At yesterday’s N.Y. Film Festival press conference for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, director Julian Schnabel hinted at a “juror controversy” at last May’s Cannes Film Festival that supposedly precluded Diving Bell from claiming this year’s Palme d’Or, which was handed to the Christian Mungiu‘s Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days.
The Reeler‘s Stu van Airsdale was at the press conference and is quoting Schnabel as saying that the Cannes jury “made some kind of a deal because it’s a political situation, and then I got Best Director — which is more than I ever bargained for. I shook hands with everybody, even if they didn’t vote for me. Like Michel Piccoli — I’m sure he didn’t. He’s a Communist, but I don’t have a problem with that either.”
The Cannes juries — all juries at all festivals — make deals like this all the time, or at least often enough. Nothing is pure, all politics are local.