Official Competition Palmarès to Women at 72:e Festival de Cannes

By Moira Sullivan
Matti Diop, France, Grand Prize winner at Cannes for "Atlantics"
Official Competition Palmarès to Women - Grand Prix Atlantique Mati Diop France.
Award For Best Screenplay Céline Sciammi France, Award For Best Actress Emily Beecham Little Joe Jessica Hausner, Austria, Monster God-Short Film Special Distinction, Agustina San Martin , Argentina
Céline Sciamma, one of the founders of the French 50/50 by 2020 for gender equality in French film and her new film Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu ("Portrait Of A Lady On Fire") won the best screenplay award at the Cannes film festival that ended May 25. Sciamma is one of two women who are part of the official selection this year of 22 films. Her film is a period piece from 1770 about young artist Marianne (Noémie Merlant ) who is commissioned to paint the wedding portrait of Héloïse without her knowledge, a woman just out of a convent woman betrothed to someone she's never met (Adèle Haenel). Sciamma's has created a beautiful homage to forgotten women artists.

The film has raised questions about a "female gaze" in part because of the way Sciamma speaks of her film and is knowledgeable about the camera, the actors in the scenes and the spectator. Those without a foundation in Laura Mulvey's 1975 classic essay in feminist film theory - "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (1975) should have a look for Sciammi raises many of those points. The 'gaze' is embedded in film language viewing processes in operation according to Mulvey

Margot Robbie explains her role as Sharon Tate in Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood by Quentin Tarantino at the press conference at Cannes. "She's the light"… "She's the heartbeat of the movie” “That’s how Quentin explained it to me". And that must be why she hardly has any speaking lines in the film. Robbie defended the film by explaining her role was not so much words as emotions. That she didn't have to say a lot --not someone who is a ray of light. That goes for many films about women who are silent.

This is Tarantino's ninth film that seem to round up all of his themes - and is indignant at the question by NY Times critic Farah Nayeri about the scarcity of lines for Robbie. "I reject your hypotheses" – though there was just one point made, but they have been made for a long time since Pulp Fiction and the shallowness of some of his female characters “Honey Bunny” (Amanda Plummer) and “Fabienne” (Maria de Medeiros). 

At 56, Tarantino sticks to his guns and won’t answer anything he doesn’t want or inflicts dead silence on the querent. He refuses to give in to questions about the mythology of the Manson murders but at the same time admitted he is nostalgic for the Los Angeles of his youth, where he liked to believe that age 6, he stood on a hill overlooking Spahn Ranch where Charles Manson hung out. But no comments about why Sharon Tate is in his film --other than to symbolize through a nearly mute actress the loss of innocence that characterized the year 1969.

This is a "love story" between a stunt man (Brad Pitt) and a second-rate actor (Leonardo di Caprio), Tarantino did not want to make a film about the Manson tragedy or Tate's murder - but the loss of innocence - even if Manson is in the film and his acolytes.

Tarantino went home empty handed while the top prize went to Parasite 
by Bong Joon ho from South Korea and am happy to say that the subtitles were done by my colleague Darcy Paquet who I’ve med several times at the far east film festival in Udine. The audience seemed to really enjoy the subtitling and Darcy said he’s had a lot of calls and fan mail since the festival closed.

© 2019 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 05/29/19
Movie Magazine International