Woody Allen’s Cafe Society will open the 69th edition of the Cannes Film Festival on May 11.
It will be a coup of sorts for the New York based Allen, whose two earlier movies have opened the Festival. His Hollywood Ending got the opening night honours in 2002, and his Midnight in Paris in 2011.
Cafe Society, which will play Out of Competition, tells the delightful story of a young man who arrives in Hollywood in the 1930s to work in films. He falls in love and finds himself swept off his feet by the vibrant cafe culture that France today is well-known for. Not quite America, no longer.
Cafe Society will have two rising stars from Hollywood’s new generation, Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg along with acclaimed actors like Blake Lively, Parker Posey and Steve Carell.
Both Stewart and Eisenberg have been at Cannes before. We saw him in the 2012 On the Road by Walter Salles and again in the 2014 Clouds of Sils Maria by Olivier Assayas. She starred in Joachim Trier’s Louder than Bombs, which was part of the 2015 Competition.
Apart from opening the festival twice, Allen has had a long association with Cannes that dates back to 1979, when his Manhattan played there. His last film, Irrational Man, was part of the festival’s official lineup in 2015. Between these two, Allen had contributed as many as 12 movies to the festival basket.
Wearing several caps -- writer, comedian, actor, director and producer -- Allen was born in New York on December 1 1935 to a Jewish family of Russian-Austrian descent. A prolific creator of cinema for the past four decades since the 1960s with at least one film a year, Allen is also a renowned jazz clarinetist.
Allen’s directorial debut came in 1966 with What’s Up Tiger Lily? Soon after, he started to act in his own films -- winning four Oscars (for works like Annie Hall in 1978 and Midnight in Paris in 2012) out of the 20 occasions he was nominated.
Manhattan, Match Point, Take the Money and Run, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Deconstructing Harry are among Allen’s other successes.
Cafe Society will open in French cinemas on May 11 coinciding with its big night at Cannes.
The festival will run till May 22, and the complete list of films will be announced in Paris on April 14.