Thursday 18 January 2018

'Borat' star now gives Cannes set the hump causing havoc on camel

British actor Sacha Baron Cohen causes chaos with a camel on the famous Croisette
promenade in Cannes
British actor Sacha Baron Cohen causes chaos with a camel on the famous Croisette promenade in Cannes

Lucy Bogustawski in Cannes

SACHA Baron Cohen is always expected to come up with something unexpected and he tried to steal the show once again in Cannes yesterday.

As has been the case in the past, the 'Borat' star's antics did not go down well and this time it was the organisers of the world's most glittering movie gala who were not impressed.

The great and the good had been assembled for the first screening of the quirky Wes Anderson comedy 'Moonrise Kingdom' at the Cannes Film Festival when up popped British comedian Mr Cohen complete with camel.

There was chaos on the nearby Croisette promenade, where he rode the camel and adopted the guise of his latest alter ego General Aladeen, an outrageously offensive African dictator, from his unimaginatively named new film 'The Dictator'.

The publicity stunt lured dozens of photographers and cameramen who had been otherwise engaged.

The sight of Mr Cohen and his camel strolling along the avenue of boutiques, followed by dozens of photographers, bemused locals. He even managed to fall off the camel, which had a 'Wadiya 1' number plate.

The festival, which runs until May 27, is a popular place for promotional stunts -- but not this kind.

Award

This festival features directors in their 30s and their 80s, directors from Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, but no women. Not, at least, among the 22 filmmakers competing for the coveted Palme d'Or award.

Last year, four female directors made the line-up, including Britain's Lynne Ramsay and Australia's Julie Leigh.

The French feminist group La Barbe has taken the festival to task for excluding women with a petition published in the 'Le Monde' and 'The Guardian'.

Festival director Thierry Fremaux argues it's not his fault that filmmaking remains primarily "a male sport". He says he chooses films only "because I think they deserve to be in".

The festival opened yesterday and 'Trainspotting' actor Ewan McGregor said he has done no preparation for his role as one of the jurors who will decide who takes home the grand prize in two weeks' time.

The actor is one of a nine-strong panel responsible for awarding the Palme d'Or.

"I looked through the programme yesterday when I arrived," he said. "I lay on the bed and had a look and went 'F****** hell, there's some good stuff in here'.

"But apart from that, I haven't swotted up."

Mr McGregor joins actress Diane Kruger and fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier on the jury.

Irish Independent

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