euronews spoke to a veteran film watcher at the conclusion of the Cannes International Film Festival.
euronews: Jean Roy, president of the international federation of film critics, FIPRESCI, what inspires you about Cannes this year, is it a fine vintage?
Jean Roy: “It’s the most pleasing offering we’ve had in a long time. The weather’s been great, and that counts. And then, there was an enormous variety to choose from, in every department. You only had to reach in and you’d find excellent films. It’s not like that every year.”
euronews: What do you think about the winners? Was anyone passed over this year?
Roy: “The winners… There were so many good films that some have been missed. If you want my choice, for instance I would absolutely looked at the directing or the screenplay for Kaurismaki’s Le Havre, rather than Joseph Cedar.”
euronews: There is some scandal every year. This year Lars von Trier came on strong. Is that just an occupational hazard?
Roy: “Lars von Trier, is known to provoke. He has to make himself noticed. He’s got plenty of obsessions. He won’t take the plane, he drives down from Denmark in his van. He has his moods, as some artists do. He flirted with Protestantism when he made The Element of Crime. He converted to Catholicism when he made Breaking the Waves. For the past two years he’s been converted to nothing at all, and keeps raising scandals. I prefer to go with his film rather than his outbursts.”
euronews: “What are the main trends this year, in your opinion? Any new revelations?
Roy: “Well, where directors are concerned, there hasn’t been a first film that sweeps away everything in its path. But on the other hand, we’ve seen some reaffirmations. We’ve seen that the big names can stay on top. We’ve seen that a silent movie is still viable, dressed in black and on a square screen: The Artist. And on the other end of the scale we saw new technologies. There, I’m thinking of the signature clips for the Palme d’Or, or Lars von Trier’s film, in an amazing way, using stuff from 2001 A Space Odyssey. We’ve seen one of the ways cinema is going.”
euronews: “Is the Cannes Festival still the world’s greatest, for you?”
Roy: “By far. I have the chance to experience other festivals, such as Berlin, Venice, Toronto, a bit like a pocket handkerchief. Whether it’s by the attendance figures or the number of accredited professionals, whether the film has seen an eight percent increase this year. They were talking about 200 million euros of business generated for Cannes in the local press this morning. There’s just no comparison.”