Une cinquantaine d’artistes, chanteuses, actrices affichent leur soutien aux femmes Iraniennes dans une vidéo, en se coupant quelques mèches de cheveux.
It is a gesture that has become a symbol of support for Iranian women, who have been demonstrating for two weeks despite the repression: to cut locks of hair or shave their heads. In a video published Wednesday morning by a collective, around fifty actresses, comedians and singers film themselves, scissors in hand, cutting locks of hair. We recognize familiar faces: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Marion Cotillard, Pomme, Angèle, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Carré, Yaël Naim, Muriel Robin, Alexandra Lamy, Isabelle Adjani, Juliette Armanet, or even Laure Calamy. The soundtrack is the interpretation in Farsi of the song of Italian partisan revolt Bella Ciao, which has become the anthem of protests.
hrough this video, all bring their solidarity to the Iranian women, two weeks after the death of Mahsa Amini . This 22-year-old young woman died on September 16, after being arrested by the morality police in Tehran. She had left hair sticking out of her veil . Since then, demonstrations have shaken the country, and nearly a hundred demonstrators have died .
“Silence can be the worst form of violence” Three lawyers are at the initiative of this video: Richard Sédillot, specialized in the defense of human rights (he had already mobilized for the release of the Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh ), the president of Paris Julie Couturier, and the former president of the Conseil national des barreaux, Christiane Feral Schuhl. The actress Julie Gayet supported them. “Iranian women need to know that they are not alone” , explains Julie Gayet to France Inter. “Silence can be the worst form of violence” .
This video is a way of “showing solidarity” , adds the actress. “It was to send them a signal, to say ‘we’re here’. I hope they have a way of seeing it.” Lawyer Richard Sédillot hopes that this movement from France “will trigger an extremely strong political reaction” . “Condemnations should no longer be made in half-words, but with more vehemence.”
The video posted on social networks is accompanied by an explicit text: “ It is impossible not to denounce again and again this terrible repression. The dead and dead are already counted by the dozens, including children. only increase the number of prisoners already illegally detained and too often tortured. We have therefore decided to respond to the call that has been made to us by cutting, too, some of these locks.”
Protests continue in Iran
Since the arrest of Mahsa Amini, Iran has been hit by numerous demonstrations. New clashes took place in the night from Sunday to Monday between the police and students in Tehran, on the site of one of the most prestigious universities in the country .
In France, a minute of silence was observed in the National Assembly on Tuesday in honor of the “incredible courage” of the “women, men and all the youth of Iran” who “express their thirst for freedom” , in the words of the President of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet.
In a column sent to AFP on Tuesday, nearly a thousand personalities of the French seventh art, including stars like Léa Seydoux, Isabelle Huppert and Dany Boon, renowned filmmakers or the boss of the Cannes Film Festival Thierry Frémaux called on Tuesday to “support the women’s revolt in Iran”.
CANNES, France — It may be a bit cruel starting with Yeats’s summary of his era in his epic poem The Second Coming, but unfortunately, it is a somewhat accurate distillation of both the organization and the films of this edition of the world’s leading film festival.
This post-COVID confinement version of the festival featured maximum healthcare restrictions for the Cannes elite and minimum restrictions for everyone else. Thus, to enter the Palais where the competition screenings are held amid the splendor of the red carpet, you are required to have either a QR bar code proving two-shot vaccination in France or a 48-hour COVID test. It is mandatory in France to wear a mask inside, but for the opening ceremony, attended by the French Riviera and global 1 percent, both Variety and Screen reported that as soon as the lights went out many of the elite removed their masks and were not reminded by ushers to put them back on.
Meanwhile, for the majority of screenings, stocked with lower-level press and students and many of which have now been moved out of Cannes and are a 45-minute bus ride away, there were no health restrictions.
This year the entire festival bureaucracy has moved online, which caused much initial chaos. While the streaming services and their digital monopolies are being kept at a distance, not allowed entry into the main competition, the virtual rules the festival. All tickets are online in a system that often crashes, contains no summary of the 135 films in the festival now that the festival book is eliminated, and short circuits the human contact of waiting on line with other dedicated filmgoers. The online system has, like French organization as a whole, the appearance of elegance while being both inefficient and overly rule-bound. What makes it work is that the French people staffing the festival are able to help as they can, humanizing this mechanization just as they have always done with earlier versions of French bureaucracy, but once the system is automated, those lacking technical expertise are practically useless.
What used to be the press room still exists but this year there are no computers since the usual sponsor Hewlett Packard dropped out. The room is nothing but a series of electrical outlets and remains most often empty. What a perfect symbol of what has happened to the press over the last decade as hedge funds buy up newsrooms, deplete the staff, and sell off part of the real estate, gutting major papers.
