CANNES – The Cannes Film Festival runs from 13th of May until the 24th of May in the beautiful seaside town of Cannes, but what do we really know about it?

We sent The Studio Exec FACT squad to the Croissette to find out.

1. The Cannes-Cannes dance originated at the Cannes Film Festival. It was invented by Francious Truffaut as an expression of joy when his debut film Les Quatre Cents Coups (400 Blows) won the best director award in 1959. It then became customary for ever winner to do the dance before their acceptance speech. The practice was eventually banned in 1991 after the Coen Brothers used their celebratory dance – on winning a rare sweep of the major awards for Barton Fink – to kick their arch rivals the Baldwin brothers in their faces.

2. Lars Von Trier was declared Persona Non Grata by the Cannes Film Festival following his Nazi-y remarks at the press conference for Melancholia. Cannes authorities were particularly upset because noted Jew Mel Gibson was also at the festival starring in Jodie Foster’s porn film The Beaver.

3. Clint Eastwood was the President of one of the most lively juries in Cannes history. The arguments between the jurists led in some instances to punch ups and in others to marriage. In the end the Jury awarded the Palme d’Or to Pulp Fiction. Eastwood justified his choice by saying ‘Although I didn’t care for the picture’s violence and profane dialogue, the furniture was really sexy!’

4. The red carpet down which the stars and directors walk before every major premiere is dyed red from the blood of last year’s losers, each of whom have to donate three pints of blood before they are allowed to leave the Cote d’Azure.

5. The Cannes Film Festival is divided into several different sections. There’s the main competition, then Un Certain Regard sidebar, The Director’s Fortnight and the Dardennes Brothers section, which is devoted to the films of the Dardennes Brothers.

For more FACTS click HERE.


INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS: REVIEW – If the Coen brothers have produced something of lasting worth in this world of ours, it is a growing cast of characters, never conventional, occasionally dumb, occasionally dislikable, who nevertheless somehow manage to win our affection and respect: The Dude, Barton Fink, Tom Reagan, Marge Gunderson, Ed Crane and Ulysses Everett McGill. Llewyn Davis joins the club. Except Llewyn in common with many a Coen anti-hero, isn’t what you might call a joiner.

Set in the midst of the folk scene of the early Sixties, Llewyn (an amazing reputation making role by Oscar Isaac) is what you might call a prickly character. Unable to filter his disdain, or feign interest in what bores him, he is a folk singer who can’t bear folk. Despite his commitment to his art, his decisions are of the one step forward two steps back variety. 

The Coen brothers lovingly reproduce the world of the pre-Dylan Village, but their portrait of tragic failure is both hilarious and unflinching. Whereas biopics swirl with stories of against the odds down on their luck heroes who triumph over adversity, the Coens create another type of hero: the glorious f*ck up of Llewyn Davis. 

And there’s a cat. 


The Studio Exec generally despises lists as the laziest possible journalism. But recently it occurred to me that I am lazy, Goddam it! And so we are checking into the Lazy Journalism Hotel with a list of the Top Five Being Sad in A Hotel films.   

1.     Lost in Translation: Scarlett Johansson is in a hotel in Tokyo and she is sad. Bill Murray is in a hotel in Tokyo and he is also sad. Scarlett and Bill meet up and are less sad, but then they don’t do it and that makes them more sad.

2.     Barton Fink: John Turturro check in to Hotel Earle, trying to write a screenplay for a wrestling B movie for movie mogul Jack Lipnick. He is sad and lonely. Then he meets Charlie his neighbour (John Goodman) and his hero Bill Mayhew (John Mahoney) and Audrey (Judy Davis), but his neighbour’s weird, his hero’s a bullying drunk and his girlfriend winds up dead.

Lucky, lucky, lucky
3.     The Hotel New Hampshire: The Berry family and their five children including Jodie Foster and Rob Lowe set up a hotel run by Freud in Austria and inhabited by radicals and a lesbian bear (Natasha Kinski). They keep passing those open windows, until one of them doesn’t.

4.     The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: It isn’t supposed to be sad. They’re actually supposed to be quite happy in the end in a feel good way. But you’ll feel sad watching it. And there’s a hotel.

5.     The Shining: The Overlook Hotel is the daddy of all sad hotels. Atrocious décor, especially in Room 237 and nothing to do all day except try and murder your wife and child. 


HOLLYWOOD – The Studio Exec is sick and tired of the bull crap that passes for screenplays in this town.

Not to mention all the messages and emails about screenplays that assholes have written and they have the audacity to ask the Exec to put on his bifocals and actually ingest this sopping filth. So he – in his fifteen percent wisdom – has decided to give all you aspiring Barton Finks some simple rules for you to follow.
  1. Have a story to tell you really don’t care about. Horrible things are going to happen to that story so it’s better you ain’t too invested. Never write about something that happened to you. You are really boring. Don’t make me fucking tell you. Use the Glen L Larson approach, copy something you like from film for a TV show or you like on television and put it in a feature format.
  2. Remember the three act structure and the character arc and denouements and stuff. Not for when you’re writing but for when you’re talking about writing.
  3. Originality is a cancer. Stamp it out from the very get go. Clichés are your bread and butter. Traffic cops only stop cars with bodies in the trunk. Funerals happen in the rain. Couples walk and talk in parks. When your protagonist is undecided have him sit in view of a bridge. Anger should be expressed by trashing a desk or punching the steering wheel. If someone’s a recovering alcoholic in Act One, they have to go on a bender in Act Three (that’s Chekov!)
  4. Give up on your dreams. Accept that statistically you’re never going to make it. All that bull crap about persistence and never giving up on your dream is horse shit. 99% don’t make it regardless of persistence and never giving up on your dreams. If you enjoy the process, good for you, otherwise it ain’t worth the butt ache.
  5. Finally, don’t send it to me. Believe me, we tolerate agents because they’re only slightly less odious pits of scum than writers. They’re filters. They man the barricades. Get yourself a good one and he can break my balls so you don’t have to.
Oh and put a colon in the middle of your title so we think you’re on to a franchise. Now, get out of my Goddam face!