Francis Ford Coppola

Has Cannes' Palme d'Or lost some of its sheen? A search for relevance

Has Cannes' Palme d'Or lost some of its sheen? A search for relevance

The Cannes Film Festival is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. That makes the gathering, which kicked off Wednesday night in this seaside town, sound really old. And in a sense it is. But some of those really old movies exert a powerful pull on modern film culture.

Nowhere is that felt more than with Cannes’ top prize, alternately called the Palme d’Or and the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film over the last seven decades.

It's a cliche that taking the top Cannes prize is like winning an Olympic gold medal, but it’s also true. To look back at the winners is to take a tour through some of the most significant movies in history — far more than the Oscars,...

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