The Cannes Film Festival, often called the Queen of all, will open its 66th edition with Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby this evening.
For Indians, this will mark a special occasion. Amitabh Bachchan has a cameo in The Great Gatsby. And the Festival celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema with two movies - Bombay Talkies and Monsoon Shootout -- from a country that produces about 1200 films year after year and in many languages.
The Great Gatsby will be in 3D – a rarity in the Festival. What is more, the movie is not a world premiere, for it hit North American theatres on May 10. The Festival has – at least for the past 10 years – reserved the inaugural slot for a work that has not been shown elsewhere.
However, The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan and Amitabh Bachchan (as Meyer Wolfsheim), will have its international premiere coinciding with the Cannes start date.
The Great Gatsby is all about the life and times of millionaire James Gatz Gatsby (DiCaprio) and his neighbour, Nick Carraway (Maguire), who recounts his encounter with Gatsby at the height of the Roaring Twenties, a period marked by a cultural edge in some of the major cities in the West brought about by sustained economic prosperity.
Often general economic wellness produces the urge and mood and climate for increased artistic and cultural activities. We have seen this even in India where years of economic affluence – as in Mughal times and during the earlier Hindu reigns – have led to a great architectural boon. Artistic activities have flourished as well.