The 2007 Cannes Film Festival kicked off with old-fashioned PR smarts this morning when comedian Jerry Seinfeld, flying in on a metal cable, landed on the beach dressed as a bee to promote his upcoming animated "Bee Movie."
The high-wire stunt followed a 20-minute presentation from "Bee Movie," a film that Seinfeld has been working on for more than two years. It's the next major release for DreamWorks Animation after "Shrek the Third," which debuts this week.
"Bee Movie" is the comic's first major project since his beloved TV sitcom went off the air and into perpetual syndication a decade ago. With "yada yada yada," "anti-dentite" and "man hands" seared into fans' minds — not to mention a dozen other key catchphrases — Seinfeld has a lot to live up to.
At least from the footage we saw Thursday and the amount of expense put into the clever Cannes launch, the film looks like a winner. Also on hand Thursday morning: Seinfeld's good friend, Chris Rock, who is hilarious in clips. At least this movie isn't called "I Think I Love My Bee."
Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones has no idea why a Chinese director cast her as the lead in "My Blueberry Nights" alongside such heavy hitters as Jude Law, Natalie Portman, David Strathairn and Rachel Weisz. All she knows is that she is now billed above them in a smart, hip and unique film that opened the Cannes Film Festival last night.
Jones says Wong Kar Wai just called her out of the blue and invited her to come meet him. She accepted, and then took the part without any acting lessons. Amazingly, it's all worked out. Jones seems very much at home onscreen and carries the movie through its many different episodes.
To make things even more interesting, there wasn't even a script. The actors didn't know how the film ended until they saw it last night — and neither did the head of the festival.
"I saw it without the ending," Thierry Frémaux told me at the swanky after-party above the Palais de la Croisette. "I'm very pleased how it turned out."
So was Law, who told me that the scenes were improvised and filmed over and over to get them right.
"I thought of it as a little summer project," he said.
Law gets better and better in each film he does, although this one — like many others — is not a blockbuster.
"Blueberry" is a very smart art-house release that should cause a lot of buzz when the Weinstein Company releases it later this year.