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Finally, a friendly hoot of derision for the festival's biggest Cannes Job: Hype plus scarcity equals a very hot ticket. Scheduled for a single Saturday-night screening in a relatively small theater, a low-budget head comedy calling itself Rubber drew a vast crowd waiting for hours largely in vain to see Quentin Dupieux's self-reflexive account of a rogue automobile tire with telekinetic power. Feebly evoking elements of vintage midnight movies The Holy Mountain and Eraserhead, with the desultoriness of Repo Man, Rubber would have had difficulty attracting a midnight cult audience 30 years ago. Although the movie several times announced that it was made for "no fucking reason," the hysteria around the screening, which turned away several hundred, was orchestrated with three subsequent market showings in mind.

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