As discussed previously, Sean Penn's account of his jury presidency at Cannes back in May, "as told to" me, appears in the new Sight & Sound now at newsagents near you. 'President Alpha Dog' is the headline they sportingly plumped for.
The expression 'alpha dog' is one I first heard from Penn's lips, applied to the redoubtable director Bob Rafelson, who didn't work in pictures for a few years after an altercation of some sort on the set of Brubaker. Nick Cassavetes, son of John, with whom Sean worked on She's So Lovely, went on to make a picture called Alpha Dog, released in 2006. (In my brief experience of him Cassavetes too would qualify for the Alpha Dog label, as would a lot of the guys who work with him.) But if I remember rightly from some time spent wandering round Marin County where Penn resides, in one picturesque little hamlet there is also some kind of prestige salon/boutique for canines called... you guessed it. So who can rightly say where it all began?
The picture herewith includes Catherine Deneuve, who is definitely not an alpha dog, more of an exquisite cat, maybe a little more zaftig these days but still setting the aesthetic standards in multiple categories. As Penn told me in respect of the special palme she was awarded, like that also bestowed on Clint Eastwood, "we all benefit from the endurance and quality of those two peoples’ contribution to film."