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Cinema and the Cities: Four Themes Emerge at Cannes

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Cities have always played a part in cinema, regardless of the story or the genre. Some of the most unforgettable are set against the world’s great cities as seen through the lens of world-renowned directors. To celebrate their role in films, MasterCard  organized a unique and exclusive Master Class  “Cinema and the Cities” at the Cannes Film Festival –  the perfect backdrop to discuss this passionate topic with great cinema personalities.

Vittorio Storaro, Isabelle Huppert, Paul Schrader, Ann Cairns, and Raja Rajamannar make up the first MasterClass on Cinema and the Cities, hosted by MasterCard at the Cannes Film Festival

Vittorio Storaro, Isabelle Huppert, Paul Schrader, Ann Cairns, and Raja Rajamannar make up the first MasterClass on Cinema and the Cities, hosted by MasterCard at the Cannes Film Festival

Actress Isabelle Huppert, screenwriter and director Paul Schrader, the award-winning photography director Vittorio Storaro, and Ann Cairns, President, International Markets MasterCard, discussed the intimate relationship between cities and the cinema, drawing on their sensibilities and experiences of making movies. Cinema enthusiasts and journalists representing eight countries sat in on the conversation, and four key themes that emerged are shared below.

Unconscious Influence

As an actress, Isabelle Huppert has experienced many incredibly beautiful cities such as Paris, Vienna or Tokyo: “The way a city influences the actors is almost unconscious” she declares.

An outside view of MasterCard Priceless Cannes terrace at the Cannes Film Festival

An outside view of MasterCard Priceless Cannes terrace at the Cannes Film Festival

Energy is Contagious

The award-winning cult screenwriter and film director Paul Schrader insists on the role played by films in our perceptions of Cities such as New York, “In order to bring to life a city on screen, you have to explore people, neighborhoods, to feel the energy, the art that this city can giveIn Taxi Driver, for example, we didn’t capture perfectly all the details of New York, but we had the essence of the city right” underlining the importance of capturing general atmosphere when filming a City.

Beyond Scenery to the Essence

Vittorio Storaro, award-winning Director of photography comments his work drawing on examples of famous paintings and masterpieces attesting to the proximity between the cinema and history of Art. He also pointed out that a city is not only a scenery but a whole: “To photograph Beijing, Bertolucci told me I had to come, sense the people, try the food… live the city from inside”.

Priceless Cannes _table top

A look at the exclusive MasterCard Priceless Cannes terrace at the Cannes Film Festival

Beyond Landmarks, Experiences Make Cities Priceless

Priceless and the concept of cities have been closely linked for many years. While more and more people are living in cities, they remain the creative engines, the tourist destinations and the home to millions of us. Cinema is also a way to see a city in a brand new light. As Ann Cairns, President of International Markets, MasterCard, stated, as a conclusion to the Master Class, “A city is so much more than the iconic landmarks that we feel we know before we have even visited. When you spend time in a city, you make sense of it by connecting with small parts. And it is this need for us to carve out our own connection and experiences that really makes everyone’s experience of a city unique.”

MasterCard is an official partner of the Cannes Film Festival.  In addition to hosting this panel, MasterCard created an exclusive “Priceless Cannes Terrace” for its  consumers, customers, media and celebrities.  In addition,  two MasterCard cardholders had a once-in-a-lifetime experience they will never forget. Read more about that here.