Another year, another eventful Cannes Film Festival.
The notable moments from this year's event included Netflix getting booed by the French press, filmmaker Sofia Coppola's historic Best Director win, and Jessica Chastain's criticism of the "disturbing" portrayals of women in the festival’s films:
Kyle Buchanan, a senior editor at New York Magazine’s Vulture.com, was at Cannes taking in all the on- and off-screen drama. He joined The Frame's John Horn to talk about what all went down at Cannes 2017.
On "The Square" taking home the Palme D'Or, the festival's top prize
The film is a Swedish comedy by director Ruben Ostlund, who cinema-goers might remember from his movie a few years ago called "Force Majeure," a very funny satire. This one is as well. It's hilarious, large parts of it are English-language and Elisabeth Moss is in it, so there's a little bit more accessibility as far as American audiences go. It's this art world satire with these extended— I would almost go so far as to say — sketches, that play like really masterful "Saturday Night Live" ideas. And there are scenes in it that I'll remember for ages ... and that's how it sort of leapt over those odds that the pundits had given it to become one of the very rare comedies to win the Palme D'Or.
On Sofia Coppola's win for Best Director for "The Beguiled"
"The Beguiled" is a remake of a film that was made in 1971 with Clint Eastwood, given a Sofia Coppola spin. I loved it ... It is only the second time that a woman has won the Best Director award at Cannes. And I should note that the Palme D'Or, which goes to the best film and the director of that film, that's only gone to a female director once — Jane Campion. So there is a lot of ground that Cannes ought to be making up.
On Jessica Chastain's criticism of the portrayals of women in the festival's films
I think what she's getting at is two-fold — one is that the depictions of women from these world filmmakers reflect how women are viewed in those societies and sometimes are a critique of that. And then, honestly, there's the flip side of that, and something I think she's more getting at, which is that for a lot of these male filmmakers, women are mere accessories and depicted as such, or even worse, in some of their movies. And yeah, absolutely, I saw several films where the women were just basically bracelets, practically, and not really given any interior life. And there were some films that I thought were flat out misogynist, including one that won one of their awards, "Loveless"— this Russian drama that was heavily acclaimed, but that I felt was so reductive in the way that it portrayed its women that it kind of got on my bad side.
On the cold reception that Netflix received at the festival
If there was any sort of controversial narrative at Cannes this year it was Netflix's presence at the festival. As people probably know, when something is on Netflix, it streams immediately. You don't have to wait for it, and sometimes the streamer will book theaters at the same time as a sort of a, Look, we're in movie theaters too kind of move, but everybody knows it's a streaming service. And so a lot of European theaters were up in arms about that because they said, How can films compete [at Cannes] that won't actually be released in French theaters? And you really heard that anger when you went to these screenings because the French press would boo whenever they saw a Netflix logo ... In fact, there's a Todd Haynes film called "Wonderstruck" that was there. It's distributed by Amazon Studios, similar to Netflix, although they actually do give films a theatrical window before they debut on Amazon Prime. But even that movie, the Amazon Studios logo on that one got booed, so there was a lot of anti-streamer sentiment at Cannes.
To hear the full interview with Kyle Buchanan, click the blue player above.