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US producer Lawrence Bender, US director Quentin Tarantino, US actress Uma Thurman, US actor John Travolta and US actress Kelly Preston pose as they arrive for the screening of the film ‘Sils Maria’ at the 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes
Iranian actress Hatami apologises for Cannes kiss Fiction, reality mingle for Stewart

TEHRAN, May 24, (Agencies): Iranian actress Leila Hatami Friday apologised for kissing the Cannes film festival’s president on the cheek, an act which angered authorities in the Islamic republic, state news agency IRNA reported. “I am so sorry for hurting the feelings of some people,” she wrote in a letter to Iran’s cinema organisation, cited by IRNA. She underlined her respect for Islamic rules of behaviour in public, but festival president Gilles Jacob, 83, “had forgotten the aforementioned rules, which comes with old age.
“My pre-emptive action of hand shaking was fruitless,” Hatami wrote, explaining the kiss. “Although I am embarrassed to give these explanations, I had no choice but to go into details for those who could not understand the inevitable situation that i was stuck in,” she said. “In my eyes, he is certainly like an old grandfather who was also my host.”

A photograph carried by Iranian media showed Hatami kissing Jacob at the opening of the festival earlier this month, prompting a reprimand. “Those who attend intentional events should take heed of the credibility and chastity of Iranians, so that a bad image of Iranian women will not be demonstrated to the world,” Deputy Culture Minister Hossein Noushabadi said on Sunday. “Iranian woman is the symbol of chastity and innocence,” he said. Hatami’s “inappropriate presence” at the festival was “not in line with our religious beliefs”. A group of female Islamist students are seeking legal action against Hatami, calling for her to be sentenced to a jail term and lashed, according to the Iranian website Tasnim News.

Born into a family with a background in cinema, Hatami gained worldwide fame for her role in Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation,” which won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She was on the jury this year at the annual Cannes festival in southern France but lives in Iran. According to Iran’s interpretation of Islamic (sharia) law, in place since the 1979 revolution, a woman is not allowed to have physical contact with a man outside her family.

Kristen Stewart made a late cameo at the Cannes Film Festival, where she received warm reviews for a self-referential performance alongside Juliette Binoche.
Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria” premiered Friday as the last film to screen at Cannes. In it, Stewart plays the cell-phone-tethered assistant to an international veteran actress named Maria Enders, played by Binoche. In the film about actresses and age, reality and fiction playfully mingle for Stewart and Binoche.
When the two arrive in front of a sea of photographers, the paparazzi ignore Stewart, who rushes to open the door for her boss. Toggling through prospective roles for Enders, the “Twilight” star notes one that has werewolves “for some reason.” And retelling tabloid stories about a famous, scandal-plagued Hollywood starlet (played by Chloe Grace Moretz), she defends it without a wink: “It’s celebrity news. It’s fun.” “For Kristen to play the assistant was hilarious,” said Binoche. “Those kind of details she knows more than I do, in a way, because she’s really in a world of paparazzi and all that. We had a lot of discussions about that.”

Actors often come to Cannes to unveil a more artistically ambitious version of themselves. Stewart was at the festival two years ago with the Jack Kerouac adaptation “On the Road.” Her “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson also drew raves earlier at the festival this year for his performances in David Michod’s “The Rover” and David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars.”

Portraits of actresses have been a mainstay at this year’s Cannes. It opened with Nicole Kidman playing Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco,” a critically savaged melodrama about Kelly marrying into Monaco royalty. In the Hollywood satire “Maps to the Stars,” Julianne Moore plays a hysterically desperate aging actress in Los Angeles. “Clouds of Sils Maria” also features an actress reconciling herself to the passage of time. While Enders and her assistant live remotely in the Swiss Alps, Enders contemplates taking the older role in a play she performed in 20 years earlier. “The whole thing was kind of surreal,” said co-star Lars Eidinger, who plays a film director.

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