|Index||7 reviews in total|
Cannes Man is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, as it pokes
fun as the self-indulgent Hollywod movie industry, exposing how full of
crap some of the industry people are, and that includes more than just
promoters and producers, but actors and directors as well.
Filmed entirely at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, is something of a story that models the success of Chauncy, of that old Peter Sellers classic, 'Being There.' Frank Rhinoslavasky (Francesco Quinn), kind of a dumb guy, and part-time New York cab driver, wants to break into the movie business. He doesn't have anything to offer, and just thinks that he can start at the top, as a writer. Opportunity knocks on Frank's door when he goes to the Cannes Film Festival to deliver some props to Troma, Inc.
There, Frank meets Sy Lerner (Seymor Cassell), perhaps the biggest bullshitter in the business, and as each person interviewed in this mockumentary, he has made a fool out of a lot of industry executives and cost them plenty of money. Sy Lerner makes a bet with his friend that he can take any shmoe off the street and turn them into the biggest success around. And Frank is his shmoe. Like Chauncy, Peter Seller's dimwitted character in Being There who was haled as a genius by those who only saw what they wanted to see in Chauncy (and the kicker is that they eventually nominate him President), Frank Rhino is going to create the same success by letting others do all the work.
Sy Lerner takes on Frank as his pet project. He shows Frank how to dress and behave (though Frank doesn't drop much of his idiotic conversation habits), tells him how to respond when being interviewed such as never saying too much, and always being ambiguous. Then Lerner comes up with the vehicle for Frank's reputation, by naming him the writer of a new movie. Only the movie doesn't exist and Frank isn't a writer. And, even knowing Lerner's reputation, people buy into the garbage. And now, everyone wants a piece of that action. Lerner and Frank (now given a fitting industry name of "Frank Rhino") have everyone knocking down their door, hot directors, big name producers, and big shot actors (including some great scenes with Johnny Depp and Jim Jarmusch. Interviews, press opportunities, everything, Frank is the "Cannes Man," and he didn't have to do much to get it.
Even funnier than the fact that everyone is falling for all the garbage Lerner and Rhino hand them, is the intermittent interviews with members of the industry who initially started talking about how Lerner suckered them out of money and then gradually change their tune about wanting a piece of the new hot action, Frank Rhino and his movie. They went full circle.
I imagine the filmmakers went around Cannes and just asked people to take part in it, improvising most of it like Frank Whaley, Peter Gallagher, and Laura Flynn Boyle most obviously do (promoting Cafe Society), trying to sound very important, but only coming off as total idiots and suckers for just another one of Lerner's money-making schemes. There are many other cameos by John Malchovich, Jon Cryer (promoting 'Heads'), and Del Toro and Kevin Pollack (promoting the 'Usual Suspects'), and so forth. And everyone is outrageously funny. This is definitely one of the funniest movies I have ever seen, and one that I highly recommend.
Lerner definitely makes a fool out of Hollywood, and I wonder if this isn't how the real industry operates 80 percent of the time.
The film takes place at the famous Cannes film festival. It's about a producer who, as a bet, tries to hype up a nobody, and make everyone believe he's the greatest writer since Hemmingway. This writer's non-existent story is appropriately called 'Cannes Man', but pronounced 'Con Man'. Lots of cameo appearances by some big names, and pretty funny performance by Johnny Depp. An enjoyable little spoof of the movie industry!
I've been to Cannes, and this is EXACTLY what it's like to be there. Not to mention that Johnny Depp and Jim Jarmusch do one of the most hilarious cameos I've ever seen. Seymour Cassel has never been funnier, and this film captures the indie icon like he's never been captured before. I saw this film at a screening in LA not long ago, and wonder why it didn't make it to the theaters. Look for Ann Cusack as a buyer who gets ripped off by Sy Lerner (Cassell) and Robert Evans telling a story about his glory days.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
*Spoiler/plot- Cannes Man, 1996. Two extremely competitive film
executives bet each other that they can take an unknown non-film person
and turn them into a celebrity during the event with coercion and
*Special Stars- Francesco Quinn, Seymour Cassel.
