CANNES, France — Are you familiar with the Raoul Effect? Probably not, because it’s a phenomenon that’s known only to those people who’ve been to the Cannes Festival and watched films tendered in the official selection.
Someone, it’s unclear who, screams “raoul” at the beginning of the daily 7pm screening in the Debussy theater. No one knows why. It’s unclear who the author of the scream is, or what this Raoul person did to cause such a howling. This phenomenon occurs every year, for as long as I’ve attended the festival, which is a decade.
“Raoul” only happens in the Debussy Theater, not in the big Lumiere theater, and it mostly happens at the 7pm screening, not at earlier or later ones.
There are days when the “Raoul” is a roar, an unbridled call-to-arms for some mysterious tribe. A lot of people in the theater go wild at hearing it.
Raoul is a cinema spirit, maybe, and we’re just honoring him, like an offering to the Gods.
WATCH the video here http://buff.ly/1ZPESJY
(I don’t recommend anyone attending the festival to tape anything from the screen, it is frowned upon).