Domingo, 27 May, 2018

Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

Cannes Film Festival bans Netflix Outcry over Netflix films prompts Cannes to change rules
Tobias Pedroso | 19 May, 2017, 22:29

Jury president Pedro Almodovar clashed with actor Will Smith during the jury press conference that opens Cannes each year, appearing at odds over the contentious issue of Netflix films being included in the competition.

"Okja will be available on Netflix in 190 countries on June 28 in the US, but actually June 29 here, but will be released in the same moment everywhere in the world".

The Cannes Film Festival is famous for its spirited arguments.

Sarandos said film festivals may be forced to adapt as more and more movies become available on platforms beyond traditional theaters. But Mr. Hastings - whose Silicon Valley-based operation now has 100 million subscribers - placed the blame squarely at the door of French cinemas.

Entirely coincidentally of course, Smith, a judge on the Cannes Film Festival panel, is starring in a film to be released on Netflix later this year. Festival organisers tried to negotiate a compromise, with a "limited release" of the movies in France mooted.

"So I am excited to be here, more than anything to learn", he told a news conference alongside other members of the jury that will decide which film wins the Palme d'Or award on May 28. Notably, as Variety reported in 2015, four USA movie theater chains refused to screen Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation because the film was to be released in theaters and on Netflix simultaneously, rather than abiding by the traditional 90-day delay for home debut.

A backlash from French cinema chains prompted Cannes organisers to change the festival's rules from next year onwards to insist on a theatrical release - a move that could effectively ban Netflix from taking part in the future.

The move angered Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who slammed what he called the French cinema establishment for "closing ranks" against the USA streaming service.

Netflix's movie "Okja" about a mysterious giant beast, starring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, is nonetheless among the most talked-about at Cannes, with Sofia Coppola's American Civil War thriller "The Beguiled" featuring Colin Farrell alongside Kidman. The festival relented and next year won't accept streaming-only films in the competition.

He added: "In my home, Netflix has had absolutely no effect on what they go to the movie theater to watch, go to the cinema to be humbled by certain images and stay home for others - no cross".

It's not as if they would've gone to the cinema if it wasn't on Netflix. And now they get to find those artists. When announcing this year's lineup, festival director Thierry Fremaux acknowledged Netflix presents "a unique and unheard of situation for us".

"I see very little cross between going to the cinema and watching what they watch on Netflix in my home", he said.

Apparently very happy to be part of this jury presided by the vast Pedro Almodóvar, Will Smith - particularly seductive - spent a long time cuckooing and sending kisses to the onlookers who came to applaud him and his co-jurors.