70th Cannes Film Festival opens amid heavy security

19 May, 2017, 10:58 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Pedro Almodóvar stands in between Monica Bellucci and Lily Rose Depp at the opening of the 70th Cannes Film Festival                  REUTERS  Eric Gaillard

In a Cannes jury press conference Wednesday, legendary director Pedro Almodovar seemed to come down against Netflix.

That seemed to be the last word - until Smith chimed in a few minutes later, launching into a defense of Netflix, as it related to the viewing habits of his three kids. "You must feel small and humble in front of the image that's here".

Looking dashing in black tux, Smith joked about his hometown to a group of festival goers, saying, "West Philadelphia is a long way from Cannes". And now they get to find those artists.

"The Festival de Cannes is aware of the anxiety aroused by the absence of the release in theatres of those films in France", the statement added.

This time, it's official: the Cannes Film Festival is back on the Croisette.

Upcoming movie "Okja" has sparked heated debate about how films released nearly exclusively online will affect the film industry, but the film's visionary director, Bong Joon-ho, doubts platforms like Netflix will replace theaters.

But Will Smith, who was also on the panel, defended Netflix shortly after.

France remains under a state of emergency following the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, one of several jihadist assaults that have claimed 239 lives nationwide in the past two years.

"The festival is always changing and is always the same", he said. This year's festival saw its first big cinephile debate Wednesday, when jury president Pedro Almodovar and festival newcomer Will Smith offered sharply opposing views on the festival's Netflix controversy during the jury press conference.

Asked about reports that she and Reece Witherspoon are talking to Australian author Liane Moriarty and trying to develop a sequel, she teases, "It's definitely being talked about, but it takes a lot of work to get it to where we want it". Charlie Hebdo, the Bataclan, Nice, one year ago. When announcing this year's lineup, festival director Thierry Fremaux acknowledged Netflix presents "a unique and unheard of situation for us".

Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here is set to be another highlight, seeing as she hasn't realised a film since 2011's acclaimed We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Arnaud Desplechin's Ismael's Ghosts, starring Marion Cotillard and Charlotte Gainsbourg, has been selected to screen at this year's opening gala.

Almodovar obviously thinks the battle to preserve big-screen dominance is too important to ignore, even if it effectively suggest that Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories now have little chance of winning the Palme at festival's end on May 28, no matter how much the jury may like them.

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