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Cannes Film Festival bans red carpet selfies

Posted May. 07, 2018 07:21,   

Updated May. 07, 2018 07:21


No selfies, No-show Netflix, no morning press screenings at Cannes Film Festival this year

At the 71st Cannes Film Festival scheduled to be held from this coming Tuesday, there will be no more red-carpet selfies, morning press screenings, and Netflix. Cannes, one of the most prestigious film festivals along with Berlin and Venice, which has always been famous for its focus on artistic value and diversity, seems to start an all-out war against online and mobile platforms this time. Critics say the changes to the film festival go against the trend, however, Thierry Fremaux, the festival’s director, said with confidence that “we at Cannes have always conducted a new experiment amid controversy.”

In an interview with French film magazine Le Film Français on Friday, Fremaux announced that this year’s event bans selfies on the red carpet. He argued that the practice of selfies on the red carpet is “ridiculous and grotesque” and the ban is part of an effort to restore the respect for films. Cannes’ new policy is not about the slowing down, rather, it is interpreted as reflecting its judgment against the current trend where people consume films so easily through mobile means.

Netflix will not appear because the company has decided to pull out of Cannes following the festival’s decision to ban its films from competing. To be more specific, it is more about French media regulation that requires a film be kept off online streaming services or DVD for up to 36 months after a theatrical launch. The streaming giant did now show its films in any French theaters and then Cannes leadership banned the company’s films from competing. In response to the competition ban, Netflix pulled its films from Cannes including Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Orson Welles’ final film “The Other Side of the Wind.” It is regrettable that his long-lost film that was recently completed is not released at Cannes. “It is unfortunate that Orson Welles, the winner and the judge of the prestigious Palme d’Or award, did not come to Cannes,” said Fremaux.

There are still a lot of films in the running for the prize at Cannes. They include French director Jean-Luc Godard’s new film “The Image Book,” U.S. director Spike Lee’ “Black KkKlansman,” Iranian director Jafar Panahi’s “Three Faces” and South Korea director Lee Chang-dong’s new mystery drama “Burning.” There is also “The House That Jack Built” by Lars von Trier who returns the festival ending a seven-year ban by Cannes after declaring himself a Nazi and expressing sympathy for Adolf Hitler.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com