Brothers skip fest
CANNES — As expected, the Wachowski Brothers have wimped out on the Cannes Film Festival.
The two Chicago-born recluses, Larry and Andy Wachowski, chose to stay holed up in Hollywood to work on The Matrix Revolutions instead of showing up to support the European launch of The Matrix Reloaded, which showed as an out-of-competition gala May 15 at Cannes.The brothers, who conceived, co-wrote and co-directed the science-fiction trilogy, left it to Joel Silver, their ebullient producer, to explain their rude absence (unlike moody movie stars, directors always show up at Cannes to present their films.)
“Believe me, they would love to be with us,” Silver told a downbeat and often tedious Reloaded press conference May 15.
“They are buried finishing the next picture. But they wanted to express their thanks. We just hope they get the other movie done on time because it opens wide November 5 (apparently a change from Warner’s original announcement it would open Nov. 7).
“Warner Bros. wants this movie (The Matrix Revolutions) out at a certain time and we all think it’s the right time to do it.”
But it will take “a miracle” to finish Revolutions by November, Silver said, because the showpiece climax of the third Matrix is so technically complicated.
“There is a sequence at the end of Revolutions that is just a staggering visual effect: It is the most complex sequence ever put on film — I think it’s fair to say that — and it just could not be done in time (for a summer release).”
Otherwise, the Reloaded press conference was a reiteration of things the cast and crew were saying in Los Angeles just before they came here.
On hand were 15 actors and tech experts, including Canadian co-stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss, plus Americans Jada Pinkett Smith and Laurence Fishburne and the international contingent led by Hugo Weaving, Lambert Wilson and Monica Bellucci.
Most of them groaned and rolled their eyes when North American journalists brought up an American boycott of Cannes.
The boycott was proposed by some Americans because of France’s refusal to support U.S. President George W. Bush’s war in Iraq.
“Personally,” Reeves said of getting pressure to pull out of Cannes, “not at all. But I’ve just arrived. I hope there isn’t.”
Reeves said film festivals should be “a place to come together and celebrate art and humanity and things.
“It would be a shame if there is such a divide. So I hope I don’t experience that — because I’m really glad to be here.”