"Return", which was shortlisted at the last moment, appeared in Cannes, but the storm is not over yet

    This year's Cannes Film Festival, before the official opening, was somewhat overshadowed and contained some kind of uncertainty.

    As we all know, many rounds of rallies and protests have broken out in France around the French retirement reform policy that President Macron is fully promoting, and even gradually turned into violent conflicts. In this context, the French National Union of Energy and Mining Workers publicly threatened as early as April to boycott the Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco GP, the French Open and the Avignon Theater Festival, which have been held since May. "You all have to be careful, or it will be pitch black." The trade union, which claimed that it would suddenly shut down during the event, once said.

    Cannes did not give a positive response to this threat, and the outside world does not know whether there has been mediation or peace in private. For the time being, the film festival, which has just started for two days, has not been affected by this kind of influence. Not only has the power not been cut off, but there have also been no demonstrations that came to smash the venue. Moreover, the government of the Alpes-Maritimes province to which Cannes belongs has already issued a temporary ban in advance on Friday night, stipulating that during the film festival, all forms of protest gatherings are completely prohibited on the roads around the Palace of Films, so that "such a large-scale international event Public order can be maintained."

    Whether the protesters were deterred by the executive order is unclear. Several local trade unions have actually announced the schedule of protests and rallies during the Cannes Film Festival, but they are basically held in other places in downtown Cannes far away from the Palace of Film. I believe they will not pose too much threat to the festival itself.

    A large number of ticket holders are unable to enter the venue to watch Almodóvar's new work

    On the night of the official opening of the film festival on May 16, Cannes was in order. Except for a few feminist groups who came to protest against Johnny Depp and distributed some leaflets near the Film Palace, there was almost no noise. However, on May 17, there were some mishaps.

    At 3:00 p.m. local time, the world premiere of the short film "Strange Way of Life" by Spanish director Almodóvar will be screened in the Debussy Hall on the ground floor of the Cinema Palace as originally planned. As is customary in Cannes, ticket holders have already lined up to enter the theater as early as two o'clock, but at 3:30, nearly a hundred spectators have not yet entered the theater, and they were told by the security that Debiao, which can accommodate 1,068 people The west hall was full at this time, the movie was about to start, and they could only go home.

    On May 17, 2023 local time, in Cannes, France, director Pedro Almodovar attended the premiere of "Strange Ways of Life" at the Cannes Film Festival. Visual China Map

    As expected, there were some small-scale verbal conflicts between this part of the audience and the security guards, but in the end they could only leave angrily. What puzzled them was why there was such an overbooking situation since the electronic ticketing system in Cannes had been in operation for a long time and had already passed the stage of trial and error. It is reported that among the audience who have been shut out, there are many Oscar organizers Janet Young, the current chairman of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Justin Zhang, the chief film critic of the Los Angeles Times, and the British "Sight and Sound" magazine. Big names in the industry like Jonathan Romney, a famous film critic, have also caused a lot of commotion on social media.

    Afterwards, according to the organizers, it was true that the on-site security made a mistake and put too many waiting audiences without tickets in advance, rather than according to the rules, after all the ticket holders have entered the venue, they then put in the audience without tickets at their discretion. So this happens. As for the media people who were lucky enough to see Almodovar's new work, they almost all gave the film a high degree of affirmation. Some reporters even asserted that the film has great promise in the competition for the best short film award at the Oscars next year.

    "Strange Ways of Life" starring Ethan Hawke and Pedro Pascal, the film is 31 minutes long, and it is also Almodovar's other English-language dialogue work after "The Voice of Humanity" in 2020. According to the director's own definition, this is a "queer western", which has made a lot of decomposition and deformation of the male paradigm in traditional western films.

    Weird Lifestyle poster

    Cannes revokes filmmaker who criticized 'Return' shortlist

    The French film Le retour, which had its world premiere at the Lumiere Hall at 10:00 p.m. local time on May 17, is the second entry in the main competition following Hirokazu Kore-eda's "Monster". This unit is the first female director's work. This time, nothing happened during the screening, but the controversy surrounding the film itself was almost no less than that of the opening film "Counte du Barry".

    At this year's Cannes Film Festival, seven of the 21 films in the main competition were directed by women. However, when the film list was announced for the first time in mid-April, there were only six female works at that time. The "Return" by French female director Catherine Corsini was not included at that time, because French media broke the news , there were at least two sexual harassment scandals during the filming of the film, and the director is said to have forced underage actors in the film to film sex scenes. After several days of internal review, Cannes finally added it to the main competition list, but it also attracted a lot of doubts from the outside world, and the producer of "Return", Elisabeth Perez (Elisabeth Perez). He also jointly issued an open letter with the director, denouncing these as "malicious rumors". These baseless allegations should never decide the life and death of a film and deprive it of the qualification to participate in Cannes.

    On May 17, 2023 local time, Cannes, France, the 76th Cannes Film Festival, director Catherine Corsini attended the premiere of "The Return". Visual China Map

    Before the film's Cannes premiere, director Corsini also made a solemn clarification to the media, hoping that these disturbances can end here, and that the audience can focus all their attention on the work itself. The first is the underage sex scene that the outside world is most concerned about. The director said that the scene did involve two minors, 15-year-old actor Esther Gohourou and 17-year-old Harold O. Sony (Harold Orsoni). Originally, she considered hiring a so-called "professional intimate scene coordinator" to supervise the scene, or simply use a stuntman to shoot the scene, as Hollywood does, but the two young actors made it clear that objected. Based on their full trust in the director, they decided to act by themselves, and they didn't need others to guide them.

