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The Hollywood Reporter’s third Cannes Film Festival daily issue includes a chat with Laurent Lafitte about that Woody Allen rape joke, the latest development in Red Granite’s growing money-laundering scandal and a look at how Cohen Media Group juggles film distribution with movie theater renovations and real estate.
“I Didn’t Want to Hurt Anybody”
As the festival’s opening night master of ceremonies, Lafitte said of the Cafe Society director, “You’ve been shooting so many of your films here in Europe and yet in the U.S. you haven’t even been convicted for rape.” The jab was received with gasps, and many took it as a reference to both Allen and fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski. But Lafitte insisted to THR that the joke, which he wrote, was only meant as a comment on “American puritanism” and Polanski’s exile status.
Fresh Embezzlement Allegations
While Red Granite would rather the focus was on its current slate of projects, most notably the Charlie Hunnam-starring Papillon remake it launched at this year’s market, news broke that Riza Aziz, Granite’s co-founder and chairman (and a producer on Wolf of Wall Street), allegedly diverted “at least $50 million” from Malaysian investment fund 1MDB, set up by his stepfather, the Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak, to buy luxury properties in New York and Beverly Hills.
Cohen’s Cannes Plans
Billionaire New York-based real estate developer Charles Cohen is attending the fest as a key bidder, and is melding his business pursuits by developing the first in a planned series of domestic high-end boutique cinemas, from Greenwich Village to West Palm Beach to L.A.’s Silver Lake, to exhibit his and other art house fare. Cohen spoke to THR about how not getting a return on his first film investment, Frozen River, led him to make movies he’d actually like to see (and build theaters he’d like to see them in).
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