Cannes ’11: A ‘cloud’ of films

Like the annual presidential “State of the Union” address, which contains many standard themes while also reflective of the particular pressing issues at the time, the annual Cannes Film Festival is similarly possessed of films that have aspects and elements that are eminently recognizable and yet unique to that year's crop.


And, as word clouds are generated to give a visual glimpse of the areas of emphasis in the the presidential address, it’s possible to use that same technique to give a flavor of themes of this year’s festival. So, herewith are two word clouds, one showing the frequency of themes of the 30 Cannes films in competition this year, the other showing the frequency of Hollywood themes — and the lack over overlap is deliberate.

The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, won the Palme d'Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.

CANNES THEMES

child abuse
bad Parenting
ditching school
moody males
no musical soundtrack
vomiting
dead bodies
absent fathers
death obsession
dead animals
joblessness
dysfunctional families
death
cruelty
beds
perfunctory sex
mental illness
nudity
back of heads
kinky sex
pedophilia
noncommunicating people
France
small mammals
women with guns
drug addiction
violence
vintage pop songs
television watching
kids eating cereal
end of universe
smoking
cooking
non-actors
poverty
hallucinating
doctors

HOLLYWOOD THEMES

special effects
shootouts
car chases
secret agents
animation
robots
wizards
buddy cops
weddings
bachelor parties
royalty
nuclear weapons
comedic humiliation
speedboats
space battles
3D
comicbook superheroes
romantic comedy
musical production numbers
aliens
talking animals