Friday, 20 October, 2017

Cannes jury chief takes a dig at Netflix

Theodore Harris | 19 May, 2017, 23:13

Smith - who is starring in the Netflix film "Bright" later this year - chimed in later to defend the streaming service, suggesting that younger filmgoers don't see much of a distinction between watching a film in a theater and watching one at home. "They go to the movies twice a week and they watch Netflix", Smith said.

"West Philadelphia is a long way from Cannes", said Smith, referring to the scrappy neighborhood in the northeastern USA city where he grew up.

Calling it "the debate of this year", Almodovar was clearly referring to the two Netflix films among the 19 competing for the Palme: Bong Joon-ho's sci-fi fantasy Okja, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal; and Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories, a dysfunctional-family drama starring Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller.

Madonna at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival.Dave Hogan/Getty ImagesThe Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off its 2017 run on Wednesday, is an exclusive, invitation-only film festival that started in 1946. The size should not be smaller than the chair on which you're sitting.

This year's program also points to changes shaking up the film industry, including the march on Hollywood by streaming giants Netflix and Amazon and the arrival of virtual reality. Farhadi's presence in Cannes sharply contrasted with February's Academy Awards ceremony, which the filmmaker (whose "The Salesman" won best foreign language film) boycotted to protest President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban on visitors from several predominantly Muslim nations.

He added: "In my home, Netflix has had absolutely no effect on what they go to the movie theater to watch, go to the cinema to be humbled by certain images and stay home for others - no cross".

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Pedro Almodovar, president of the festival jury, has taken a break from posing for the photographers and chose to take a spot amongst them, being handed a camera and shot his way- until an official asked him to get back to his original duty. This is also the first festival held since the nearby Nice attack previous year that killed 86 people.

Festival organizers have said everything has been done to maintain a balance of safety and the celebratory atmosphere of the world's most prestigious film festival.

During the press conference, the Spanish director and American movie star argued opposing sides of the issue.

"You're in a country which has got a lot of terrorist attacks. So we need to pay attention".

Also supplying the star power on Wednesday was Marion Cotillard, who stars alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg in French director Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael's Ghosts, which premiere on opening night.

In the Cannes version, a new envelope was brought out and the interaction dissolved into a dance that ended with a kiss from Bellucci. Smith also indicated that he was anxious about how long Cannes runs (10 days) and the number of films he has to see a day (3, at least) beginning at 8:30am.

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