Because he cannes, cannes, cannes!

Van Sant Wins Top Cannes Award for ‘Elephant’
CANNES, France (Reuters) – Gus Van Sant won the Cannes film festival’s coveted Palme d’Or award Sunday for “Elephant,” a film that tracks the lives of actual U.S. students to see how they cope with shootings and violence at school.
The prize was a long-awaited triumph for the U.S. director who has won plaudits in Hollywood with films like “Good Will Hunting” and “To Die For,” but had yet to win over the arthouse-loving critics of the French Riviera.
Van Sant was also awarded the prize for best direction.
“I thought I was finished,” an emotional Van Sant told the star-studded awards ceremony, as he was called back up to the stage for the top prize. “I’ve been trying to get my films to Cannes for years. To win is miraculous and fortunate and lucky.”
“Elephant” uses non-actor children from Van Sant’s home town of Portland, Oregon, and improvised lines to paint an impressionistic picture of everyday high school life that turns to tragedy when two students go on a shooting spree.
It comes a year after Michael Moore was lauded at Cannes for his probing documentary “Bowling for Columbine,” which also examines America’s gun culture and high-school shootings.
“I don’t think of it as an anti-American movie. It’s made from the viewpoint of my life in the U.S.,” Van Sant said.
Festival watchers, who had their money on Lars von Trier’s film “Dogville” winning the top award, were surprised when the maverick Dane and his leading lady Nicole Kidman won nothing.
The news will be a blow to Von Trier’s production team which reportedly spent half a million dollars on Kidman’s trip to Cannes, where she stayed in the priciest hotel around.
Another film touted as a top winner was French-Canadian “The Barbarian Invasions,” which ended up winning best screenplay and best actress for Marie-Josee Croze, who plays a drug addict who supplies the dying hero with heroin to ease his pain.
“It’s always nice to get a prize,” said the grinning writer, Denys Arcand, whose moving tale of a middle-aged professor’s estranged wife, son and mistresses gathering around his deathbed provoked roars of laughter and sobs in Cannes — as well as during shooting.
With so many awards going to north America, Cannes retained its reputation for favoring intellectual world cinema by giving two awards to Turkish film “Uzak” (Distant), a moving study of how a man’s home life is upset when a jobless cousin moves in.
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan won the runner-up Grand Prix and amateur players Muzaffer Ozdemir and Mehmet Emin Toprak jointly won best actor, an honor that goes posthumously to Toprak, Ceylan’s cousin, after he died in a car accident the day after learning “Uzak” was shortlisted for Cannes.
World cinema gets invaluable exposure at Cannes, primarily a showcase for arty films that otherwise risk being overlooked.
That said, critics this year complained that the line-up of 20 feature films was the shoddiest in years.
Jury head Patrice Chereau said the nine-member panel managed to remain on good terms during 10 days of lengthy discussion, and actress Isabelle Huppert said it was important to keep things in perspective given “all the unhappiness in the world.”
Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf, just 23, received her second Jury Award in three years for “Five in the Afternoon,” her portrayal of life in Afghanistan since the Taliban fell.