The Cannes Film Festival jury — “madame president” Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, director Denis Villenueve, Taiwanese martial-arts actor Chang Chen, Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev, Burundian singer Khadja Nin and French social-realism director-writer Robert Guediguian — gathered for a press conference today.
The questions were “diplomatic”, which is a diplomatic term for vaguely dull and unchallenging. The answers followed suit.
If I’d been more strongly motivated, I would have raised my hand and asked, “Sundance ’18 was all but totally ‘woke’ in terms of selections and prizes given….it felt to me like a socialist summer camp in the snow. How woke-minded are you guys gonna be on the Cote d’Azur? Do you believe in ‘woke’ as an ongoing aesthetic and political mandate to bring about much needed change, or do you just, you know, want to watch good films?”
If I’d chickened out at the last minute, I would have asked, “Cannes director Thierry Fremaux recently said he’ll never select films for this festival based on a gender quota basis. But Indiewire, hands down the woke-iest major film site, took issue with this and appears to favor quota systems. If you were in Fremaux’s shoes, would you guys implement quota-system admissions to as to increase the number of female-directed films here?”
Blanchett said at one point that things are changing slowly, but at least they’re changing. “Would I like to see more women in competition?” Blanchett said. “Absolutely,” adding that that she “hoped” more would turn up in the future.
The only other quote that stuck out was also Blanchett’s. “Being attractive doesn’t preclude being intelligent,” she said. Hollywood Elsewhere agrees.