Cannes 1986: Directors' Fortnight
Note that in the still image from Denys Arcand's The Decline of the American Empire, the image makes a democratic attempt to include as many people as possible but without any sense of a real perspective: symptoms of financial comfort aside, this could be almost anyone, talking about almost anything, in a musical, a comedy, an over-lit drama, a sitcom, or a miniseries. Note that in the image from She's Gotta Have It, composed with a bit more visual flair, the woman is technically in the foreground, but the focus is clearer on the man lying on the other side of her, and the lighting calls your attention to him, too. I would suggest these images and their implications as pretty good stand-ins for their films, which were early, much-ballyhooed breakouts of the Directors' Fortnight section of the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. I've reviewed Denys Arcand's epic chatfest here and Spike Lee's fetching and appealingly rough-edged debut here. Let me know your thoughts!