Cannes 2019: jury speaks out against ‘rage and anger’ of populist politicians

Jury president Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu takes aim at Donald Trumps anti-immigrant policies

A familiar trio of topics Netflix, gender disparity and Donald Trump were on the agenda as the this years Cannes film festival got under way.


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At the press conference introducing this years festival jury, its president, Birdman and The Revenant director Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu, took aim at Trump and offered support to theatre chains battling the dominance of the streaming service. Another jury member, Happy as Lazzaro director Alice Rohrwacher, criticised the film industry for failing to promote female film-makers.

Irritu, the first Mexican-born president of the Cannes jury, expressed concern at the rise of populist politicians including Trump and said that his presence at the festival served as a repudiation for the US presidents anti-immigrant policies.

Quick guide

Cannes 2019

When and where is it?

The festival takes place in the French resort town of Cannes in the late spring, normally in mid-May – this year it’s 14-25 May.

What are the big films?

Twenty-one films have been selected to compete for the Palme d’Or (aka Golden Palm), including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino, A Hidden Life by Terrance Malick, and Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You. There are also a number of special screenings, including Asif Kapadia’s Diego Maradona documentary, Elton John biopic Rocketman, and Gael Garca Bernal’s directorial debut Chicuarotes. There are two parallel festivals, the Directors’ Fortnight and Critics’ Week, each with their own line-up.

What about all the paparazzi?

Cannes isn’t just about the art of film. Every night sees a large-scale premiere with a walk up the famous red-carpeted steps outside the giant Lumire cinema. (That’s why the festival likes selecting films with big-name Hollywood actors.) Cannes also finds lots of excuses to bring in major stars: for example, 1982’s Rambo: First Blood is getting a screening, meaning Sylvester Stallone will pitch up on the Riviera.

These guys are ruling with rage and anger, Irritu said. They are writing fiction and making people believe those things are real. The fact that we are here is a statement in itself.

We know how this story ends if we keep with this rhetoric, he added, alluding to the outbreak of the second world war.


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The director also spoke out against the erosion of the theatrical experience at the hands of streaming services. Cinema was born to be experienced communally. I have nothing against watching on a phone, iPad, computer. But its not the same as having experienced [it in a cinema]. One should not cancel the other.

France is an exception in that they protect that. This is one of the last spaces where we can experience these films around the world, he said.

Irritus words will have been welcomed by Cannes executives, who have had a fractious recent relationship with Netflix. For the second year in a row no Netflix titles will screen at the festival, with the streaming service maintaining a boycott in the wake of a Cannes rule-change excluding films from competition that fail to adhere to the French practice of waiting three years between cinema and streaming releases.

Alice Rohrwacher speaks during the jury press conference at Cannes on Tuesday. Photograph: John Phillips/Getty Images

Rohrwacher, who was one of just three female directors in competition last year, took aim at the film industry for failing to elevate young female film-makers. People keep asking us what its like to be a woman director, she said. Its a bit like asking someone whos survived a shipwreck why theyre still alive. Well, ask the person who built the boat. Ask the people who run film schools. Ask the people behind the scenes. Its not at the very end that we need to raise these issues it needs to happen at the very beginning.

The Italian directors words echoed those of Cannes artistic director Thierry Frmaux, who in a press conference on Monday defended the festival against claims that it failed to include enough female film-makers. Frmaux noted that the festivals percentage of films directed by women 20 % was significantly higher than the 7% of female directors working in film overall, and suggested that the finger of blame should instead be pointed at the film schools, the universities and the production houses.

The 72nd Cannes film festival gets underway tonight with a screening of The Dead Dont Die, a horror-comedy by American director Jim Jarmusch. The film, which stars Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chlo Sevigny, follows the inhabitants of a small town who are faced with an invading zombie horde.

Joining Irritu and Rohrwacher on this years competition jury are actors Elle Fanning and Maimouna NDiaye, The Favourite director Yorgos Lanthimos, Polish director Pawe Pawlikowski, French comic-book creator Enki Bilal and US screenwriter Kelly Reichardt.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

This post was curated & Posted using : RealSpecific

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