Arm in arm, Scorsese and Blanchett open 71st Cannes Festival

15:23 • 09.05.18



A Cannes Film Festival grappling with issues of gender equality and other winds of change was declared open Tuesday by Martin Scorsese and Cate Blanchett, arm in arm, before the premiere of Asghar Farhadi’s “Everybody Knows”, the Associated Press reports.


The 71st edition of the glamorous French Riviera extravaganza of cinema and celebrity — and the first of the post-Harvey Weinstein #MeToo era — kicked off with the Spanish-language debut of Farhadi, the Iranian filmmaker, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.


On the opening ceremony’s carefully choreographed red carpet, one of the festival’s numerous modifications this year — a ban on selfies — was broken by some attendees who attempted to take photographs with their phones.


Scorsese, who won the festival’s top prize, the Palme d’Or, for “Taxi Driver,” was in Cannes for an anniversary screening of his 1973 breakthrough “Mean Streets.”Brought out to officially open the festival, he gestured for Blanchett to join him in the middle of the Palais des Festivals’ stage. And much of the spotlight on opening day belonged to Blanchett.


A prominent member of the Time’s Up initiative, Blanchett told reporters that the #MeToo movement will play a role in this and every following Cannes festival, but won’t factor into their deliberations.


“Would I like to see more women in competition? Absolutely. Would I expect and hope that that’s going to happen in the future? I hope so,” Blanchett said. “But we’re dealing with what we have that’s here. Our role is to, in this next almost two weeks, is deal with what’s in front of us.”


Competing for the Palme are 21 films, including new releases from directors Spike Lee, Pawel Pawlikowski (the Oscar-winning “Ida”) and Jean-Luc Godard. Three of the films in the competition are directed by women: Nadine Labaki, Eva Husson and Alice Rohrwacher.


Blanchett noted the festival has improved the gender parity of its selection committees. Juries, she noted, have in recent years been split equally, with the president tilting the scales.


Cannes has come under criticism for years for not selecting more women directors. Only one female filmmaker, Jane Campion, has won the Palme.


Lasting change, Blanchett said, will only occur through specific actions over time to narrow the gender gap and improve diversity in the world of filmmaking.

 
Martin Scorsese and Cate Blanchett 



Julianne Moore

 

Barbara Mayer

 

Georgia May Jagger

 

Romy Strider

 

Camila Coelho

 

Frederic Bell

 

Kristen Stewart

 

Cate Blanchett

 

Penélope Cruza and Javier Bardem

 

Penélope Cruz

 

Martin Scorsese





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