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Bomb scare delays Cannes screening

Sunday, May 21, 2017,13:17 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Cannes | A bomb scare on Saturday evening delayed the screening of a highly anticipated Cannes Competition film about Jean-Luc Godard’s relationship with actress Anne Wiazemsky, who he married in the late 1960s during the making of “Le Chinoise”.
The film festival authorities were in no mood to let down their guard and chose to make sure that the auditorium was absolutely safe before the audience was allowed in.
As a large number of badge-holders queued up at the entrance of Salle Debussy here for the screening of Michel Hazanivicius “Redoubtable”, commotion was sparked minutes ahead of the 7.30 pm show when those manning the venue instructed the waiting crowd to move away from the barricades.
No immediate reason was cited for the move.
Word, however, got around that a suspicious object – a bag – had been found inside the Debussy. It eventually turned out to be a false alarm. The hall filled up quickly once the go-ahead was given about 20 minutes later and the show got underway a good 45 minutes late. No official statement was issued by the festival.
The incident was symptomatic of the sense of fear that hangs over the sprawling Palais des Festivals, which has been turned into a veritable fortress, with several layers of security checks at every entry point.
Amid the heightened security arrangements that have inevitably tended to slow down the flow of people into the hub of the 70th Cannes Film Festival, those attending the 12-day event are taking the inconvenience in their stride.
The Cannes Film Festival, despite its magnitude, has the reputation of being run with clockwork precision when it comes to the screenings. Rarely does a show here miss its start time. This year has been markedly different.
Shows, both in Grand Theatre Lumiere and Salle Debussy, have begun several minutes late owing to the time being taken for the severe security drill necessitated by the high threat perception in a jittery nation.
Less than a year ago, in Nice, which is less than 30 km from Cannes, a lone wolf had driven a cargo truck through a crowd that was celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais.
It is, therefore, easy to understand why this glitzy festival has shed its carefree air and donned a forbidding garb.