There are only two days left until Cannes 2023 comes to a close, and much like yesterday, things have seemed a bit quiet. The movie on most everyone’s lips, at least if social media is any indicator, was Trần Anh Hùng’s period drama “The Pot au Feu,” a feature that, according to TheWrap’s Ben Croll in his review, “might very well be the most handsomely shot and soothingly felt serving of art house food porn ever brought to screen. It’s about to become your mother’s favorite film, and it’s an absolute delight.”
But before the screening started, as Variety reported, a demonstration in support of Indigenous land rights took place on the film’s red carpet. It was led by the directors and actors of “The Buriti Flower,” a film showing in Un Certain Regard directed by Portugal’s João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora. The group carried a banner saying, “Não ao Marco Temporal: The Future of Indigenous Lands in Brazil is Under Threat.”
The protest is aimed at a law limiting the constitutional rights of the Indigenous people to only the lands they own under a 1988 contract. The law would restrict their ability to protect their land from outside exploitation.
It Wouldn’t Be a Day at Cannes Without Some Controversy
We’ve seen our fair share of issues at this year’s fest, from the critiques of placing a Johnny Depp film in the opening night slot to a bomb threat. Now, as reported by Screen International, the Spanish language paper El País has published an open letter from director Victor Erice attempting to, as he claims, set the record straight after it was reported his film “Close Your Eyes” was not given a competition slot at the festival because it wasn’t ready in time.
“It’s not true to assert or insinuate that the committee could not see it finished until a few days ago, justifying it as the reason why it was not included in Competition. One may wonder that if the film was finished to be included in Cannes Premiere why was it then not ready to premiere in Competition?” Erice said in the letter.
Cannes’ response to Screen International’s original report was “The selection of Victor Erice’s film Close Your Eyes took place under the usual conditions of the selection process. The director was notified of the invitation of his film in Official Selection on April 12. From the beginning, the dialogue was ongoing between Thierry Frémaux and Christian Jeune and with the Spanish producer and the French distributor, and Thierry Frémaux also spoke directly to Victor Erice. The Festival de Cannes is surprised by the current comments made about the selection of the film because we are above all proud and happy to have welcomed Victor Erice’s ‘Close Your Eyes’ to our 76th edition.”
The First Round of Awards
While everyone waits for the Palme d’Or, the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight announced their winners. Spanish director Elena Martín Gimeno’s debut feature “Creatura” took home the Europa Cinema Label’s prize for Best European Film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gimeno co-wrote the screenplay with Clara Roquet and stars in the film about a presumably perfect couple who can’t have sex anymore. The European Cinema Label prize comes with distribution support, including additional promotion and marketing.
And, as Variety detailed, Pierre Creton’s “The Prince” won the SACD Prize, which is awarded by the French Writers’ Guild for the best French-language movie in the Directors Fortnight. The Palme d’Or prize will be revealed on Sunday during the final day of the festival.
Hong Sang-soo’s “In Our Day,” which won’t even premiere until Cannes’ closing night, was acquired by Cinema Guild on Thursday. A theatrical release is planned following its North American festival premiere later this year. The picture stars Kim Min-hee, Song Seon-mi, Gi Ju-bong and Ha Seong-guk and is a dramedy.
Mubi continues to snap things up at the festival. They’ve already nabbed Rodrigo Moreno’s “The Delinquents” as well as Felipe Gálvez’s Chilean Western “The Settlers.” Now they’re taking Aki Kaurismäki’s “Fallen Leaves.” The Finnish film premiered on Monday where TheWrap’s Steve Pond praised in his review its deadpan humor. The film will receive a theatrical release in the near future.