It’s raining cats and dogs here and its freezing to boot. Which means you have to be a true cinema lover to stand queuing up in the rain. Despite your press badge, there is no guarantee that you’ll get a seat for a screening.

Arnaud Desplechin, the celebrated French director is returning to Cannes for the sixth time with Jimmy P (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) based on the psychoanalytical work carried out in 1951 by the French ethno-psychiatrist Georges Devereux. The film is a profoundly moving reconstruction of the sessions between Georges Devereux and his native American patient Jimmy Picard. Jimmy is an alienated native American, cut off from his roots, who finds a degree of relief and readjustment through his sessions with Devereux.

“The book was good but the film is brilliant. Desplechin has vast talent and an instinctive understanding of human psychology,” writer and psychologist Elisabeth Roudinesco who wrote the introduction to the book told The Hindu over the phone from Paris.

“This demanding but highly absorbing two-hander showcases Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric at the top of their craft,” wrote Variety magazine about the film, which tells a profoundly moving story of loss and healing in post-war America.

Desplechin who has an enduring interest in psychotherapy, made the film in English and shot on location in Detroit, where Devereux met his patient Jimmy. “Devereux’s work is the only document that completely transcribes a psychoanalytical treatment and which is at the same time suitable for adaptation because of its theatrical quality,” Desplechin said. The film is in competition and in the running for the Palme d’Or.

***

Cannes had its flutter of un-cinematic excitement too with a jewellery heist from Chopard, jeweller to the stars. Thieves reportedly entered the room of a Chopard employee and made off with jewels valued at $1.4 million. They actually unscrewed the safe provided by the hotel and took the locked safe with the jewels inside, the police in nearby Grasse announced. But a Chopard spokesperson played down the size of the haul saying the pieces stolen were not those meant for the big stars. Chopard, the Festival’s official jeweller, provides the golden palm, itself valued at 20,000 euros as well as the jewellery that will be showcased by all the major stars on the awards night — May 26. A re-enactment of Hitchcock’s 1955 runaway hit To Catch a Thief set in the French Riviera and presented at Cannes?

More shivers went down the spine of the Cannois when a disturbed person fired shots near the studios of the Canal Plus television channel. They were blanks however, but the incident did create a moment of panic.

***

News has just come in that ace criminal Charles Sobhraj has threatened to take author Farrukh Dhondy and the production company Dar to court. Dhondy fictionalised Sobhraj’s series of murders in his book, The Bikini Murders, for which Dar has just bought the film rights. All attempts to contact Sobhraj who is serving a life sentence in Kathmandu jail failed. With a downpour in Cannes, the lines in distant Kathmandu just refused to connect. “I told him he has another think coming. He’s a convicted criminal and nowhere, whether in India or elsewhere can you profit from your crimes. If he sues me he will in fact be recognising that he is the author of the crimes, something he has always denied,” Dhondy told The Hindu.

***

I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Verma told The Hindu in an exclusive interview that he plans to undertake several measures to make India a more attractive proposition for foreign film investors and producers.