    As for the actual filmed content of this scene, Corsini said that it was not as sensational as the outside world imagined. "There is nothing wrong with the scene itself. Both of them were wearing clothes at the time. The main shot was their faces. There was no touching between the two of them. The claims you read in the media are pure nonsense. Talk, whimsical."

    Of course, Corsini also admitted that she did something wrong, that is, she decided to add the script when she was halfway through filming the scene. According to the French film industry regulations, for films involving minors, scripts must be submitted to a government agency called the Commission des Enfants du Spectacle in advance for filing. However, because of the addition of the scene in the middle, the Children's Actors Committee expressed no knowledge of this scene, and this is indeed a huge omission by the director Corsini and the producer.

    For this reason, the French Film Bureau (CNC) has previously made a decision to cancel the government film fund that should have been allocated to the "Return" crew, with an amount of about 580,000 euros. And the director also made the decision to simply cut this whole scene, "The purpose is to quell all disputes, and also protect the two young actors from being disturbed by the outside world."

    As for the two incidents of sexual harassment by the crew that were revealed by the media, the director explained that he had indeed received related complaints, but after internal investigations, they found no evidence. One of the complainants was the 15-year-old actress Esther Goulu. She accused a stuntman on the scene of inappropriate behavior during the rehearsal with her. Then the producer launched an internal investigation and believed that it was purely a misunderstanding. However, since Esther is a minor, the matter was notified to the relevant agencies as required, and the other party sent someone to understand the situation with Esther and her guardian mother, and also approved their decision not to file a complaint.

    Another complaint came from an actress who was supposed to play Esta Goulu's sister in the film, but said she was sexually harassed by a rehearsal director during rehearsals. Likewise, the filmmaker lost the role to Suzy Bemba after an internal investigation concluded that the allegations were not true.

    However, director Corsini said that he definitely did not replace her because of her report. He just decided to change actors because he felt that she was not suitable for the role after the rehearsal. But when the actress filed a police report a few months after leaving the show, accusing the rehearsal director of sexually harassing her, Corsini said she was baffled and taken aback.

    However, the turmoil caused by "Return" has not yet come to an end. On the night it debuted in Cannes, the well-known French producer Marc Missonnier (Marc Missonnier), who had produced films such as "Eight Beautiful Pictures", "Swimming Pool Love Murder" and "Maradona", suddenly condemned it on social media. Cannes organizers are retaliating against him for speaking out against "The Return" being in competition.

    Earlier, Missonier said that the crew of "Return" obviously had a lot of problems, and Cannes should not help the bad guys, ignore the tide of the times, and continue to tolerate this kind of on-set ethics that ignores the rights of women and minors. In protest, he said that although he would still go to Cannes this year, he would not watch any of the participating films, and would only participate in the activities of the film market to express his boycott of this film festival. "As a result, when I arrived at the scene, I was told by the staff that my Cannes pass had been revoked a few days ago for unknown reasons. They were like punishing naughty schoolchildren, like kicking me out of the classroom. Standing as a punishment. It really makes me smile bitterly." As of press time, Cannes has not yet responded to Marc Missonier's statement.

    "Return" stills

    The film "Return" tells the story of a mother and her two daughters who come to Corsica for the summer. This is the third time that the 67-year-old Katrine Corsini has been shortlisted for the Cannes main competition. Her previous works "Unfinished Love" and "Broken" failed to win awards, but both left a deep impression on the audience.

    It is worth mentioning that Corsini himself is one of the founders of 50:50, a women's rights organization in the French film industry, and has always been enthusiastic about various public welfare undertakings. Facing the controversy this time, she hopes that the outside world can still pay more attention to the work itself, because for her, this film with Corsica as the background has a strong personal meaning. "My father was from Corsica, but he died when I was over two years old. I was brought up by my mother, but she never told me about Corsica, and even when she did, she always brought me up. Derogatory. I only came to Corsica for the first time when I was 15 years old, similar to Jessica in "The Return". I hadn't been here for 30 years before making this film, so the title "Return" also has a personal meaning for me. For this shoot, I went to my great-uncle's house and shot a few scenes in the bedroom, and came across some pictures of my father, which I used to The appearance of my father, whom I have never seen before, made me sleepless all night and cry until dawn."

    It is also worth mentioning that Aïssatou Diallo Sagna (Aïssatou Diallo Sagna), the star of "Coming Home", is not from a professional background. Born in 1983, she started working as a nurse after graduating from school, and she has been doing it for nearly 20 years. In 2020, Corsini filmed "Rupture" with the emergency room as the background of the story. Sagna joined the crew as a consultant and extra performer, showing amazing acting talent, and was given the important task of supporting actress, playing a benevolent The benevolent Parisian female nurse also won the Best Supporting Actress Award at the Cesar Award in one fell swoop.

    However, after this wonderful electric shock experience, no one else invited Sagna to star in film and television works, so she returned to her job as a nurse. This time for the filming of "Return", Corsini handed over the heavy responsibility of the female lead to the hands of this amateur actor, and also intended to remind the industry not to bury Sagna's talent. "We have seen this kind of thing a lot. I gave you a Caesar award on the front foot, but I completely forgot about you on the back foot."

    Currently, "Return" has an overall score of 2 from critics in the Cannes catalog published by Screen Daily.


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