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T he posters, the trailers, the teaser trailers, and the teaser-posters are all emerging. It is not clear if this poster could possibly exist anywhere but online. Displayed in shopping malls and tube stations, it might mean that members of the public wishing to walk past it must present proof of age to a specially positioned squadron of police to show that they are 18 or over.
Even when there is no actual sex on the screen, there is always a great deal of intensely publicised sexiness at the festival. In their hearts, some people believe that this kind of sexiness is sexier than sex. In , year-old Brigitte Bardot posed in a bikini opposite Kirk Douglas.
The next year, the now-forgotten actor Simone Silva went topless at Cannes opposite a bemused Robert Mitchum. In , Jayne Mansfield also appeared in her swimming costume and did an unedifying dance called the monkey bird with her chihuahua. Each event triggered huge overexcitement among the jostling photographers, in an age when this kind of photo op was not as strictly policed as it is today. But there was also a good deal of scandale up on the screen. The strong sexual content of the film, about a woman on the verge of becoming a nun visiting her reclusive uncle, astonished and outraged many at Cannes — and indeed the Catholic church.
In , the bow-tied audiences at the festival were similarly affronted by Mondo Cane. But sex is always a hot ticket at the festival.
A critic friend said that the first press screening for Kids was so packed and disorderly that he had the shirt ripped from his back in the melee outside. A year later, David Cronenberg unveiled his Crash, a version of the JG Ballard novel about a sexualised fetish for car crashes.