Jane Campion: "We have to follow our instincts"
by Fabien Lemercier
- CANNES 2014: The chair of the Cannes competition jury and its jurors have given the press their vision of the event and their role in it
There was a huge media buzz on the Croisette this afternoon during the press conference for the competition jury of the 67th Cannes Festival. Chairwoman Jane Campion dealt with the Q&A session, accompanied by the eight other members of her jury: Sofia Coppola, Jeon Do-Yeon, Leila Hatami, Carole Bouquet, Nicolas Winding Refn, Gael Garcia Bernal, William Dafoe and Jia Zhangke.
What rules will you be adopting in terms of how the jury works and in making your decisions for the awards list?
Jane Campion: Each person has to take an individual responsibility. We will meet up three times to see what kinds of battles will take place at the end of the festival. As a director, awards are problematic for me because sometimes certain films that we love get nothing, whereas others are rewarded. But it’s a way of attracting attention to the films, so it’s a good thing regardless. It’s fascinating to see a film and to be able to grasp the world view it expresses, especially in the case of fairly uncompromising films. Cinema is a passion, and that’s what will be controlling our reactions. We can’t predict anything in advance, because each film is different. One could be delicate, while another could be wild and violent. These are always new feelings. As for the issue of the decision being made in accordance with market criteria and artistic aspects, it’s true that a film must be able to find its audience, but we’ve seen some difficult films that have been well received by audiences. So it’s hard to pre-empt anything – we have to follow our instincts.
You are the only woman to have won the Palme d'Or: what is your opinion of the importance of women in cinema?
Thierry Frémaux told us that a mere 7% of the 1,800 films that were put forward for selection this year were directed by women. That’s not especially democratic. Women are not represented widely enough in this profession or in the film industry as a whole. However, when they do manage to get behind the camera, they bring a different angle with them.
Nicolas Winding Refn: We all have a very broad, open point of view. We will be voting with our hearts and our consciences. We don’t have a specific plan, but Jane has asked us not to read any of the press. We’re not certain that we’ll make the right decisions, because it’s difficult to judge any art that hinges on emotions. We will follow our gut instincts. We might make a mistake, but it doesn’t really matter. And I’m sure that we will end up making the right decisions.
Jia Zhangke: At Cannes, it’s a bit like it is in In The Mood For Love – every day we fall in love with films.
Gael Garcia Bernal: We don’t have any questions that we need to ask ourselves; it’s just about having the pleasure of watching films. Essentially it’s a serious game, but a game nonetheless.