France’s annual celebration of cinema, Les Césars, on Friday became the stage for venting frustrations over the months-long shutdown of theatres. Actress Corinne Masiero stole the limelight when she stripped naked with the words “No culture, no future” written across her front as she presented the costume award.
The mood was set from the opening monologue, as mistress of ceremonies Marina Fois launched a scathing attack on Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot.
“The minister hasn’t done nothing… Madame Bachelot, you released a book with your recipe for pasta and gorgonzola,” the actress joked, before striking a sad note to conclude: “What we miss is what unites us, the emotions that we experience together.”
Bachelot was reportedly present in the Olympia venue in Paris for the 46th edition, but the television channel Canal+ was instructed not to zoom in on her.
Several participants at the César Awards used the event as a platform to confront the government over its decision to keep cinemas shut since October, even as most other businesses have reopened.
“My children can go to Zara but not the cinema… it’s incomprehensible,” said Stephane Demoustier as he picked up the Cesar for best screenplay for “The Girl With a Bracelet”.
For her part, actress Corinne Masiero turned her message into performance art. She wore a bloody donkey costume, before stripping naked – to reveal messages painted on her body – referring to how cinema industry workers see themselves “stripped” of work in the face of the pandemic.
On her back were the words “Give us back our art Jean,” directed at Prime Minister Jean Castex, while on her chest were the words “No culture no future”.
The big winner on the night was Adieu les Cons (Bye Bye Morons), a comedy drama about a seriously ill woman searching for her long-lost child, which took home seven awards including best film and best director for Albert Dupontel.