In a 5.27 Indiewire piece from Cannes, Eric Kohn passes along a chat with Mad Max maestro George Miller, president of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival jury. Kohn wanted to know about the criteria that Miller brought to jury deliberations. “One of the good things to do is to ask everyone what they think makes a good film,” he said. “It varies with everybody. For me, the way I define a good film is how long it follows you out of the cinema. By the time you get to the parking lot, if it stays with you, then you know it’s good. How long does a film follow you around?”
HE answer to question #1: A good film is not one that massages some arcane aesthetic fancy or rehashes a Joseph Campbell myth or throws the lettuce leaves in the air without strategy or which reaches down into your private little p.c. cave and says ‘hey, homey…I’ve found you and we get each other…you’re my hombre and vice versa.” A good film conveys some kind of profound, universally recognized truth or truths that are recognized not just by you or your friends but by the stupidest assholes on the planet. It does this by slipping into private places, reshuffling old cards, resuscitating old feelings or generally bringing it all back home…it sinks into your system and reminds you that this, in part, is the way things really are. A good film might provoke or disturb on some deep-down level, but you know it’s dead real.
HE comment on parking lot proof: Yes, it means something if a film lingers for that brief period after you’ve just left the megaplex, but the real proof is when you’re thinking about it the next day, preferably over morning coffee or even better over that night’s dinner or a pit stop at a gelato stand. Some films, of course, are so penetrating and rapture-ish that they never leave you, and some are so dismissable that you’re washing your hands of them and even flirting with walking out of the theatre at the ten-minute mark. But the best last forever.