In a rapidly deteriorating world, plagued by multiple pandemics involving climate change, COVID, drugs, inequality, and racism, the usual blather about the sanctity of the auteur—the cinema director—since the films they make are often not confronting these problems, sounds simply like French industry speak. Indeed that’s what it is as the French cinema and theater owners are using this year’s edition to relaunch their films now backlogged from COVID, with over 450 films vying for attention as they are poured onto the market after the lockdown and facing the American streaming services who used the lockdown to launch their films online.
Because of the restrictions also, there is very little product or presence here from the BRICS countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, which together account for 40 percent of the world’s population. This is a major shunting aside of what is supposed to be a global festival.
The best do not lack all conviction, but much conviction is shunted aside or squandered in NGO gobbledygook such as the Chadian director Hahamet-Saleh Haroun, who makes very good films like The Screaming Man about poverty in neocolonial African but who told the Western press that he was not Chadian but rather he spoke the global language of cinema. Well-intentioned but somewhat empty also is a special section called Cinema for the Climate. At this point, if that cinema is not exposing the fossil fuel companies or industrialized fishing magnates which are destroying the land and the oceans, it is really engaging in greenwashing, which most often, instead of combatting these companies, proposes individual solutions to the global problem. Emblematic is the film Bigger Than Us about a teenager from Bali (Indonesia) whose Bye Bye Plastic campaign got the island to ban plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam cups. Helpful but hardly controversial, and we are beyond the point where planting trees and recycling will solve the problem.
The best entry in terms of films was a fourth-level competition film The Gravedigger’s Wife about a Somali villager who has only a shovel to earn his daily bread, which he does by pursuing hearses and offering to bury the dead. His wife has kidney failure and will die if he does not come up with 5000 American dollars, a sum no one he knows possesses. The film is touching about his and her desperation, and in the end, just as all seems lost because a doctor will not perform the operation to save her without the money, a contemporary miracle occurs. The film, which seems to be about individual heroic acts and acts of kindness actually calls attention to the need for a global system of health care, rather than relying on the kindness of strangers, though it stops at merely validating the miraculous individual act. The film originates in the West, and the Finnish-Somali actor Omar Abdi, whose tattered face fits in among the actual villagers, is excellent. His wife is played by a Canadian Somali model, and her bearing and looks are sometimes a jarring reminder of the presence of the Western gaze even in a quasi-neorealist film.
Todd Haynes’s documentary on and titled The Velvet Underground is about a band who had few convictions to begin with. Haynes tells the story of this proto-punk group of misfits, outsiders who railed against the musical establishment, which at that time was the industry’s embrace of the hippie era and the Velvet’s West Coast avant-garde rivals Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Their story is told largely in their own words with the avant-garde composer John Cale, whose atonal drone was an essential part of the music, as a major source for the film. The band was supported by Andy Warhol and sometimes described as his marionettes, but the real genius was a drug-addled, bisexual Lou Reed, who was able to channel all of his obsessions into a music that, in its cynical embrace of his truth, linked to the French poets Baudelaire, Verlaine, and especially the tortured youth Rimbaud. A the same time it anticipated the return-to-basics musical revolution that was to come, here symbolized by punk-folkie Jonathan Richman, who saw the band in Boston 75 times and for whom they were his mentor. It’s a fascinating recounting of a group of visionary artists, too many of whom, including Reed and the German vocal enchantress Nico, who blazed the path for Debbie Harry and Blondie, died young, victims of a society which did not tolerate their alternate lifestyle.
The worst are filled with passionate intensity might have been Yeats’s review of the festival opener Annette, which Le Monde, doing its part to restore French cinema, gave its highest rating, four stars.
Leos Carax is a talented director who makes “cinema,” films that are, depending on your taste, highly provocative (The Lovers on the Bridge) or fairly pretentious (Holy Motors). His latest stars Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard as a disparate couple who combine American low art and entertainment—he is a stand-up insult comic whose stage routine, of course, is not funny—with Continental high art as she is an opera singer.
The form of the film is operatic, mostly sung, with soundtrack and idea from the group Sparks. Carax updates the form, in one scene having Driver and Cotillard singing while he pleasures her, thus beginning both the film and the festival with the ditty “And so may we start,” the lyrics of which, like most of the songs, are simply a repeat ad nauseam of that line long after it has lost its referential meaning. The film makes use of Driver’s talents and rehearses his past roles, as a robed boxer about to go onstage shot from behind and looking like his Vader character from Star Wars, as out-of-control lover from Girls in the sung sex scene, and as employing his gorgeously melodious voice which was the revelation of A Marriage Story.
Onto a Hollywood tragedy, à la the boating death of Natalie Wood often attributed to her husband Robert Wagner, Carax grafts a criticism of the vacuousness of American entertainment in the form of the Driver character’s brutality in his treatment of the underused Cotillard. But the film overexaggerates the brutality, defining it too often as coarseness rather than as violence, while conversely not showing enough of it in the way Scorsese does in the far better New York, New York. It offers Carax’s knowing genre play and thematic overloading as the answer instead of an actual critique of the way French and Continental high art and Hollywood are now moving toward becoming a more seamless whole in which neither allows the real problems of the world an airing. Annette is full of sound and fury but signifies little.
