Plus: Quentin's favorite laugh lines from his own movie. The surreal experience of watching him watch his breakthrough film on a beach, 20 years after he and Lawrence Bender walked off with the Palme d'Or.
You know what they call a “20th anniversary” in France? Beach party.
Miramax celebrated “Pulp Fiction” and its 1994 Palme d'Or win with a return to the Palais steps at Cannes and an official beach-front screening on the Croisette Friday night.
Planets in the Miramax universe, past and present, including Quentin Tarantino, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Lawrence Bender, Harvey Weinstein, and Michael Madsen, were amongst a delegation from the film company's team. While Miramax has not had anything in competition, they've nevertheless been in town all festival.
Tarantino played the master of ceremonies on the beach, giving each person mentioned above their own Michael Buffer-style boxing windup and introduction. As the stars entered through the crowd on the beach, Tarantino ad-libbed what designer he imagined each was wearing.
“I've seen ‘Pulp Fiction’ under every circumstance that a person can see ‘Pulp Fiction’ under, except this circumstance,” Tarantino said. “Anyone who has a joint, rip it out and light it up!” he yelled, cracking up the group behind him on stage. Then, handlers worked their way up the aisle handing out pizza (not Big Kahuna Burgers) as the opening credits rolled.
When it got to “A film by Quentin Tarantino” he raised his hand in the front row. Travolta sat to his left, with Thurman on his right.
During the film, Tarantino laughed audibly, noticeably, and sometimes alone. Discerned from my seat a few rows behind him, these were his favorite lines, in chronological order:
(Spoiler Alert: Before the film, Tarantino said that if you have not seen the film, you're a loser. I agree. The statute of limitations passed back in the Clinton administration.)
(1) Travolta/Vincent high and confused in Mia Wallace's house, unable to figure out how to use the intercom system;
(2) Bruce Willis'/Butch's frustration monologue in the Honda driving back to his apartment to retrieve the golden watch;
(3) Ving Rhames/Marsellus Wallace's bloody basement “medieval” speech, especially the “You lost all your L.A. privileges” line; and
(4) Samuel L. Jackson/Jules’ monologue in Brett's apartment about divine intervention.
As for Uma Thurman, she snapped photos (selfies?) on her iPhone of the iconic Jack Rabbit Slims scene. After the screening, Thurman was the most emotional of the group. She and Travolta shared several embraces as they were surrounded by fans, and it appeared she might be crying.
Earlier, over wine and champagne at the Majestic Beach, the iconic “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack from the Palais wafted over as the film's party returned to the steps, during the “Clouds of Sils Maria” carpet arrivals in formal wear (above).
Before the beach screening, Travolta had changed into an outfit not that dissimilar from his “Pulp Fiction” character, Danny Zuko. When he took the stage, he even spoke to the crowd in French.
This was the hottest party ticket of Friday night, casting shade on the two premieres scheduled: the aforementioned “Clouds of Sils Maria” (even with Chloë Grace Moretz and Kristen Stewart) and “Leviathan.” With a beachfront location on the busy Croisette, hundreds who could not get in lined the sidewalk two or three deep to watch the show, even if they did not get the prime seating, or the goodie bags of champagne, plastic flutes, water, and bagged popcorn for the flick.
A shoulder story in this event was the reunion of the film with The Weinstein Company, which formed a co-production and development deal with Miramax in mid-December 2013. TWC co-founder Harvey Weinstein said at the time that it was an early “Christmas present,” news that made him so excited that he mentioned his mother in a press release for the first time in his career.
At the time, TheWrap's Brent Lang called the co-production deal “a home-coming of sorts, reuniting TWC heads Bob and Harvey Weinstein with many of the classic films they helped guide to the screen.” The Weinsteins were co-chairman of Miramax when “Pulp Fiction” was picked up for production.
Tarantino's modern classic is certainly on their Mt. Rushmore. On Friday night, Harvey Weinstein was in the front row, alongside the cast, director, Travolta's wife Kelly Preston, and Bender.
“Last but not least, the man who took ‘Pulp Fiction’ after we made it a great movie, and made it a smashing success all over the planet Earth, Harveeeeeey Whine-Stine!” Tarantino shouted.
There was no sign of Kathy Griffin, or the Gimp.
Relativity's Halfway There
Earlier in the week, Relativity also celebrated a milestone.
From “Talladega Nights” to “The Fighter, “”Out of the Furnace,” and “Limitless” (starring the man who threw CEO Ryan Kavanaugh's bachelor party, Bradley Cooper), Relativity celebrated it's 10 year anniversary here in Cannes, also.
They kicked off the week with a Sunday brunch at the Hotel du Cap.
After riding a tank down the Croisette with his “Expendables 3” army, Kelsey Grammer changed in to his business wear for a trip out to the du Cap for the daytime hug-fest, where a jazz band was the side dish.
Everyone went home with personalized e-cigars. Overall, the amount of smoking in France is as high as the stereotype, but Stephen Dorff's backers would be happy – e-tobacco is on the rise.
TheWrap's Party Report from Cannes is appropriately presented by a festive partner, Stella Artois, the official beer of the Cannes Film Festival for 13 years.