corporation’s moist, teeming Wi-Fi Lounge. Oh la la--Cannes is glamorous, n’est-ce pas? Seems what had drawn every long lens in town to my humble workstation was “the twins”-- toted in utero by Angelina J., who was herself carted from press conference to photo shoot by DreamWorks’ animation division, those dutiful product-stuffers of Kung Fu Panda. (Great -- now my kid will want one.) No complaints here, really, as my lost square-inches of Lounge space are simply the price paid in Cannes’s age-old art and commerce equation: Wimpy geeks like moi make way for the macho paparazzi to shoot Angie and the twins, whose photos ostensibly allow le festival to screen the work that wimpy geeks would much rather think about -- like Tokyo!, an omnibus film whose coolest installment, by sporadically productive French auteur Leos Carax (Pola X), is an alternately nasty and tender throwback to the sympathetic-monster movies of the early 20th century. (The tryptych's other two installments are by Michel Gondry and Bong Joon Ho.)

In Carax’s episode of Tokyo!, the titular city is menaced by “Mr. Merde” (brilliantly played by Denis Levant), a sewer-dwelling, evidently anti-capitalist oddball with a green suit, a milky white eye, a long red beard, and a hunchback swagger--and a few hand grenades. [No word on whether Carax's Mr. Merde is in any way inspired by M. Gondry's Mr. Merde -- ed.]

Urban terrorist? Performance artist? Homeless man? Whatever the designation (Carax’s end credits promise a New York-set sequel called Merde in U.S.A.), I could’ve used you in the Wi-Fi Lounge, Mr. Merde. Now that guy knows how to clear a room. --Rob Nelson
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