What’s a normal amount of time to clap? Off the top of my head, I’d say 15 seconds. A minute or two if it’s a particularly rapturous standing ovation.
But there is somewhere in the world where applause can stretch for 10, 15, or even 20 minutes at a time. Where it goes on for so long that sometimes Adam Driver has to stop and light up a cigarette. Where anything five minutes or less is a tepid—or worse—appraisal.
Ah, mon Chéri … such are the laws of Cannes.
The lengthy standing ovation times at the French film festival have long been a head-scratcher. At this point, inflation aside, they’re an expected part of the pageantry and tradition. As The Atlantic explained in 2021, they can even serve as a lens for sociological observation: “Cannes’ remarkably long ovations offer excellent models for the way humans subconsciously influence one another. They illustrate how we initiate group actions, signal approval, and either reciprocate those signals or reject them.” Do you want to stop clapping before Isabelle Huppert does? I didn’t think so.
Applause time can also often, but not always, signal how a film will be received in the wider world. So far at the 2023 film festival, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon holds the record for the longest ovation with nine minutes of clapping and a reception that indicates it’ll be his latest masterpiece in a long line of masterpieces. The new Indiana Jones movie, Dial of Destiny, got a mere five and mixed reviews to boot. The Idol got just five minutes too and well … (tugs collar) (that’s attached to a shirt that doesn’t have a front or back, because this is a Sam Levinson production).
One man still holds the historical record for the longest Cannes standing ovation of all time: Guillermo Del Toro received a mind-bending 22 minutes of applause for his 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth. Twenty-two minutes! That’s a full episode of Frasier.
Pan’s Labyrinth, a fantasy horror set in Francoist Spain, was a huge leap for Del Toro. He had recently directed Hellboy and turned down his choice of superhero blockbusters to take a chance on this project. It was a difficult production, but he was finally nearing the end of the road and premiering at Cannes … on the second to last day of the festival.
“A lot of people were leaving the festival, and I really was not expecting much,” Del Toro tells GQ in a phone call.
At Cannes, audience members are typically staid if they’re enjoying a film. (If they’re not, they’ll very conspicuously leave their seats.) But he already had an inkling that the film was playing well because he heard people vocally reacting to it.
And then the applause started. “Twenty-five minutes is the commute to my office. It’s hard to describe what it is, to go that long, because the first three, four minutes, you’re bathed in a sort of realm of acceptance and joy. Ten minutes in, you don’t know what to do,” Del Toro says. “You’re just smiling and nodding. And in the middle of that, Alfonso Cuarón, who was next to me, gave me a strong pat on the back and he said, ‘Allow yourself to be loved, man.’ And then I just opened myself up to that ovation and it went for the full 22 minutes. And it was only when they opened the doors of the Palais to let people out, that it started subsiding.”
Copyright : https://www.gq.com/story/longest-cannes-standing-ovation-guillermo-del-toro-interview