LYON – The 11th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France, opened on Saturday with a celebration of its tenth anniversary, a tribute to previous Lumière Prize winners and raising standing ovations for Frances McDormand and Donald Sutherland, who are among the High profile people actors and directors were celebrated this year.
Dedicated to historical cinema, the festival was established in 2009 by Thierry Frémaux and Bertrand Tavernier, respectively director and president of the Institut Lumière.
Looking back on its 10-year history, the ceremony, held in the cavernous Halle Tony Garnier concert hall in Lyon, presented clips of all the Lumière prize winners, starting with Clint Eastwood, who was the first person to receive the award , followed by Miloš Forman, Gérard Depardieu, Ken Loach, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, Catherine Deneuve, Wong Kar-wai and Jane Fonda.
Praising Fonda for his activism, Frémaux informed the public of the actress’ arrest on Friday outside the United States Capitol, causing a thunderous applause from the approximately 5,000 people present – in support of the actress.
This year the festival presents the Lumière Prize to Francis Ford Coppola.
Also available for the opening ceremony were luminaries such as Daniel Auteuil, who is also celebrated at this year’s party, Doria Tillier, Nicolas Bedos, Xavier Dolan, Luc Dardenne, Lambert Wilson, Barbet Schroeder, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Danièle Thompson, Emmanuelle Devos and Tonie Marshall.
The ceremony ended with a screening of the romantic comedy of Bedos and the recent Cannes screener “La Belle Époque”, with Auteuil and Tillier, on a tired and aged cartoonist who rediscovers love.
Speaking after the screening, Auteuil compared his career to “a carousel that turns and turns”, similar to how celebrity shines only to fade but illuminate once again with new works.
Commenting on this year’s lineup, Tavernier said, “You will see some films ahead of time and have extraordinary surprises. Some of these films will brighten your life.”
To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the festival is projecting a selection of masterpieces that have left their mark on film history, including Fritz Lang’s “M”, Orson Welles’s “Citizen Kane”, Jean’s “The Rules of the Game” Renoir, Ford’s John “Stagecoach” and Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Story”.
The non-traditionalist version is also a restored French version of Victor Fleming’s The Wizard of Oz and John Huston’s 1975 classic “The Man Who Would Be King”, with Sean Connery and Michael Caine as former British soldiers in India British 19th century. looking for luck and glory in distant lands.
This year’s special showcases include a retrospective of the works of French director André Cayatte, whose films focused on injustice and social issues. The 1952 anti-capital drama “We Are All Murderers” kicked off the festival last Saturday.
Another showcase, titled “Forbidden Hollywood: Warner Treasures”, offers a look at the first works shot before the 1934 Hays Code which censored US films containing sexuality, violence or “moral indecency”. Between the advent of talkies and the Hays Code, Hollywood has enjoyed several years of uncontrolled freedom, with films that deal with sex, interracial relationships and homosexuality with what looks like today’s standards as an extraordinary opening.
Among the 10 selected films are Victor Fleming’s “Red Dust”, an erotic drama set in Indochina with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow that follows a love triangle between a plantation manager, his friend’s wife and a friendly prostitute with a charm magnetic; and “Baby Face” by Alfred E. Green, with Barbara Stanwyck in the role of a woman who, after being sexually exploited by her father, climbs the corporate ladder of a bank using men as stepping stones to reach the top.
In addition to a Coppola retrospective that includes the 4K restoration of “Apocalypse Now”, the trilogy of “The Godfather”, “Rumble Fish” and “Dracula by Bram Stoker”, the festival is also previewing Martin Scorsese’s Netflix movie “The Irishman”.