Cannes diary: Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and ‘peak noire’ on the Croisette

While the Indiana Jones star went for a bike ride, a new ticketing system went into meltdown

Devoted Indiana Jones buffs, many in brown leather jackets and fedoras, staked out their positions in front of the Palais de Festivals far in advance of the premiere of the new adventure film. But a “very excited” Andrew Scott was happy to wait it out on the beach, glass coupe in hand.

The acclaimed actor, best known as Sherlock’s nemesis on television and for memorably raising the temperature of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, was toasting the relaunch of the Carlton Hotel, one of the emblems of the fabled Croisette that vies each year to host visiting stars. Scott was in Cannes to watch his friend Waller-Bridge make her debut alongside Indiana Jones, but also to discuss new projects with producers. He is keen for the release, he said, of his next film, Strangers, a supernatural modern-day drama in which he plays opposite fellow Irishman and Bafta-winner Paul Mescal.

Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Photograph: Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm Ltd.

Fresh intrigue now surrounds Harrison Ford’s fitness regime during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. His co-star Mads Mikkelsen suggested on Friday that Ford, 80, had confounded the rest of the cast at the end of a long night shoot: “We were all completely wasted and wanted to go to bed, but Harrison picked up his bicycle and went for a 50km ride, so I think he would have had several more ‘Indys’ in him.” Later on, however, Ford accused Mikkelsen of lying to boost Ford’s image, to which Mikkelsen replied: “What, then? Did you just bring the bicycle with you for fun?”

The 76th festival has seen fewer deals and starry promotional stunts than usual, due to economic strains and the writers’ strike in Los Angeles. Restrictions mean no one based there can pitch a future script. But fans of the British director and festival favourite Mike Leigh can be heartened by news of the sale in Cannes of more European rights to his secretive upcoming, untitled film project. Originally rumoured to have an all-black cast, production was initially delayed by Covid. Filming is now quietly under way in a suburban street in north-west London. Festival deals sealed four days ago sold the project on to French, Italian, Benelux and Swiss regions.

Queueing, the bete noire of Cannes’ thousands of international film critics and journalists, reached peak “noire” status this year. Complaints about the system will never win sympathy outside the festival, but the recently introduced ticketing system went into meltdown before the only screening of Pedro Almodóvar’s new short western Strange Way of Life. Faithful ticket holders lined up for an hour, only to see another group, all simply waiting in hope, let inside instead. Festival organisers have explained the decision was forced by crowd pressure. Certainly, clarity is the first victim of bureaucracy. On Wednesday, one long-serving Palais official claimed she had no idea such a thing as a “last-minute queue” even existed. Outside her office, 15 metres away, it snaked a third of the way down the Croisette.


Vanessa Thorpe

The GuardianTramp

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