Cannes 1968: The Year Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut Led Protests That Shut Down The Festival

Cannes 1968: The Year Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut Led Protests That Shut Down The Festival
Saturday May 18. The 1968 Cannes Film Festival was about to enter its second week when a press conference was called for 10Am in the Jean Cocteau Theater at the old Palais Croisette. Just a few yards down the road, a budding starlet was preparing to hold court on the beach, imagining she would make headlines with her saucy topless photo-call. No one came. Instead, on a bright, sunny day, the world’s media was crammed into a small, stuffy screening room, watching the festival implode.

Taking the stage and representing themselves as The Cinémathèque Defence Committee were French New Wave stalwarts Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut, the former known for his increasingly radical politicization, the latter not, which made what he was about to say all the more surprising. France, said Truffaut, was in a state of siege, after a spate of recent student protests had escalated into nationwide strikes and violent rioting.
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