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Cannes Begins: Iñárritu and His Jury Arrive

by Nathaniel R

The 72nd edition of the world's most famous festival has officially begun. We'll try to bring you comprehensive daily coverage by astral projecting ourselves across the ocean (i.e. watching online videos from France and following critics on Twitter). Earlier today the president of this year's main jury Alejandro González Iñárritu arrived with his gender-balanced fellow jurors in tow (or "classmates," as Maimouna N'Diaye so charmingly put it in the preference conference)... 

The women from left to right: American Writer/Director /Michelle-Williams-Enthusiast Kelly Reichardt of Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff fame (🇺🇸), Documentarian/Actress from Burkina Faso Maimouna N'Diaye (🇧🇫), Ubiquitously cast American Actress/Fashionista Elle Fanning (🇺🇸), and Italian Writer/Director Alice Rohrwacher of Happy as Lazarro fame (🇮🇹): 

The men (left to right): Writer/Director/Oscar nominee Pawel Pawlikowski of Cold War and Ida fame (🇵🇱🇬🇧), Writer/Director/Producer/Oscar Nominee Yorgos Lanthimos fresh off The Favourite (🇬🇷), Producer/Director/Four-time Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (🇲🇽), Yugoslavian-born French Graphic Novelist/Director Enki Bilal (🇫🇷), French Writer/Director/Editor Robin Campillo of BPM fame (🇫🇷🏳️‍🌈) who is serving us some colored sunglasses so as not to fully blend in ❤️ 

Their sentiments were all similar of course about the great honor of being asked to serve and their excitement about watching films for a change rather than presenting their own (more stressful!). They also were very serious about the responsibility they felt to keep their minds open and really absorb potentially great films from all around the world together with their own unique perspectives while listening to each others. Here were a few  moments that most jumped out at the press conference. 

• Both the press corps and the moderators drew attention to Elle Fanning's youth. She just turned 21 last month. Does that make her the youngest Cannes juror of all time? We're not quite sure but we'd love to know if you have the trivia knowledge. She didn't really answer the question about bringing a young perspective to the jury discussions other than saying she was honored. But she and Iñárittu traded looks and a laugh when he admitted he felt old when the moderator mentioned that he'd cast her in her 'royal entrance into the movies' when she was all of 7 years old. Nobody pointed out that Babel was actually Fanning's sixth film as she starting acting when she was just two years old playing a younger version of her sister in Dakota's star vehicle I Am Sam (2001).

• Kelly Reichardt got a hearty laugh when she referred to Cannes as the only jury duty she hadn't tried to avoid. She also mentioned that she was looking forward to the day when people didn't refer to her as a female director but just a director. 

• Yorgos Lanthimos, who was introduced by highlighting his "poetic strangeness" (well, alright)  was asked a "nostalgic" question about how the past ten years of his life have felt after premiering Dogtooth (2009) in Cannes. He confessed that he didn't know anything about Cannes when he first arrived and it's been a strange journey. He was excited to watch movies in a jury setting without the stress of presenting a film. "I think most people have a set way of seeing things. When you enter a structure with creative people from different backgrounds and cultures, there might be an opportunity to learn and allow yourself to see things differently. Hopefully that's what's going to happen."

• Iñárittu gave great quote all throughout the press conference when asked about politics -- pointedly calling Trump and other destructive conservative rage-monsters around the world out --  and the state of cinema. He repeatedly stressed the importance of the big screen theatrical experience in the streaming age. He likened it in a resonant way to listening to classical music from 100s of years ago on spotty car stereos. It's fine to listen to it that way but imagine if you couldn't actually go to the symphony to hear it performed the way it was intended with a full lush orchestra? On this point he elaborated "I am a true believer that to watch is not to see. To see is another thing. Cinema was born to be experienced in a communal setting."

More quotes. On jury duty

I will not call it judgment. I will not judge films. I want to be impregnated by them and react to them."

On great filmmakers judging other great filmmakers.

Basically one of the things that is very important is I would like to see the films as if we didn't know who directed it. No time, no experience, no name, no gender. For respect of cinema we should just judge a film by the art itself. That's the most important thing. No fame or name should influence any decision of that.

ENJOY CANNES FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOMES, EVERYONE! That's how most of us here always experience it, too. 

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Reader Comments (19)

Inarritu is one of our greatest directors, and that's a really interesting jury. It'll be exciting to see what they pick!

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

Yes, Elle Fanning is the youngest Cannes juror ever :)
She beats Xavier Dolan who was 26 in 2015.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

I love Cannes so much. Last year there were so many great movies. Thank you for covering.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLSS

Elle Fanning is so adorable. I love this jury.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

Who’da thought that Elle, not Dakota, would be the Fanning on a Cannes (or any festival) jury. My, how their career trajectories took a turn.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I love following what's happening at Cannes each year and this jury is an exciting bunch.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

What's Dakota doing now? Elle's Instagram.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Iñarritu is highly over rated

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

This jury is insane. Too much talent in one room. Let's see how it ends.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I’ve hated every single one of Iñárittu‘a bloated, contrived, pseudo-intellectual movies. I don’t trust his taste at all.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Here for Kelly Reichardt! May she make more films. May she remain a trailblazing director whose stories, while always anchored in the northwest, remain timeless and borderless.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOwl

As much as Pawlikowski has earned the accolades for Ida and Cold War, as they're very well-made films...

He will always be the My Summer of Love genius.

My Lord is that a perfect scorcher of a film. Bonus points for utilizing Emily Blunt to her full extent before anyone else even knew who she was.

And for Goldfrapp. :)

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterManny

Too bad Reichardt, Pawlikowski, Yorgos, or Rohrwacher isn't the Jury President. Iñárritu is a pretentious bore.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I am here for the Inarritu hate. Can't stand him. Can't stand his films.

May 14, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

If Cannes gave us something. Never trust in the talent of the director/actor to make excellent choices.

Joel Coen+Ethan Coen+Xavier Dolan+Jake Gyllenhaal

gave us Dheepan, Chronicle's ridiculous screenplay award and Emmanuelle Bercot's award (Thanks to Dolan in this one. And for the final press conference, Sienna Miller was the saviour of that Jury).

George Miller+Arnaud Desplechin+Donald Sutherland

gave us full shutdown of Aquarius, Elle, Toni Erdmann and The Handmaiden. Awards for "It's Only the End of the World".

Meanwhile, "questionable presidents" like Tim Burton (Uncle Boonme) and Steven Spielberg (Blue is the Warmest Color) and not adding the actors presidencies De Niro and Blanchett gave us more exciting awards.

May 15, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Leaping to defense: DHEEPAN is brilliant, Emmanuelle Bercot was amazing in MON ROI, UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES is mesmerisingly beautiful and BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, despite all the controversies around it, is still a great film.

May 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Every time a "Three Amigo" was in the Cannes jury, a French film won the Palme :)

2008 - Alfonso Cuaron: "The Class"
2015 - Guillermo del Toro: "Dheepan"
2018 - Alejandro G. Inarritu: ???

May 15, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie

i knew i'd regret skipping those vexillology classes...

May 15, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I'm with Travis C. Dheepan is a brilliant film. The backlash against it is idiotic.

May 15, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

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