Curtains for France's Summer Festivals
by Jennifer Picard and Christina Passariello
(snipped for relevant content)
Strikes and protests by arts workers are canceling even the most famous events, slamming tourism in host cities and towns nationwide
When Jack Nicholson picks up a bullhorn, it's usually to shout at his fellow actors when filming a movie. But on July 8, he used it for a different purpose: Negotiating with protesters. According to police, around 650 French arts workers stormed the central Paris set of an as-yet-untitled romantic comedy Nicholson was shooting with Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves.
Despite Nicholson's pleas, demonstrators refused to move away from the Seine River bridge where the shoot was taking place, forcing the production crew to pack it in for the night. The artists' protests against the French government's plans to change their unemployment-benefit system interrupted filming halfway through the 12-day shoot, at a cost that may not be covered by movie insurance.