Here is a backstory article (I am still searching for a report from Mr. Ebert): http://film.guardian.co.uk/cannes/story/0,13266,962544,00.html
Contrite Gallo apologises for pretension
Fiachra Gibbons's Cannes diary
Saturday May 24, 2003
· It has never happened before, and we may have to wait another 40 years for it to happen again. Vincent Gallo, the outrageous actor-director who fired both Winona Ryder and Kirsten Dunst before they even stepped onto the set of his film Brown Bunny, has apologised. Not to them obviously, nor to Christina Ricci, Anjelica Huston and just about everyone else he has worked with in Hollywood whom he insulted in the space of one, short press conference - but to the critics for his interminable film.
"I accept what they say. It's a disaster and a waste of time." He apologised to his backers too. "It was never my intention to make a pretentious film, a self-indulgent film, a useless film, an unengaging film."
No wonder his co-star and former girlfriend Chloe Sevigny - whom he admitted to hating when she took up with her next bad-boy director boyfriend Harmony Korine - broke down and wept at the premiere as the cinema emptied and those remaining in their seats laughed and booed.
If it was anyone other than Gallo - who confessed he only cast Ryder when he was convinced she was going to jail for shoplifting - you would almost feel sorry for him.
"I thought I had something beautiful that I could share with other people. I can only apologise to those who feel they have wasted their time," he cried.
For him the final insult was that the French liked it. "It is almost like salt in the wound," he said.
If it's any consolation to him, a 40-minute cut would probably make it bearable. But given that Gallo has a reputation for never listening to advice, no matter how kindly meant, that's not likely.
The one crumb for him must be Sevigny's revelation that its notorious final fellatio scene was for real. "It wasn't that bad for me," she said. "I have been intimate with Vincent before."
So if you ever meet Gallo - and his handful of champions want him to bring Brown Bunny to the Edinburgh film festival in August - do the guy a favour and say you were mightily impressed.
· No such problems for Clint Eastwood, who yesterday delighted the surviving punch-drunk critics with Mystic River, his most dark, complex and morally ambiguous film since The Unforgiven.
Using a series of meaningful coughs, pregnant silences and thin, cheroot smiles, Eastwood indicted that he was feeling lucky with this story of child abuse and murder in Boston.
"This wasn't Mystic River Reload," he said, pausing for an eternity. "I'm too old to make comic books." The studios, he sighed, still want him to go back to being Dirty Harry, but he is only interested in making "adults films until I call it a day - which might be sooner than you think". Haste, however, is not in Eastwood's vocabulary. "I've been trying to retire since 1970," he confessed.
· While Ewan McGregor was eager as ever to talk about his willingness to display his light sabre on camera, Emily Mortimer - the actress who he smears with a bowl of custard and some HP Sauce in an edgy sex scene in Young Adam - turned out to be more demure.
What would her father think? Mortimer, daughter of the writer and barrister, John Mortimer, need not have worried. "He is totally unshockable," Emily proudly declared, as he has spent his career defending freedom-of-speech cases. "He spends a lot of his life defending pornography. His defence against seeing anything particularly unpleasant was to take off his glasses. He is very short sighted." The glasses, however, stayed firmly on for her.
Emily herself found grappling with McGregor exhilarating. "We had a feeling it was shocking and that was kind of exciting," she said.
No need then for a dab of Donna Crème, a new product that claims to heighten le plaisir au feminin, which has just been launched with the utmost decorum on the Croisette. Unfortunately it comes without McGregor.
· With just over 24 hours to the announcement of the Palme d'Or, "Honest" Derek Malcolm, the Guardian's film critic emeritus and former jump jockey, has closed his book on the betting. Lars von Trier's controversial Dogville is the runaway evens favourite, with Eastwood's Mystic River, Denys Arcand's The Barbarian Invasion and Claude Miller's La Petite Lili all at 3-1. Francois Ozon's Swimming Pool and the Brazilian film Carandiru have similar odds.
The only British hope, Peter Greenaway's The Tulse Luper Suitcases, which will be shown today, is a 50-1 outsider. One hopeful soul has even placed a euro on Gallo's aforementioned Brown Bunny at 1,000-1. Mr Malcolm invoked the bookie's sacred oath of omerta when pressed on who this might be.
Whether the jury will give the top prize to Dogville, which is seen by some critics as "anti-American", when France is trying to repair relations with the US, is another thing. The film has already lifted one prize, however, the Palme Dog for the best canine performance, which went to Dogville's eponymous mutt.
Meanwhile, Nicole Kidman was spotted having a quiet cry in the toilets after seeing her staggering performance for the first time. Given the vituperative American reaction to the film, she might well have been weeping for her Hollywood career.