During Cannes 2019, four Rendez-vous with artists will take place in the Buñuel Theater, replacing the former Cinema Lesson. Four masterclasses with directors, actresses and actors invited to talk about their work and their careers, during Rendez-vous open to all festival-goers.
In this year's program: Zhang Ziyi, Sylvester Stallone, Nicolas Winding Refn and Alain Delon.
A conversation hosted by Samuel Blumenfeld (Journalist at Le Monde).
After Jeanne Moreau, Woody Allen, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, Clint Eastwood, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Manoel de Oliveira, Agnès Varda and Jean-Pierre Léaud, the Festival de Cannes will give a Palme d’or d’honneur to the legendary actor of the The Leopard by Luchino Visconti (Palme d’or in 1963). The ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 19 at 6:30PM. On that very morning Alain Delon will be on stage in the Buñuel Theater to discuss with Samuel Blumenfeld, who wrote a remarkable series of articles on the actor during the summer of 2018. In the evening Alain Delon will introduce a restored print of Joseph Losey's film Mr. Klein in the Debussy auditorium.
Please note that Le Professeur (La prima notte di quiete) by Valerio Zurlini is part of the Cannes Classics program and that Mélodie en sous-sol by Henri Verneuil will be screened at the Cinéma de la Plage on Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 PM.
The women in his life: how it all began.
When Alain Delon's military service in Indochina drew to an end, he was at a loss as to what to do next. At the time, a career in acting hadn't even occurred to him, and so he first arrived in Cannes in 1956 as an unknown, hand in hand with Brigitte Auber, an actor in To Catch A Thief (1955), who, like many women after her, pushed him towards his new career.
His first film.
His first silver-screen appearance was in Yves Allégret's Quand la femme s’en mêle (Send a Woman When the Devil Fails) alongside Edwige Feuillère in 1957. The director gave him a piece of advice he followed over the course of his lifetime:
"Alain, don't act, just be yourself. Look how you would look, talk as you would talk, listen the way you listen."
Finding his calling.
From that moment on, Alain Delon inhabited his various roles, admitting that the women in his life could sometimes be thrown off by his all-embracing approach: "When I play a cop, I become a cop. When I play a thug, I become a thug, and so on". He was immediately at ease in front of the camera.
In 1959, his performance in Plein Soleil (Purple Noon) by René Clément catapulted him to international fame.
His relationship with Visconti.
Luchino Visconti discovered the actor in Plein Soleil (Purple Noon) and decided that Alain Delon should play Rocco in Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers,1960), telling him: "You will be Rocco". The director was adamant that it should be him and nobody else. Il gattopardo (The Leopard, 1963) came next, revealing another of the actor's many facets. Visconti was responsible for pushing the actor into theatre for the first time, too, urging him to star alongside Romy Schneider in his stage adaptation of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore in 1961.
His relationship with Jean-Pierre Melville.
Le Samouraï led to Alain Delon meeting Melville in 1967, and the actor and director enjoyed an extremely close life-long friendship.
From actor to producer.
Alain Delon is less well known as a producer.
He has produced around 25 films, including the risqué Monsieur Klein (Mr. Klein), screened in Cannes in 1976. The film wasn't as successful as hoped at the Festival, but is being honoured once again on 19 May, with a hotly anticipated screening in Cannes Classics.