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The Cannes Film Festival: A history of stunts and spats


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Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods was going to be the 
first Netflix premiere at Cannes since 2017

Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods was going to be the first Netflix premiere at Cannes since 2017

David Lee/Netflix

Brigitte Bardot caused a stir with her bikini in 1953

Brigitte Bardot caused a stir with her bikini in 1953

Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist

Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist

Relented: Thierry Frémaux

Relented: Thierry Frémaux

Getty Images

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Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods was going to be the first Netflix premiere at Cannes since 2017

In a normal world, the 73rd Cannes Film Festival would have ended a few days ago, and we'd still be mulling over the spats and bust-ups, jury disagreements, beach-side publicity stunts and hammy audience walkouts.

Everything at Cannes is a performance, even watching a film, but this year the curtain is down on the world's biggest outdoor stage: in mid-April, the organisers accepted the ineluctable realities of Covid-19 and announced that the Festival would not proceed in its "original form". At the start of this month, we learned that it would not be proceeding at all.

Well, not in the real world anyway. Although Cannes' artistic director Thierry Frémaux has resisted calls to mount a virtual 2020 festival, he has said he intends to organise themed events in cinemas under the banner 'Cannes hors les murs' - Cannes beyond the walls. These may entail screenings of films that should have premiered at this year's festival, such as Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch and Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods, and could involve collaborations with other festivals such as Deauville, Toronto, San Sebastian, New York and Venice.