Bong Joon-ho poses with his Palme d'Or

The idea that Cannes might go ahead intact in 2020 even as the world fell apart around it may have been a self-delusion of the defeated, but it was a comfortable one all the same. Of course we complained that the festival was taking too long to cancel, but, you know, rabbits and hats, happy endings and the power of magical thinking: that’s the nature of the business we work in, we can be forgiven.

Emmanuel Macron’s announcement on Monday that public gatherings in France are now banned until mid-July (at the very least) was a cruel twist in an unhappy story for the festival, the country and a great swathe of Europe. The news today that Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight have cancelled, with Official Selection left to reel through a final act alone, may have been expected, but, gosh, it felt sad.

Of course the movie business is no different to any other: why should a festival or even would a festival expect to…



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