Cannes organizers deny flat shoe ban

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cannes Reportedly Turned Women Away for Not Wearing Heels.

On the same weekend that actress Salma Hayek called on those attending the Cannes Film Festival in France to take a step forward for gender equality in film, organizers allegedly banned women from the red carpet for not wearing high heels.The nightmarish Mexican drug war is such an anarchic thing, multifaceted and shape-shifting, that it’s unlikely that any one film could fairly sum it up.

On May 12, The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) and the national American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Women’s Rights Project sent letters “asking federal and state civil rights agencies to investigate the systemic failure to hire women directors at all levels of the film and television industry.” Then, on Sunday night, several women were denied entry to the premiere of Todd Haynes’s film “Carol,” for wearing flats instead of heels, reported Screen magazine. The film festival’s organizers declined to comment to Screen on the matter. “I do know that the organizers [at Cannes] were kind of denying the rule [about high heels], but this taps into a larger conversation that’s happening about women in Hollywood in general,” says Kay Steiger, senior editor for Think Progress, a product of the Center for American Progress based in Washington, D.C. in an interview. It’s bulls***.” Women shouldn’t feel like they need a doctor’s note to wear shoes that don’t make them want to chop off their feet in agony by the end of the night.

There are indeed many moments in Sicario that are deeply effective, Villeneuve showing off his abundant talent for building a sense of dread and foreboding. She is also known for her choice of mile-high heels while participating in exhibition matches which require hours of standing, but says she would not appreciate those heels being mandatory, rather than a personal fashion choice. I like the look of high heels as well as anyone who has grown up in our culture, but just because they look cool doesn’t justify making women imperil their health by wearing them. The script, by Sons of Anarchy actor Taylor Sheridan, is full of guys doling out straight-talk exposition to Emily Blunt’s character, Kate, a principled F.B.I. agent ushered into a world of largely off-the-books policing. Polgar was also very outspoken about gender equality on Twitter after British Grandmaster Nigel Short’s blog post in which he claimed that the brains of men and women are ‘hard-wired’ differently, giving males an advantage at chess.

The tenor of most of the talk is that playing by the rules isn’t getting anything done, that in some ways you have to get on the cartels’ level to make any impact. It reminds me the type of double standard women have to endure in many male dominated fields including in chess,” Polgar wrote in an email response. “It certainly sends a very wrong message to girls. He swaggers around telling Kate (and us) what’s what with the cocky, tough-guy condescension so beloved of Hollywood screenwriters. (“Welcome to Juárez,” one rough customer says to Kate as they’re driving into the city. Such policies should certainly not be mandatory, but should be ones choice.” Getting Hollywood to change its gender-biased ways may be even harder than convincing men that women can rival them in chess, according to Steiger who adds, “Hollywood is such a behemoth.

Thanks, but I’m pretty sure she can read the road signs.) In these scenes Sicario is not being quite as smart or authoritative or cool as it thinks it is; there are too many clichés clunking around and messing up all of Villeneuve’s exquisitely pretty pictures. The film’s big set piece is a nighttime raid on a border tunnel, and is told partly in night-vision and a grayscale kind of thermal vision, adding an extra dose of surreality to a mission that’s already a harrowing descent into a tunnel in the middle of the desert. There are plenty of more traditional visual marvels, too. (The cinematography was done by the peerless Roger Deakins, who also did stunning work in Villeneuve’s Prisoners.) In that raid scene, we see the raiders silhouetted against a vibrant blue and orange sky, the sun setting on the world so darkness can reign.

There are moments like this one in Sicario when Villeneuve has staged something so beautifully that you find yourself yearning for the artier, more thoughtful thriller he could have made had he had a sharper script. After Kate makes a gruesome discovery while working a kidnapping case, she’s assigned to a joint task force bent on disrupting the cartels, alongside Matt and a mysterious figure named Alejandro. He’s played by Benicio Del Toro, who explored similar territory in greater depth in Steven Soderbergh’s sprawling, smashing drug trade drama, Traffic.

It’s apparent that Alejandro, while entirely useful to the U.S. government, has some unsavory allegiances, a conflict of interest that the film could have used to shine a light on the grayer areas of this whole mess. Instead, it turns him into a relentless killing machine hell-bent on revenge, more suited to the Taken movies than what I think is meant to be a somber, sober look at a serious sociopolitical issue.

In one scene, a male co-worker jokingly lectures her about her appearance, urging her to clean up her eyebrows (they’re plenty clean) and get some new clothes. I suppose this could be read as some kind of comment on women’s marginalized role in law enforcement—there’s a lot of dick-swinging going on all around her—but the film never really editorializes on that.

She plays Kate with a mix of disgust and curiosity—she’s repulsed by these blunt-force methods, but also undeniably intrigued by the results they yield. Villeneuve chose good people to work with—among them Blunt, Deakins, and Jóhann Jóhannsson, who composed Sicario’s rumbling, evocative score—and he has a wonderful knack for balancing eye-popping technical flourishes with more organic texture and mood. And it could have worked with Sicario—this is, after all, a massive, far-reaching tragedy we’re talking about, a war that has killed tens of thousands of people since it began. But Villeneuve doesn’t seem all that interested in actually investigating the situation—a side plot about a Mexican family swept up in the conflict feels tacked-on, a hasty, “Oh, right, there are innocent people involved in all this; humanity, blah blah,” before the film returns to its stylish appreciation of violence-adept men who live in the moral shadows—while a naïve woman scolds them for it. (The poor family is revisited in the final scene, which bears a slight resemblance to the final scene of Traffic—hopefully more homage than unconscious rip.) Sicario is a wonder to look at and listen to, full of ominous beauty.

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