This Cannes Film Festival prelude has played before each and every film that has shown at this festival since…I don’t know when. I know it’s been playing since I became a Cannes regular 20-odd years ago. I can’t remember if it was playing during my very first visit in ’92.
I know that 85% or 90% of the time somebody will shout out “Raoul!!” when the prelude finishes. Ten years ago Roger Ebert wrote that the “Raoul!!” howl has “survived for 35 years that I know about.” Four years ago Evening Standard critic Derek Malcolm told BFI.org’s Charlie Lyne that it “dates back a good five or six years but not much more than that.”