Cannes 2017

Maria de Juan


The place to see the latest film creations, to mingle with divas, actors, writers, producers, creators… and also to enjoy eye catching the most beautiful gowns worn by the most glamorous celebrities.

It’s the who is who in California transplanted for an intense trip to the south of France. Yes, it’s the top Seventh Art festival in the world, celebrating its 70th birthday.

Nicole Kidman, was the star of stars as she picked up Cannes’ 70th Anniversary Award. She had three films and one TV series premiere. Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor for his part in You Were Never Really Here. The top price, “Palme d’Or” went to The Square, an art world satire by Swedish filmmaker Ruben Ostlund. The second woman in the festival’s history to win best director at this auteurist temple is Sofia Coppola. Her movie, “The Beguiled,” is a remake of a Southern gothic, set during the Civil War, starring Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman.

Just as giant streaming services like Netflix and Amazon have established themselves at light speed as movie producers, resentment and panic from studios and filmmakers have grown more blatant.

Spanish filmmaker, Pedro Almodovar, President of the festival’s jury, said: “I can’t imagine awarding a competition film that would not be shown in a theatre.” This came shortly after the festival issued a statement saying that in the future, they will not accept films not to be shown theatrically in France.

There were 18 films in competition with 13 already bought before the festival. Every year, the art of selling is as valued as the Art of acting. Movie financial battles are getting more and more intense. That’s in part because companies such as Netflix and Amazon have become inside players at the Cannes machine, so to speak. They’re financing, producing, distributing films, often with an eye to getting them to Cannes. So now they are in the business of negotiating pre-buys, too. It has become an open war.

A decade ago, Director David Lynch (Blue Velvet) expressed outrage over the very idea of watching a movie on a phone. Remember, Cannes 2007 was right before the birth of the iPhone. Three years before the iPad. Yes, YouTube was around, but that sort of thing wasn’t even close to what it is now.

Although you could tell, by looking at the way people used their laptops, there was a readiness to engage with long-form material. All this fuss because modern internet life is turning upside down the whole movie industry.

But we sure can’t live without movies so, in Churchill words, “we will never surrender”. Certainly, the immense pleasure of watching a movie on a giant screen can never be eclipsed by looking into any small screen at hand. But that another story. Sometimes, we would be better without them and simply turning back to real human beings, eye to eye contact and real conversation…


Palme d’Or: The Square

Grand Prix: BPM (Beats per Minute)

70th anniversary award: Nicole Kidman

Jury prize: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Loveless

Best director: Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled

Best actress: Diane Kruger, In the Fade

Best actor: Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

Best screenplays: Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou for The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Lynne Ramsay for You Were Never Really Here

Camera d’Or: Leonor Serraille, Jeune Femme

Short film prize: A Gentle Night, Qiu Yang

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