Honoring a repertoire of films from around the world, the esteemed Cannes Film Festival opened for its 70th year in the South of France Wednesday. The red carpet was flooded with some of the most talented faces across the globe, including director Pedro Almodóvar, Will Smith and Jessica Chastain — all of whom are part of the festival’s jury.
The 10-day festival was established in 1946, just as Europe was trying to regroup after the Second World War. Consequently, the Cannes Festival is rooted in a deep, artistic history; out of the destruction of the war came a worldwide celebration of the arts.
The “Palme d’Or” is the top prize awarded to a film that reflects this significant past. “The winning films have often mirrored changes taking place in the wider world,” wrote the New York Times. While the festival was initially attended by faces like Grace Kelly (who attended in 1955) and Brigitte Bardot (a favorite of 1953), Cannes wasn’t regarded with today’s worldly significance until the ‘70s and ’80s.
The Cannes red carpet is responsible for launching “a thousand careers.” Whether or not these faces arrived at Cannes already as household names, they left with an opportunity: the ability to have an even greater impact on the arts. And it’s the red carpet that propels them into the spotlight.
Before Brigette Bardot became the Brigette Bardot, she was an unknown 18-year-old aspiring star who shot to stardom at the festival in 1953. Her impact on cinematography and stardom is apparent. “She invented a new image of the French starlet: anti-snobbish, non-intimidating,” said film professor Edward Baron Turk, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
It was her beauty that caught the attention of photographers. As Turk put it, the beautiful “Bardot flaunted spontaneity and informality via her girlish barefoot gait, long, loose hair and unfussy, mostly skimpy attire.” Consequently, we’re keeping an eye out for all the beautiful unknowns and…