Cannes Dispatch – The Expendables 3 And National Gallery

"The Expendables 3" Stunt Photocall & Press Conference

Craig Skinner writes for Bleeding Cool.

I may be spending the majority of the Cannes Film Festival in darkened cinemas watching the latest films from ‘auteurs’ from across the globe but to a great many people Cannes is about the market and the promotion of upcoming movies. And the team behind the marketing of The Expendables 3 certainly grabbed a great deal of attention this week with a stunt to help promote the movie.

The cast and crew of the film – including but most certainly not limited to Stallone, Lundgren, Snipes, Banderas, Grammar and Gibson – rode the Croisette in Cannes atop tanks, with a great many people lining the route and snapping pictures of the stars rolling past.

Here’s a vine I took of the chaos on the Croisette.

‘The Expendables’ were in town to promote the film in a number of ways, with this stunt, a preview of footage to the press and a press conference in which no less than sixteen members of the cast and crew were on hand to answer questions.

"The Expendables 3" Stunt Photocall & Press Conference

I won’t really comment on the tanks making their way down the Croisette – tanks rolling through France to promote a movie, hmm – but I can say that the footage I saw was very promising. There’s the clear sense that they are aiming to ramp up the action a great deal with this sequel and I’m pretty optimistic that Patrick Hughes and Second Unit Director Dan Bradley may actually succeed and make up for the rather weak action in the first two.

Stallone and co. were highly entertaining in the press conference and dropped a few nuggets of info on the film, including news that this third film will be PG-13 – the first two were R rated – and that there won’t be as many ‘funny’ one-liners in this one as there was in the second one. I certainly breathed a pretty significant sigh of relief when Stallone made that point.

"The Expendables 3" Stunt Photocall & Press Conference

And now for something completely different.

Over in the Director’s Fortnight strand a very different type of film was having its world premiere. Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery is a documentary that runs just shy of three hours and explores, in a very complex and nuanced manner, the position of the National Gallery in London and the relationship between the gallery and the public.

Taking us behind the scenes of the curatorial side of the gallery, the restoration work, the hanging, the frame-making and the debates that go on regarding how the gallery can be used, Wiseman gets to the heart of how this institution works. But, crucially, he also draws a deep connection with how the audience interact with the gallery – showing us a number of visitors and the very different roles that the gallery plays for them.

It’s a fascinating exploration that also goes beyond the gallery itself and stretches as far as discussing the very nature of art itself and what it means to an audience. Another triumph from Wiseman and my favourite film from the festival so far.