Google News - Film Festival: Cannes is dead. Long live Cannes
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And again there will be no Netflix film in Cannes this year. The streaming giant and the most significant A-film festival in the world have found no compromise. There was a scandal last year: the festival had agreed to show Netflix films - but out of competition; they were not allowed to fight for the Golden Palm.
The reason is that only those films that have a French cinema release can be selected in the palm competition. In addition, according to French law, a film with a theatrical release cannot be shown online for three years. Conditions unacceptable for Netflix. Content boss Ted Sarandos withdrew all Netflix films from the Cannes program - including the later acclaimed Oscar film "Roma" by Alfonso Cuarón, which then celebrated its premiere in Venice.
This year Netflix no longer offered a film to the festival. And some of the hot-selling works this season will go back to Venice or Toronto, including "The Irishman" by Martin Scorsese with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Steven Soderbergh's "The Laundromat" with Meryl Streep and Noah Baumbach's "The King".
In contrast to Venice, for example, Cannes maintains that it only presents films with the highest palm award that also guarantee a cinema experience - that is, they are “real” films. And this allows top-class films to go through the rags.
So what does this decision and the absence of streaming service films mean for the festival? Are American media right that practically declared Cannes dead last year? Does the festival marginalize itself? Does it lose sensitive to (American) glamor?
One of the best news Thierry Frémaux could announce for this year's program was that Quentin Tarantino's new film "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" was finished on time and is in competition. What luck. The US industry newspaper Variety indirectly threatened the festival that it could wrap up if it failed to bring the new Tarantino to the Côte d'Azur.
Tarantino has had a close relationship with Cannes since the beginning of his career and won the Golden Palm 25 years ago for his groundbreaking “Pulp Fiction”. With his late sixties Charles Manson story "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" he is now bringing not only a (hopefully) top-class film to France, but also large calibers such as Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and Margot Robbie the red carpet.
With this star lineup alone, Frémaux can alleviate the accusation that his festival has recently lost in glamor and in event size. In fact, there was less presence of US studio productions on the Cote d’Azur who preferred to save their films for premieres in time for the Academy Awards.
But now not only Elton John (for his biopic film "Rocketman") and Diego Maradona have announced themselves as the star of a documentary, but also Sylvester Stallone, who is to take care of the "Rambo" hype. Stallone brings snippets from his new "Rambo V - Last Blood" to the Croisette and shows them in the course of a special screening. Then the restored version of "Rambo - First Blood" (1982) is performed.
And what about the competition? This year's program offers a wild mix of big names of typical Cannes regulars and surprising newcomers. Four women are in the main competition, including Austrian director Jessica Hausner with her sci-fi horror film "Little Joe" (see below). Among the new starters is French-Senegalese director Mati Diop, who will be the first black woman to take part in the competition with her directorial debut “Atlantique”.