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Gondry kicks off Karlovy Vary in amusing style

John Travolta picks up a Crystal Globe lifetime achievement award at the 48th edition of the Czech film festival.

The 48th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival opened last night in amusing fashion, with a special screening of Michel Gondry’s latest film Mood Indigo, introduced by the director whose lengthy explanation of to why his star Audrey Tautou had cancelled her attendance at the last minute was that she had been involved in an accident on her bicycle on had cut open her chin.

The French director engaged and won over the full house audience in the Hotel Thermal’s grand auditorium with his playfully rambling story of how she had been injured – he added that she had damaged her chin, exposed the bone and lost blood - before settling down for Gondry’s strange, beguiling and oddly tender surrealist love story, an adaptation of Boris Vian’s cult novel.

Earlier in the evening a smiling and genial John Travolta took to the stage to pick up a Crystal Globe lifetime achievement award from festival president Jiri Bartoska. A clip reel of extracts from his film had many Travolta fans shouting with enthusiasm.

Travolta commented: “We are asked to reflect humanity, mankind. It is our own personal interpretation of that. It does not mean you are going to agree with that or even like it, but I’m so thrilled that you with agree with interpretation.”

And added: “I’ve said it before – to be or not to be. I am glad that you allow me to be.”

He follows on from the likes of Jude Law, John Malkovich, Harvey Keitel and many more who have been presented the award. Each traditionally takes part in a new festival trailer that pokes gentle fun at them and the award, and prior to the opening film there was a screening of the latest version, featuring last year’s honouree, Helen Mirren.

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