*Theme- Some people will do or say anything to belong and be important.
*Trivia/location/goofs- Documentary, satire. Filmed in Cannes, France during festival time. Many stars are included with cameos roles for many others.
*Emotion- A very entertaining and telling story about the con-man dealings that go for business around the film distribution circles. The roles are very believable and well casted so the film's plot becomes like many of the best con-men films; intrigues the viewer with interests.
*Based On- The Cannes film festival networking of film executives.
Although the film has a great premise and a good point to make as I was
watching it I couldn't help but think how much better it would have
been had it been made by Woody Allen. The execution would have been so
much better. I can only think they relied too much on improvising and
whoever they could presumably talk into participating while they were
at Cannes, rather than scripting it all and making it from scratch as
Allen would have. Much of the acting isn't quite of a high enough
standard either, but none the less its still and enjoyable film to
Trading Places is another film that comes to mind when watching this - along with The Player - and ensemble pieces like Best In Show and This Is Spinal Tap. All of them cover either similar themes, or were made in a similar way, but yielded a better result. Perhaps the difference with Best in Show and Spinal Tap is that their makers had a firmer idea of what each scene was meant to cover before it was improvised, and from the outset they had a stronger script/structure - this film seemed to lack a little in that regard, as well as having some average acting. I thought Sy Lerner's character was a bit confusing too - at the start he seems to be a bit of a schmuck past his best days, yet he still seems to carry a lot of clout and when he starts wheeling and dealing.
Seymour Cassel is simply hilarious as Sy Lerner,plot is funny and
interesting through the whole time- Frank 'Rhino' Rhinoslavsky (Quinn)
is a dumb part-time cab driver in New York who wants to break into film
business. He doesn't have anything to offer, and just thinks that he
can start at the top, as a writer. Opportunity knocks on Frank's door
when he goes to the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France to deliver
some props to Troma, Inc.
So, he meets Sy Lerner (Seymor Cassel), perhaps a bigger loser in movie business and as each person interviewed in this mockumentary, he has made a fool out of a lot of industry executives and cost them plenty of money. Lerner makes a bet with his friend that he can take any shmoe off the street and turn them into the biggest success around. And Frank is his shmoe. 'Rhino' is going to create the same success by letting others do all the work.
Sy Lerner takes on Frank as his pet project. He shows Frank how to dress and behave, tells him how to respond when being interviewed such as never saying too much, and always being ambiguous. Then Sy Lerner comes up with the vehicle for Frank's reputation, by naming him the writer of a new movie. Only the movie doesn't exist and Frank isn't a writer. And, even knowing Lerner's reputation, people buy into the garbage. And now, everyone wants a piece of that action. Lerner and Frank (now given a fitting industry name of "Frank Rhino") have everyone knocking down their door, popular directors, big name producers, and famous actors (including Johnny Depp and Jim Jarmusch). Interviews, press opportunities, everything: Frank is the "Cannes Man," and he didn't have to do much to get it. So, they are at the Cannes Film Festival. It's where deals get made, producers get laid, and stars get paid. It's where all the movie industry meets to buy and sell all the movies on the planet. And it's where the art of the deal can be filled with more laughs than the deal itself.
Call it a parody or a mockumentary. It reminds me a lot of Trading
Places. Two old farts: Sy Lerner (Seymour Cassell) and his buddy (Jim
Stark) bet that Sy can't make a star out of anybody. Frank (Francesco
Quinn) just delivered some goods to Lloyd Kaufman and was just roaming
around when the friend picked him for Sy to develop. All Frank had to
do was smile and look good, an Sy did all the work.
The action takes place at Cannes, so there are stars and producers and directors aplenty around, and Sy is conning them all. The nice thing is that it is Cannes and there is plenty to see other than stars. There are legs all over the place.
The bet is over on the last day of Cannes, and Frank doesn't get it. He was just a pawn. he's a loser.
O, well, It is another movie on the way to seeing all of Johnny Deps, and there is a nice pair in the middle.
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