Cannes faces backlash after women reportedly barred from film screening for not …

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cannes faces backlash after women reportedly barred from film screening for not wearing high heels.

CANNES Film Festival organisers have denied reports that they are enforcing a strict high-heel rule for women on the event’s legendary red carpet after a storm of protest on social media.CANNES, France – Michael Caine, Jane Fonda and Harvey Keitel are combining their legendary acting heft to one of the Cannes Film Festival’s most-anticipated movies this year, “Youth”, which gets its premiere on Wednesday.

In what was meant to be a good year for women at cinema’s top showcase, British trade magazine Screen Daily said that “a handful of women in their 50s were turned away” by Cannes ushers from a Sunday night gala screening. Asif Kapadia, director of the critically acclaimed “Amy” that premiered at the festival, said his wife was stopped for the same reason at his screening the day before and eventually let in. Based on an original screenplay by Taylor Sheridan, the drama, which Lionsgate is distributing stateside, stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent who teams up with Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin to bring down a Mexican drug lord. The festival on France’s south coast — like the wider film industry that feeds it — has a reputation for male domination, so there was some relief that this year’s official selection opened things up a bit.

The film, directed by Italian Paolo Sorrentino, who won an Oscar last year for his story of Italian decay, “The Great Beauty”, is an ensemble piece filmed in English and set in the Alps. Some of those rejected at the showing of Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, had “medical conditions”, according to Screen, which called it “a bad PR move for the push for gender equality”. The director — who’s readying his next film, Story of Your Life, in which Amy Adams plays a linguist encountering aliens, while also developing a Blade Runner sequel — spoke with THR about the importance of strong women characters, the pressure that comes with directing a sequel to a classic, and flying the flag for Canada in Cannes. A female director, Emmanuelle Bercot, opened the festival for only the second time in its history and Agnes Varda will be the first female recipient of the honorary lifetime achievement award. I should say it’s a big compliment, because doing a movie in Los Angeles, away from my home country, there’s always a fear that I could lose my identity as a filmmaker.

The competition includes two women directors where often there are none, and the most critically lauded entry so far — “Carol” starring a lavishly praised Cate Blanchett — focuses on repressed lesbian love. But it’s the three veteran actors that have critics and journalists most eager to watch a picture that could have a shot at winning Cannes’s big prize, the Palme d’Or. Among those joining the backlash was actor Emily Blunt, who was due to walk the red carpet on Tuesday night in support of her new film, the FBI drama Sicario. “Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. The 82-year-old has long said he is semi-retired, but continues to add to his vast body of work, having recently appeared in sci-fi epic “Interstellar”, the box-office hit “Kingsman: The Secret Service”, and the blockbuster Batman trilogy.

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain Source: Getty Images The Hollywood Reporter also reported that “numerous women” had been turned away from Cannes due to their foot attire, including one wearing “ankle boots and tights” and another who had slipped into “platform sandals”. By their nature, Hollywood awards shows and red-carpet screenings, staffed by media outlets from around the world, focus film and TV fans on the appearances of their favourite stars and, in the case of women, how they dress. Born Maurice Micklewhite to a fish-porter father and cleaner mother in working-class southern London, he chose his stage name in tribute to his favourite movie “The Caine Mutiny”. Because I have a gun?” Oscar-winner Natalie Portman, who has been all over the seaside Croisette promoting her directorial debut “A Tale of Love and Darkness” this week, said women-led productions were still being written off as “vanity projects”. “I remember as a kid when Barbra Streisand would make movies that she was in and people would say, ‘oh it’s vanity, it’s a vanity thing’,” said Portman, criticising the “completely imbalanced” industry that means women direct only a tiny fraction of Hollywood pictures. Emily Blunt, star of the drug-war thriller Sicario, called the purported flat-shoe ban “very disappointing” and said she preferred comfortable footwear.

A talk about gender on the sidelines of the festival opened with the statistic that only 4.6 percent of US studio films were directed by women last year, and not one Oscar best picture nominee featured a female protagonist. Speaking at the talk, Salma Hayek argued real change would come not from token gestures at festivals but from a realisation that women can bring in the bucks. Sicario director Denis Villeneuve, who joked that he would wear heels for its premiere, revealed the screenwriter had previously been asked to rewrite the lead part for a man. His portrayal as a charming gangster in 1971’s “Get Carter” and womanizer in “Alfie” established him as the acting face of Swinging Britain.Caine was honoured with a knighthood in 2000.

The Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the national ACLU Women’s Rights Project called last week for the US government and California to investigate alleged bias against women in front and behind the camera. The groups are providing data to the agencies that they say reveal dramatic disparities in the hiring of women directors in TV and on big-budget films. Actress Jane Fonda poses for photographers upon arrival for the screening of the film The Sea of Trees at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 16, 2015. The dress code isn’t explicitly spelled out by the festival but is enforced by security guards or “hosts.” “There is no specific mention about the height of the women’s heels as well as for men’s,” Aime said of Cannes’ dress code. “Thus, in order to make sure that this rule is respected, the festival’s hosts and hostesses were reminded of it.” Having frequently been accused of sexism in the past, Cannes responded this year by inviting two women filmmakers (out of 19) to the competition, opening the festival with Emmanuelle Bercot’s French drama Standing Tall and giving a honorary Palme d’Or to auteur Agnes Varda.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, founded by the Oscar winning actress, said last September that a study of 120 films distributed globally from 2010 to 2013 found that 23 per cent featured female protagonists, while 31 per cent of the speaking characters were women, and 8 per cent had female directors. Richter said: “We put on the dress and make an effort to be formal and festive, but to demand heels is not right.” Cannes’s red-carpet screenings are by invitation only. To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here. Published guidelines are hard to come by, but it is generally understood that men must wear black tie with black shoes and women must be elegantly dressed with smart footwear. Ironically, Carol, the film to which the flat-wearing guests were allegedly denied entry, is perhaps the film in competition at Cannes with the strongest feminist message.

Following a divorce with Turner in 2001, Fonda charged back into the acting spotlight, appearing in “Monster-in-Law” alongside Jennifer Lopez, and with Lindsay Lohan in 2007’s “Georgia Rule”. Based on the book by Patricia Highsmith (herself an avid fan of loafers), it tells the story of a young shop assistant, played by Rooney Mara, who embarks on an affair with a married older woman. From “Mean Streets” to “Bad Lieutenant” to “Reservoir Dogs”, Harvey Keitel has been one of America’s favorite hard-boiled tough guys in some of its most revered cult classics.

Outside the Palais, 20-year-old Tami was one of many film fans hopeful of being given a spare ticket to the Tuesday-night premiere by a charitable delegate. She was carrying her high heels in a plastic bag. “It says on your ticket that you have to be smartly dressed,” she said. “For women that means high heels. It was Martin Scorsese that first nurtured his talent, casting him in his first film, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” before giving him the starring role in his breakout film “Mean Streets”. Despite four decades of work with many acclaimed directors, Keitel has rarely been awarded for his work, garnering only one Oscar nomination — for best supporting actor in 1991’s “Bugsy” — though he did pick up an Australian acting gong for his part in the 1993 Cannes winner “The Piano”. But film buffs will always associate him most with the evil and deranged addict in Abel Ferrara’s bleak 1992 film “Bad Lieutenant”, a film that demonstrated Keitel’s willingness to take on the most challenging and unlikeable roles.

In recent years, Keitel has found a new outlet through arthouse favorite Wes Anderson, who has cast him in radically different roles for “Moonrise Kingdom” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Do you ever talk to fellow Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club) and together wonder when, as busy as you are in Hollywood, you will ever get back to Montreal to make a French-language movie?

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