As regular Ionarts readers already know, one of the many anniversaries being celebrated this year is the 100th birthday of Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, which was on Tuesday (see The Center of the Universe, According to Dalí, February 18). As a result, there have been lots of good articles on him this week:
· Visit Dalí's homeland with observations by the painter's childhood friend, in Salvador, my greatest companion, May 11, by Ewen Carmichael in The Scotsman
· The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, wants to move to a new building. The newly revealed proposal calls for a three-floor building, with 50,000 square feet of exhibition space, on the site of an arena at Bayfront Center that will be demolished in 2005. See Salvador Dali Museum names its site in St. Petersburg, May 12, by Carrie Johnson, in the St. Petersburg Times. It will not be designed by Frank Gehry.
· The centennial festivites at the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueras, Spain, were covered in Figueras honore Dali, né le 11 mai 1904 dans la petite ville catalane, May 10, in L'Express.
There is also this article on the upcoming Edward Hopper retrospective at the Tate Modern in London (May 27 to September 5): How to see sadness without being sad, May 8, by Alain de Botton in The Telegraph. Now, the Telegraph's Web site requires a registration, but the Old Hag tells us that these people can help you with things like that.
There is too much Cannes news to track here (TV5 has an excellent Cannes dossier). The Festival opened on Wednesday without any major incident (see my post Demonstrations at Cannes, May 10), but the intermittents du spectacle were represented in both official and unofficial capacities. The evening news from France 2 showed a group of approved demonstrators, in evening dress, ascending the steps to the opening ceremony, with the word négociations spelled out on their backs (where they were recognized with a sign of support from Jury President Quentin Tarantino), as well as a group of unapproved demonstrators, blocked from approaching the festival buildings by the police. For the first time, Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (whose films I love) officially opened the festival and was the first to present a movie, his La Mala educación (Bad education), some clips of which were shown on the news.
Tarantino, looking like a kid in a candy shop, said only a few words at the opening: "I love cinema and it's an honor for me to be president at this magnificent festival. VIVE LE CINEMA!!!" The next American star to preside at Cannes should call me several months in advance so I can coach him or her on a couple of sentences to say in French, which will guarantee a warm reception. (This is not just an American thing: Almodóvar spoke in Spanish.) Alternatively, you can take a page from the classy book of Johnny Depp, whose francophilia is just one of the many reasons why I admire him. When he was given a special award at the Césars (the French Oscars) in 1997, he held a tape recorder to the microphone that played back prerecorded remarks in flawless French.
Among the less serious news from Cannes (Les cancans de Cannes, May 12, from TV5), actor Adrien Brody arrived early in Cannes on Tuesday, at the head of an informal race called the Gumball 3000. Rich people with time to waste drove from Paris to Cannes by way of Madrid, Marbella, Casablanca, and Barcelona. Sixteen drivers got carried away on the autoroute between Béziers and Montpellier and got speeding tickets. John Kerry's daughter Alexandra will present her short film (The Last Full Measure), about a daughter's relationship with her father after he returns from the Vietnam War, and will attend a party for the event on May 16 at the private Man Ray club, "one of the Parisian clubs that have moved to Cannes for the duration of the festival."