Cannes Film Festival poster mirrors scene from Akira Kurosawa’s Rhapsody in August

Cannes Film Festival poster mirrors scene from Akira Kurosawa’s Rhapsody in August

One of the unique highlights of the Cannes Film Festival is its poster, which each year tells a story and serves as a signature of the 12-day event in the fascinating south of France, sun kissed and washed by the genteel waves of the Mediterranean Sea. This year’s poster is poetic and hypnotic, picturing a scene from Rhapsody in August, one of the cinematic gems of the Japanese master, Akira Kurosawa. (Also read: In a first, Cannes Film Festival to award Honorary Palme d’Or to a group, Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli)

The poster for Cannes Film Festival 2024.
The poster for Cannes Film Festival 2024.

The new poster

Kurosawa’s movie played Out of Competition at Cannes 1991, and the poster visualises a grandmother, a victim of the Nagasaki atomic bombing on August 9 1945, conveying to her grandchildren her faith in love and integrity during war. The auteur’s other films – Sanshiro Sugata, Rashomon and Seven Samurai among others — portray the significance of being together to seek harmony and joy.

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Why was it chosen?

A festival note has this to say: “Mirroring the movie theatre, this year’s poster celebrates the Seventh Art, with naivety and wonder. Because it gives everyone a voice, it enables emancipation. Because it remembers wounds, it combats oblivion. Because it bears witness to perils, it calls for union. Because it soothes trauma, it helps repair the living.In a fragile world that constantly questions otherness, the Festival de Cannes reaffirms a conviction: cinema is a universal sanctuary for expression and sharing. A place where our humanity is written as much as our freedom”

Apart from being profound, the posters have always been eye-catching. Last year, we saw a young and pretty French actress Catherine Deneuve on the beach near Saint Tropez in 1968. In 2013, American stars Paul Newman and Joannes Woodward were seen kissing. The 2021 poster had director Spike Lee gazing pensively at the Cannes palm trees.

There was at least one contentious poster, which in 2017 provoked rage following allegations that the young, dancing Claudia Cardinale had been photoshopped to look slimmer in the image. We would never know whether this was true. But the Festival is known for its controversies.



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