Everyone who can be, is. The 74th edition of the Cannes festival, which starts tonight with the musical Annette, Leos Carax, with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, is excessive. During 2020, many auteur films stopped their release just to be able to premiere on the auteur aircraft carrier. For its general delegate, Thierry Frémaux, it is a poetic return, and declared, yesterday before the press, “moved”: “Cannes is celebrated by the authors, the filmmakers, the press, by the city of Cannes … We hope that it is confirmed every day that we have chosen well ”, he pointed out. He did not speak of the 200 million euros that each year, according to the City Council, the contest reports to the city, nor of the 28,000 accredited (30% less than in previous editions) present in the city, nor of the 4,000 daily tests antigens (to enter the Palais, the epicenter of the event, you must have a negative covid test with, at most, 48 hours old) that are carried out in an immense pergola in the enclosure where the international village of the Market used to be located . No, he was referring to the edge of the abyss where cinema has been looming since last year: the business model based on movie theaters. Frémaux spoke of an “absolute and deserved triumph”, of the platforms “when cinema could not defend itself”.
“Who are the artists discovered on platforms?” He wondered. None, and so that Cannes does not miss a veteran or a newcomer, today begins its most outrageous edition: an official section full of well-known names, such as Paul Verhoeven (who premieres Blessed, the true story of a 17th century Italian lesbian nun), Wes Anderson (French chronicle, while the American is already launched into the pre-production of his new film, which will shoot in September in Spain), Asghar Farhadi (A hero, his return to his native country) Mia Hansen-Løve, (Bergman Island, the trip of two American filmmakers to the archipelago where the Swedish genius was inspired), Sean Penn (Flag Day); Nadav Lapid, previous Golden Palms winners Jacques Audiard, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Nanni Moretti, and other names such as François Ozon, Indikó Enyedi (Berlinale winner), Catherine Corsini, Kirill Serebrennikov (who has suffered a lengthy house arrest in Russia), Joachim Trier, Joachim Lafosse, Bruno Dumont or the French Julia Docournau.
As Cannes has wanted it all, in addition to reconverting the section A certain look at new directors, it adds another section, Cannes Premiere, and thus will be able to screen films by Hong Sang-soo, Mathieu Amalric, Andrea Arnold or Arnaud Desplechin. In Special Sessions and Out of Competition the films of Oliver Stone will be screened (a documentary with which he returns to the universe of JFK), Charlotte Gainsbourg (who makes a portrait of her mother, Jane Birkin), Tom McCarthy, Sergei Loznitsa or Todd Haynes, who presents their documentary about the band The Velvet Underground, created for Apple TV. In total, the official section (which includes all of the above), has gone from 58 titles in 2019 to 70 in this edition.
No news from Netflix
And there will not be Netflix (which refuses to comply with the rule that films screened in Cannes have to be released in theaters in France), but there will be Amazon (Annette, from Carax, is from that platform) and Apple TV. There is the debate of the future, the movie theaters, which have been closed almost everywhere in the world (Spain was one of the first countries to open the premises), and which are now having collection records (in France and the United States the public has returned with desire), less in Spain, where only Fast & Furious 9 has saved the furniture. Spain won’t make much noise in Cannes either, except Liberty, The film by debutant Clara Roquet, who has waited a whole year for it to be released in Critics’ Week, and who will arrive a few days late in the city herself because of the covid. Covid-19 has swept the whole world, except, Frémaux hopes, the festival that is held in a small resistant Gallic village and defender of theatrical cinema.
And in this the more the merrier, Cannes also takes the chest out of its friends, and has multiplied the face-to-face master classes, starting tomorrow with that of the Korean Bong Joon-ho, who is still the last holder of the Palme d’Or with Parasites (and that would later take the Oscar), and continuing with Jodie Foster (Palme d’Or of Honor of 2021), Matt Damon, Isabelle Huppert, Marco Bellocchio (also Palme d’Or of Honor 2021) and Steve McQueen.