Thursday, November 22, 2018

CANNES SANS WEINSTEIN

May 8, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

He used to be everywhere at Cannes. No one attending the world’s largest and most prestigious film festival could miss the rotund macher, who always seemed to sport a five-day (forget 5 o’clock) shadow on his chins. Harvey Weinstein came here carrying some of the most memorable independent Hollywood films produced in the last quarter century, selected repeatedly by the festival’s organizers for its renowned competition, including Pulp Fiction, which won the top prize, the Palme d’Or, in 1994. At a world festival where art usually trumps commerce, he demonstrated that Hollywood, too, can go head-to-head with the world’s most creative cineastes — and, at the same time, also earn both cachet and cash. He also doled out millions of dollars for films exhibited here that won acclaim with audiences and judges. But we now can be fairly certain that Weinstein, who, if he were an actor, could have been typecast as the stereotypical dirty old man, also came to Cannes to use his considerable power and reputation to force beautiful, aspiring actresses to have sex with him. Now, some of those women have lashed out at him, including a member of this year’s Cannes jury, French actress Lea Seydoux, who has accused Weinstein of assault. On the other hand, several veteran Cannes attendees have indicated that Weinstein’s behavior was not unique, that he was conducting himself the way powerful figures in the film industry have ever since they began ordering casting couches. But no more, the Festival asserted in a statement today (Tuesday). “No tolerance can be accepted for harassment and sexual violence,” it said, adding that it had set up a special hotline (33 0 4 92 99 80 09) to “help people who are victims of harassment or physical or moral aggression.” It has not indicated whether the line has begun ringing.