A credible-sounding list of selections is called a ‘paper fish’ by Cannes organisers.
Cannes watchers feared they had been deprived of a whole three weeks of Official Selection speculation on Monday after a popular French blog devoted to the festival claimed it had got hold of the official line-up due to a technical glitch on the event’s official website. “An indiscrete post briefly put up on the site of the Cannes Film Festival and then hastily removed has revealed the list of films which will be presented in competition,” claimed the unofficial Blog du Festival de Cannes, which has some 8,000 Twitter followers. “Here’s a sneak preview of the titles even if we await official confirmation at the press conference on the April 19,” it continued. The 24 titles on the fake list included Wes Anderson’s already announced opening film Moonrise Kingdom as well as Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master and Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence followed by a bracketed tongue-in-cheek note “The family is complete”. Other mentions included hotly tipped pictures such as David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways and Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone. Leaving out On the Road, the site wrote cheekily: “Has Walter Salles paid the price for a precipitous announcement on Twitter or did someone want to separate Robert Pattison (Cosmospolis) and Kirsten Stewart (On the Road)?”
A bemused Christine Aimé, head of press at the festival, nipped the rumour machine in the bud. “We’ve had a few enquiries about this… it’s looks very authentic but it’s what we call a poisson d’avril,” she said, referring to the French tradition of surreptitiously sticking paper fish on people’s back to mark April Fools’ Day. It will be interesting to see how many of the titles on the fake list finally make it into Official Selection.