The ’68 Comeback Special


Well, I said I’d eventually come up with something interesting to do on those alternating weeks when The Forgotten isn’t running…

Dave “Scout” Tafoya recently staged the Totally Illegal Film Festival, in which he brought together the movies programmed at the abortive 1968 Cannes Film Festival — all excepting two, which appear to be lost for the time being. Even Menahem Golan doesn’t know where to find a copy of his entry, TUVIA VESHEVA BENOTAV (DST looked him up and asked him), and Michel Cournot’s only film, LES GAULOISES BLEUES, seems likewise vanished in the mists of time. If anyone out there can locate a copy, we’d be very grateful (and so might Mr. Golan).

I helped Scout scout out copies of some of the remaining films, and we live in hope that the project will be taken up by someone with the resources to really do it on a grand scale — possibly the Cannes Film Festival. Apparently they were making noises about this back at their fiftieth anniversary, and in a few years it’ll be the fiftieth anniversary of Cannes ’68, which would seem a good time to do it…

Since then, Scout has created a series of Cannes video essays, revisiting the ’68 debacle in this one.

And now, Scout and I are coming together to present a series of posts, each Thursday, authored by each of us in turn (with The Forgotten appearing on the Thursday’s when I don’t post — I’ll link to that as usual and to Scout’s posts at the same time). We’re going to blog about all the films that were supposed to screen that fateful year, starting this week…


Meanwhile, over at LimerWrecks the Surly Hack and I continue to work our way through Universal’s Frankenstein saga in doggerel form. Latest efforts authored or co-authored by me are here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, and here. And we’ve still only reached FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN.

As usual, ace editing and imagery by horror host Hilary Barta.

10 Responses to “The ’68 Comeback Special”

  1. Quite fascinating. Petulia has been discussed at length of late. Bob Osborne featured it on his “The Essentials” series on TCM and he talked about it with Drew Barrymore, who of course adores it. I recall The Party and the Guests and Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush quite well, along with the Jansco films, and Je t’aime Je t’aime is one of Resnais’ greatest achievements.

  2. Keen to see a better copy of the Resnais than the one I viewed last time. It seems to be available at last.

    My friend and Natan co-director Paul Duane made a documentary about Peter Lennon, whose film The Rocky Road to Dublin was the last to be screened at Cannes ’68…

  3. “Cahiers du Cinema” was very big on Rocky Rad to Dublin. When they ran lists of highly recommended films it was always on it.

  4. While making the doco about Peter we found some extraordinary footage of him interrupting Truffaut & Godard’s famous press conference to declare the festival over. Peter, characteristically bolshy, took it on himself to defend those who (unlike himself) were unlucky enough to not yet have had their screenings. He met with short shrift but seeing him in the middle of that famous footage was like a real-life version of Zeilg….

  5. I’d love to do a feature on Rocky Road and Mr Lennon at Cannes sometime, tied into this series. It does seem shady that the filmmakers calling for solidarity were those who did not themselves have films in competition and who had already used Cannes to climb to the top of the business…

  6. Roman Polanski was quite dismissive of the Revolutionaries-Come-Lately at Cannes. Having lived through more political upheaval than they could possibly imagine he could see what was coming.

  7. Yes, he’s a voice of sanity in the video I’ve seen, realizing that the filmmakers’ “gesture of solidarity” would mean precisely nothing in the wider world.

  8. You are probably aware of this but someone posted Les Gauloises Bleues on youtube back in November :

  9. They may have done, but that’s not what you’ve linked to here!

    I think LGB eventually turned up and was reviewed by Scout, if memory serves.

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