Press in Cannes Cinema at the crossroads

(Cannes) Gratin of world cinema met on Tuesday evening at an official dinner, under the town market hall, to celebrate 75AND the anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival. Among the approximately 700 guests were 14 Golden Palm winners. Two-thirds of the way to the 2022 race, we are still looking for a film that will undoubtedly be placed as the successor to Titaniumby Julia Ducournau.

Posted at 5:33 pm.

At the moment, this first “post-pandemic” selection is proving to be not very high. Do not worry! On Tuesday afternoon, general delegate Thierry Frémaux had invited some of the biggest names in cinematography to a two-day mini-symposium, to reflect on the future of seventh art.

Since we are at the Cannes Film Festival, where it does not seem to bother us these things, out of the ten filmmakers invited to speak kishte there was no woman. Only white men, including the two moderators, including Thierry Frémaux himself.

However, in the evening, on the red carpet at the age of 75, there were no female directorsAND. There I saw Agnès Jaoui, Mélanie Laurent, Claire Denis and Julia Ducournau, to name just four of these French filmmakers. Makes you ever wonder if they do it on purpose …

Despite the flagrant lack of female representation, this colloquium, which Thierry Frémaux had in mind with Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro, sparked a fascinating and substantive discussion on the state of cinema. “The filmmaker’s profession has changed a lot,” Frémaux said immediately. What is this job today? Are we satisfied with all these opportunities, with the expansion of the field, or are we dissatisfied? »

He therefore asked ten filmmakers and no less how they saw the future of their profession, what were their fears and hopes and whether the proliferation of formats (serials, platforms, etc.) makes them optimistic or pessimistic.

“It may be an exaggeration, but I feel like we are at a crossroads, like when silent films first became talkative,” said Guillermo Del Toro. “It only takes a generation for the relationship with cinema to change,” says Oscar-winning director Water Form.

The evolution of cinema

Of course there was a lot of talk about digital platforms. Recall that in Cannes, films produced by platforms such as Netflix or Apple TV + have not been accepted into the competition since 2018, which has paved the way for some quality titles (e.g. Rome or The Power of the Dog) at the Venice Film Festival.

“When we go to see a movie in the cinema, we are subject to the vision of a filmmaker,” says Del Toro. Television, on the other hand, is subject to our desires. You can pause the movie and restart it later. The impact is not the same. »


Costa-Gavras and Claude Lelouch

Among the speakers, there were two Palmé d’ar, Claude Lelouch (for A man and a womanin 1966) and Costa-Gavras (for Missing, in 1982). “Cinema never stops growing,” says Claude Lelouch, who is from the optimist camp. We are constantly inventing new writings. It’s an art of technology. »

The moment the 84-year-old director confessed that he had dreamed all his life of a small camera with a depth of field the size of a mobile phone… his phone rang. “It’s pizza!” said Del Toro with excitement.

“I will not be here again. I’m the oldest here. But young people will return to the movies. “I’m convinced of that,” said Claude Lelouch, who says it ‘s hard to see a movie on a digital platform. “The big plan is dictatorship. The broad plan is democracy. That is why it is the cinema that has the brightest future. »

For the Franco-Greek director of Mr., Costa-Gavras, which runs the Cinemathèque française, the cinema started the end of a cycle before COVID-19 and COVID-19 closed that cycle. “The cinema has changed and the spectators have changed. We are all different and we approach cinema differently, he believes. Human beings will not survive without telling stories. This is why cinema will survive. To see a work all together, as in ancient Greece, is different from being in hats at home! »

Michel Hazanavicius, director of Artist, which speaks precisely of the end of silent cinema, did not hesitate to evoke the death of cinema, to the surprise of Thierry Frémaux. “What changes is our connection with the public. This is where the shoes fall “, he says, talking about the dissatisfaction of the spectators for the French cinema in the theaters.

What has also changed is the display of the viewer’s desire. It is not the same to watch a movie when you have your legs outstretched on the table with a computer on your thighs. Where will the balance point be?

Michel Hazanavicius

Director of resentment, Mathieu Kassovitz, raised by a film father and an editorial mother, seemed even more pessimistic about the future of cinema, with all the latest home theater platforms and equipment. He says he himself gave up directing ten years ago because he thought his voice was not essential.

“Image power”

Paolo Sorrentino, selected six times in the Cannes competition, stated in clear terms that his future lay on the side of a more traditional cinema than that of digital platforms like Netflix, for which he directed the series. . Papa i Ri as well as the film the hand of God.

“I made films for cinemas, platforms, television,” he says. The best thing is to make movies like I did in the beginning, for the big screen. Probably because I’m getting older. In cinema, there is a kind of epiphany. It is not really possible on TV. »

Is there any change in his scene? asked Thierry Frémaux. “It’s an image problem. Some are not strong enough for the TV, so I release them during filming. That’s why I’m going back to the cinema. I can not find the power of the image anywhere else. »

Franco-Argentinean Gaspar Noé, surprisingly, criticizes the platforms for their political correctness. “The platforms, because they are American, come with moral constraints that are complex,” notes the director ofIrreversible and love. “We will explain to you, especially abroad, what you can talk about. There is something going on that is very castrating, which scares me for the future. »

Noé, who is a Blu-ray collector, is concerned about the disappearance of physical media such as DVDs, as many movies are not available on digital platforms, especially due to censorship, he says. But there is nothing, he agrees, as the collective experience of watching a movie in the cinema. “I have tried them all, but there is only one medicine that has really touched me in life, and that is the cinema. Cinema will always have a future. That’s why everyone likes to come here to Cannes. This is because there is something religious about it. »


Mexican director Guillermo Del Toro

Guillermo Del Toro, who, like many moviegoers (I am), has seen many movies on digital platforms during the pandemic, believes we should not throw the baby out with bath water. “We should not deny their place to platform films. “Their existence cannot be denied,” he said, in what appeared to be a critical comment on the Cannes Film Festival’s policy against which films could be held in competition.

“You worked for Netflix,” recalled Thierry Frémaux, alluding to his animated film, Pinocchio. “My first task is to tell a story,” Guillermo Del Toro replied. No one will be able to convince me that we were freer to tell stories before the advent of platforms. Now there are some. It is no longer just Netflix. We need to stop this polarization between studios and platforms. »

A phrase to be memorized at the Cannes Film Festival. His future also depends on this.

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