25 October, 2020

The Cannes Smirk

Indian films missing in action at a world celebration, for the fifth time

The Cannes Smirk
The curtain has fallen on the many splendours of the 61st Festival de Cannes, hot focus of the mind, heart and wallet of world cinema for twelve days. Of nearly 1,700 films that arrived from some 60 countries for the festival's main categories, just 60 were chosen—nothing from India, for the fifth year running. Some Indian filmmakers smirked. Did Cannes matter when so many of them were laughing all the way to the Mercedes dealers? And that, in a single smirk, is the problem.

Thierry Fremaux, the all-powerful successor to Gilles Jacob, iconic head of Cannes these 30 years, told Outlook, "I have not seen anything from Indian mainstream that's good enough for Cannes since Devdas. Nor are we convinced by any other kind of cinema from India." Hmm. But first the good tidings.

The Cannes harvest was as good as ever: Steven Spielberg with the new Indiana Jones, Steven Soderbergh with Che, (Guevara), Woody Allen and Wim Wenders, Roman Polanski, Mike Tyson and Maradona by Kusturica. Plus Quentin...


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