The war in Ukraine, Tom Cruise, the lack of parity and other keys that mark the start of the 2022 Cannes festival | Culture

 The war in Ukraine, Tom Cruise, the lack of parity and other keys that mark the start of the 2022 Cannes festival |  Culture

This Tuesday starts the 75th edition of the Cannes festival, the most important film competition in the world. An event that boils with stars, movies and controversies. A cocktail to which this year is added a new attempt to return to the pre-covid world (masks are not mandatory, but the organization “strongly recommends” that they be used) and the war in Ukraine.

ukrainian war

From the first day, the Russian invasion of Ukraine marks the festival. The opening film, a Redo by Michel Hazanavicius of the Japanese a court of the dead (2017), it was titled z Faced with the use of pro-Putin propaganda of that letter, the contest supported the change demanded by the Ukrainian authorities and is now called Cut off! Russian films, producers and media have not been allowed to attend, at least those belonging to the official line or supporting the invasion. Thierry Frémaux, the general delegate of the festival, explained yesterday: “It is not the boycott requested by the Ukrainian authorities, but the one we believe is fair”, and that began with the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow in February.

Frémaux also acknowledged that the festival has received numerous emails against its presence in the official section of tchaikovsky’s Wife, by Kirill Serebrennikov. The film had already been accepted and probably selected before the war started. The curious thing about Tchaikovsky’s wife is that part of his production comes from companies related to the Russian government (the largest percentage of his budget comes from independent companies), but Serebrennikov has been one of the artists persecuted by Putin. Since 2017 he has suffered house arrest and the last two films of his, Leto Y petrov Flu, they were in Cannes without their creator being able to accompany them. In January he fled to Hamburg and is now directing Limonov: The Ballad of Edie, the adaptation of Emmanuel Carrère’s novel about the controversial Soviet poet.

The organization of Cannes has underlined its position against the war by announcing a few days before its start the screening of Mariupolis 2posthumous documentary of the Lithuanian filmmaker Mantas Kvedaravicius, assassinated by the Russian Armed Forces on April 2 during the siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariúpol. In addition, a program has been created, Ukraine in Focus, for the country’s film industry to present its projects and find co-producers. The panel will be held on May 21 Ukrainian cinema: from surviving to thriving again. How the global film community can come together to support the country’s war-torn industry.

Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov, on April 22, 2022, in front of the Deutsches Theater in Berlin.TOBIAS SCHWARZ (AFP)

All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.


tom cruise

On Wednesday the 18th, Cannes will come to a standstill before the arrival of Tom Cruise and his Top Gun: Maverick. For Frémaux, the festival is a compendium of cinema from around the world, from Hollywood to the most minority, and Cruise must be here. “He is the greatest talent that defends films in theaters and represents contemporary cinema.”

Publicity montage in Cannes for 'Top Gun: Maverick'.
Publicity montage in Cannes for ‘Top Gun: Maverick’.SARAH MEYSSONNIER (REUTERS)

Lea Seydoux

He is today’s great French star, capable of working both in Hollywood blockbusters (he has participated in the Bond saga) and in the most radical auteur cinema. At the 2021 Cannes competition, she had four films screening (three of them in competition) in various sections of the event, and when she was going to travel from Paris to the Côte d’Azur, she tested positive for covid. This year she appears in two: The crimes of the future by David Cronenberg, and a beautiful morning by Mia Hansen-Løve, in the Directors’ Fortnight. Also, yesterday it was announced that she will star in a new version of Emmanuelle, the myth of erotic cinema, directed by Audrey Diwan (Golden Lion for The event).

French actress Lea Seydoux at the London premiere of 'No Time To Die'.
French actress Lea Seydoux at the London premiere of ‘No Time To Die’.Vianney Le Caer (GTRES)

computer problems

As a festival is not just cinema, many external elements can mark its development —for better or worse. Yesterday, on the day when its proper functioning was most necessary, the system of accredited press and market participants, the largest in the world, fell. The ticket reservation website did not work in the morning either. First, the organization hid behind the fact that this year there are 11,000 more accredited than in 2021, and that the platform had received five times more requests than expected. After Frémaux pointed out: “Last year we had problems the first two days. Really, that in this edition the computerized ticket reservation system is better. But we’ve had a seizure hacker scammers [sic] reserving tickets en masse… and we did not expect this”.

Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of Cannes, during the press conference on Monday 16.
Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of Cannes, during the press conference on Monday 16.SARAH MEYSSONNIER (REUTERS)

75th birthday

The pandemic has been especially primed with cinema in theaters. And Cannes wants to reflect on the future that awaits cinema as an art and as an industry. “We had a wonderful 70th birthday celebration focused on the history of Cannes, bringing together the Palme d’Or and great creators on the red carpet. We cannot do the same five years later. So we will celebrate the cinema”, assured Frémaux yesterday. “We will reflect on everything that has happened in these five years: the explosion of female directors and young filmmakers, and what cinema has suffered.” In addition, Guillermo del Toro is preparing a special event for the day of the celebration, the next 24.

Film made by female directors

Is there enough cinema made by women in Cannes? The festival has never managed to shake off the label of a men’s event. For this reason, in his press conference yesterday, the General Delegate vehemently defended his position. “We will not choose a film because it is directed by a woman as we have not chosen them because they are by a man. But Cannes does reflect the drive of a new generation of female directors. You see that in North African cinema.” And about the figures he explained: “I don’t think there are few women’s films in the competition. We have received 25% of films from female directors and that is the proportion in the competition. Of the French in competition, 3 of the 4. Will the French directors feel attacked by it? ”, He finished ironically. “And we have baptized a room after the Agnès Varda room. Things change, and the festival with them”, she assured, because for Frémaux the change has to come from the industry. There is parity on the juries.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, seen by Ethan Hawke

Hidden between so much projection appears the latest movie stars, a documentary in miniseries format directed by Ethan Hawke about the half century of career and life together of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodard. It is one of the jewels of Cannes Classics.

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, with the Oscar won by the actress for 'The Three Faces of Eve' (1958).
Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, with the Oscar won by the actress for ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ (1958).

Whitaker Forest

This year’s Palme d’Or of Honor will be received by an oversized performer at the opening ceremony. The recognition has gone to the American Forest Whitaker, Oscar for the last king of scotland and Palma for best actor at Cannes for Bird (1988).

Forest Whitaker, in Paris in December 2018.
Forest Whitaker, in Paris in December 2018.JOEL SAGET (AFP)

Cronenberg, Mungiu, Reichardt…

The Competition section is full of interesting quotes. Japan’s Hirokazu Kore-eda presents Runner; Romanian director Cristian Mungiu has NMR; Swedish Ruben Östlund premieres sadness triangle and Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne present tori and lokita. There are four Palme d’Or winners. Outside of this quartet, one of the most eagerly-awaited films is the new work by David Cronenberg, who aspires to the award with future Crimes, starring Viggo Mortensen, Leá Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. And the American Kelly Reichardt competes with appearing, in which his fetish actress Michelle Williams embodies a sculpture facing a new exhibition.

Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart, in 'Crimes of the Future'.
Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart, in ‘Crimes of the Future’.

the spanish army

This year Spain has three feature films in the different sections of the contest and in one of the parallel festivals. By order, in the competition, Albert Serra presents his latest work, shot in Oceania. The synopsis of the film, which has changed from its shooting to the presentation in Cannes, is not very clear. Like its title, which has gone from Bora Bora an Torment in the Islands Already Pacification. Benoît Magimel plays the French commissioner in Tahiti, who manages in all kinds of environments and who faces a rumor: the presence of a French submarine in the archipelago leads the islanders to suspect that nuclear tests are going to return.

At Cannes Première Rodrigo Sorogoyen presents the beasts, the struggle of a French couple to continue their work of rebuilding a village in the Galician mountains, against the opinion of the locals, who want to sell their land to an electric company, which will use it to build windmills. His presence in this section represents a great international leap for Sorogoyen. And in the Directors’ Fortnight (one of the three festivals that are held in parallel to the official one, the others being the Critics’ Week and Acid), Elena López Riera makes her feature debut with Water, starring the neophyte Luna Pamies together with Bárbara Lennie and Nieve de Medina., and that illustrates a legend that affirms that some women are predestined to disappear with each new flood because they have “the water inside”. In addition, there will be two Spanish shorts in the Critics’ Week, strings, of Estíbaliz Urresola Solaguren, and I didn’t get to fight by Anna Fernandez de Paco. And at Cannes Classics the documentary premieres Goya’s Shadow by Jean-Claude Carrière, by José Luos López Linares, in what was to be Goya’s great publicity in France and has ended up being Carrière’s farewell.

Image of 'Tormento en las Islas' (Bora Bora), by Albert Serra.
Image of ‘Tormento en las Islas’ (Bora Bora), by Albert Serra.

tik tok

For a time, the organization of the festival prohibited access to the red carpet with mobile phones, or at least that they were not taken out, and incidentally prevented photos from being uploaded to social networks, especially selfies. But this year, the statements on the most publicized carpet in the world and most used by fashion designers as a showcase for their work will be broadcast on TikTok. The general delegate speaks of connection with the new generations and, of course, of sponsorships.


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