As the historic 50th Cannes Film Festival hots up, our man on the spot brings you the latest gossip from the movie industry's biggest annual fling.

Words: Alan Morrison

The Spice Girls

Having stormed America and 'done a Beatles’, The Spice Girls are to do their own version of a hard day’s night. Spice: The Movie won’t go before the cameras until July in London, but the group have already stormed the 50th Cannes Film Festival, knocking all the Hollywood stars into the shade. They finished their high-profile press conference by singing acappella ’Say You’ll Be There' in perfect harmony, proving they can sing live. When asked a serious question about their film careers, they decided things had got too serious. They made all the journalists jump in the air. If Jean Luc Goddard had done that at his press conference the day before, it would have brought a whole new meaning to the French New Wave.

18 mum 16—29 May 1997

Woody Harrelson

Michael Winterbottom, much praised for Jude, turns his attention to more contemporary times with Welcome To Sarajevo. The factually based drama follows the journalist-in-war-zone pattern set by Salvador and Under Fire, but achieves a more direct emotional impact by combining real footage of bomb and sniper victims with the story of an ITN reporter trying to adopt an orphaned girl. Woody Harrelson (below, front), who got himself in hot water back in America when he condemned US action in the Gulf War, plays a cocky reporter who is given many of the film’s most openly political lines of dialogue.

Gary Oldman

Another debut as writer and director comes from London lad Gary Oldman, who digs deep into his troubled past for an at times uncomfortably personal t slice of working-class life that makes ". ; f Ken Loach’s Ladybird, Ladybird look it " “L— like light relief. In Ni/ 8y Mouth, Oldman hands the acting duties to Ray Winston and Kathy Burke, and presents a fly-on-the~wa|l picture of alcoholism, drug-taking and domestic abuse in Bermondsey. At an emotional press conference, he seemed to slip out of describing the characters and into his

own memories, reliving the pain he experienced due to his father's heavy drinking. Short breaths, a brief and manic laugh, eyes glazed an intense Gary Oldman moment that was all the more electric for being fact, not fiction.