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The secret is out: Silencio is coming back to Cannes.
The notable Paris nightclub, which was designed by David Lynch and inspired pop-ups everywhere from Berlin to Miami, is returning to the Croisette this year for an 11-day residency to coincide with the Cannes Film Festival. The 2022 installment also marks the most ambitious Silencio Cannes yet as it moves from a temporary location to the festival headquarters at Palais des Festivals where the space can hold upwards of 800 revelers per event. Club founder Arnaud Frisch joined The Hollywood Reporter on Zoom to talk about his plans for this year’s May 17-27 residency, club rules and what films he’s most looking forward to seeing on the big-screen.
Congrats on making a return to Cannes. What will be new this year for Silencio?
This year is totally different for us because we’ll be inside the Palais des Festival, which is really the central space, of course, for the festival. We will have a big space that can host 800 people and it will allow us to do more programming. We have partnered with France TV, the official sponsor of Cannes. It will be really interesting for us to be in the center of everything. It’s very exciting. After two years of COVID, I think people are really excited to do some.
Where in the Palais will it be located?
It’s in the club, the radio club. It’s a bit ’70s looking, which is kind of cool, and it also has an indoor/outdoor space with a terrace. it’s above the casino. When you leave a screening, it’s right there.
Because Silencio is a very curated environment, how are you able to transform that venue to match the Silencio aesthetic?
We transform more using the DNA of Silencio. We bring the cocktails done by Remy Savage, our bartender who’s really amazing. He brings the same team that has been working with us for 10 years so they kind of know everybody. We also try to work with the same artistic collectives that we have in Paris to bring content. It’s difficult to really change the place, that would be a lot of work, and since we are totally at ease with the place and we love the ’70s vibe and how cinematic it is, we just focus on bringing the vibe and the DNA.
For those who have never been to Silencio, how would you describe the vibe?
Silencio now has three different places. We have the historical one designed by David Lynch [in Paris]. It’s really under the ground, so you don’t really feel time. That space has a lot of different programming with performances, concerts, screenings, so it is a very cultural space. Then we open a Silencio de Prés in the Left Bank of Paris. That has a movie theater with 200 seats and there, we do a lot of premieres. It has a restaurant with a really young, talented, Michelin-starred chef, Guillaume Sanchez. We also just opened a jazz club there that features contemporary jazz and hip hop.
We opened another Silencio in Ibiza last year with Jean Imbert who we worked with a few years ago for Festival de Cannes. There’s a continuity of the people we’re working with, all amazing people from very different creative fields — music, fashion, cinema, art. When you go to Silencio, that is the vibe.
Do you have a favorite memory or can you recall a specific night that felt like a perfect Silencio night?
We have had a lot of really good memories with a lot of talent coming through to celebrate their films. Maybe one night with Marion Cotillard when she came and cooked with Jean Imbert. That was fun because it’s really what Silencio is, the meeting of very different creative people. It’s also a place where you can come and really feel free. We used to not have photos inside so it could be a place where people could come after a very intense day in Cannes and have a nice, relaxing time.
Was “no photos” a general rule?
A little bit but now it’s difficult to avoid pictures everywhere. When we started Silencio, that was the rule for the first few years because we wanted to provide a sense of living in the moment. It became a bit of a fight because it’s contrary to what people want to do now. So we’re not so strict on it anymore but we still want people to feel really comfortable in the place. The artists who come, they really can spend the night in the club without any problem.
Are there any other rules?
I don’t know if it’s a rule, but Silencio is about artists. Of course, it was designed by David Lynch, but it is a home for artists. We work closely with artists on programming and allow artists to build and test out new projects. We don’t just host movies and concerts, we like to do something more creative. Because it’s a small venue, artists can come and try something different, maybe something more fragile, and really work on something.
Looking at the Cannes lineup, what films are you most excited to see?
There are many directors that I love who are coming back to Cannes like James Gray or David Cronenberg. I’m also looking forward to the films by Kirill Serebrennikov and Ruben Östlund, and the midnight screening of Quentin Dupieux.
Do you get to sneak away to many screenings?
Yeah. I think it’s important to see films. We program movies here in Paris so [Cannes] is a good time for me to see films. Usually, Cannes is very intense, but I think it’s intense for everybody.
You’ve said that Silencio was created for the “creative night owl.” Do you consider yourself one? How many hours of sleep per night do you get during the festival?
Yes, I am. During the whole year, I sleep between five and six hours per night and it’s about the same in Cannes. Sometimes it can be less.
Outside of Silencio, do you have any favorite Cannes spots?
Yeah. I really like to go to Da Laura, the Italian restaurant in the center of Cannes. But sometimes when I want to go to an outdoor space, I like to go to Saint-Paul de Vence for an afternoon, maybe to have lunch there at the hotel, La Colombe d’Or. And this year I’m going to go to Mirazur in Menton as we are collaborating this year with his chef, Mauro Colagreco, who has this amazing restaurant there. Before we were doing Silencio, I really loved going to Janes Club or le Baron who were doing great parties.
Is there one person that you would love to see walk through the doors at Silencio this year?
That’s a good question. It would be great to have David Lynch again. That could be a really good surprise.
Interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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