Falling into the same category is The Hill Where Lionesses Roar, which features three teenagers discontent with their lives in Kosovo, cleansed in this film of all its meaning as brutal site of destruction, with a mosque in the background the only signifier of its history. Instead, the film is mostly about the three teens frolicking, on a hill, in the water, in a hotel. And that’s about the beginning and the end of it.
More interesting, on a similar young girl coming-of-age theme, is the Croatian film Murina, which features a 17-year-old caught in a death grip between a domineering father and his seductive former boss, a successful businessman. The father is trying to induce the businessman to invest in a hotel on the prosperous Dalmatian Coast, now a dazzling global resort. The daughter is ultimately able to transcend both the physical violence of the father and the seductiveness of the boss, which since it is empty, is a kind of emotional brutality. However, neither is linked to the history of the brutality of a country with a fascist and ethnic cleansing past which is being erased as it enters the global economy as tourist paradise.
Similarly interesting and limited is the Argentine The Employer and The Employee, invoking Hegel’s master and slave dialectic as it plays out in the parallel relationship of the son of a wealthy landowner and the Indian boy he and his father treat as a servant. In the end, the Indian gets his revenge expressed in a bitter smile, but the revenge also dooms him in a way that suggests, incorrectly, that the only way out of this relationship is mutual self-destruction.
The antidote was provided in a passage from a documentary essay Mariner of the Mountains about a Brazilian journalist Karim Ainouz who journeys to Algeria in search of his father’s village. He quotes Frantz Fanon’s passage from his essay on violence that says that when the colonized realizes he or she is equal to the colonizer that is the beginning of the end of that relationship. We then see Algerian youth chanting “Murderous Regime” as they come to their own realization about a government that is selling them out. Here the passionate intensity is directed and purposeful, and the conviction of the youth of this generation is sincere.
Signed Leos Carax, “Annette” will open the Cannes Film Festival on July 6, the organizers announced on Monday. A musical with Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver which will be released simultaneously at the cinema.
With this feature film in English which will be presented in world preview and in competition, the French director will be making his comeback on the Croisette nine years after “Holy Motors”.
Based on an original idea by the American duo Sparks, a figure in alternative music since the 1970s, and who also signed the soundtrack, “Annette” takes an interest in the glamorous couple formed by Henry, a stand-up comedian, and Ann , a world-famous singer, who will see her daily life turned upside down by the birth of their daughter Annette, with an exceptional destiny.
“Visionary and enigmatic, Leos Carax has created some of the most beautiful scenes in French cinema of the past thirty-five years, through a filmography that has never ceased to show his mastery of directing. A poetic genius with an overflowing imagination, “the enfant terrible of French cinema” is used to overturning codes and genres to invent a world populated by visions and ghosts, “said the Cannes Film Festival in a press release.
Its president also added that “Annette is a gift hoped for by lovers of cinema, music and culture, those who have missed us so much for a year”.
The Official Selection of the 74 th edition, which will be chaired by American director Spike Lee will be announced on 27 May.
The ‘Inception’ actress really enjoyed staying home during the coronavirus pandemic as she felt ”really connected to the rest of the world”.
She said: ”I found this period very interesting. For everybody to be locked down, and for time to stop, I found something of a relief. I felt really connected to the rest of the world, and I think many human beings felt that way. No FOMO [fear of missing out] any more! But I also had a lot of thoughts about the world, about what’s going on socially and environmentally.”
And the 44-year-old actress recently visited Antarctica and admits she was ”disturbed” to find out there were less penguins and more plastic there.
She added: ”It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life. It’s almost untouched; its energy is really fed by the fact that you can’t buy anything, you can’t sell anything. But we saw a decreasing population of penguins, and plastics in a place where no man goes, so that was very disturbing. The whole trip, from pole to pole, was to try to open the public’s eyes to what could happen if we don’t set rules for these places.”
Meanwhile, Marion also opened up about her childhood, admitting she was ”just fascinated by her parents’ life” as they were both actors too.
She told Harper’s Bazaar magazine: ”I was just fascinated by my parents’ life. There was a lot of energy in the house, and then I started to have my own experience of acting. Right away I felt it was something that was really strong in me. The first time was in a summer camp. I did this play at the end, and I felt something that shook me. I was playing an old housekeeper and the reaction of the audience, people laughing, and then coming up to me afterwards … That was the first time I felt it would be my life.”
Masters of immersing you in other people’s grim predicaments whilst maintaining an essential lightness of touch, in 2014 Belgium’s Dardenne brothers teamed up winningly with the great French actress Marion Cotillard. The result was a fluid, Oscar-nominated drama that follows a desperate factory worker as she tries to persuade her colleagues to forgo their bonuses in order to save her job, in a highly unusual race against the clock. If you’ve yet to catch it, make it a must. Watch now on iPlayer. | Source: The List