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CANNES 2002 Palmarès

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- Polanski. Poles. Politics....

Right after wining the Palme d´Or for The Pianist, Roman Polanski, ever the prodigal son, said «It is a great honour to represent Poland. This award is also for the many Polish people who worked as extras in the Ghetto scenes. This film would never have been made without them.» Polanski adopts a decidedly understated tone when he says, «I was inspired to make this film by my friend, Ian Berlingham who told me to read the book. I tried to avoid using a sort of universal music and looked for something private that could sustain the emotion. The images on the screen were eloquent enough. The same applies to the actors. This story is so stimulating that I didn´t have to construct a method.» Unfortunately, winning the Palme d´Or isn´t enough to get Polanski permission to return to the United States. The director denied the rumours circulating Cannes quite categorically.
Politics dominated the reactions of Elia Suleiman (the winner of the Jury Prize for Divine intervention), Michael Moore (winner of the 55th Anniversary Award for Bowling for Columbine) and Paul Laverty (best screenplay for Ken Loach´s Sweet Sixteen). The Palestinian thanked Moore, «without his help I´d never have finished my first film.» Although two of Suleiman´s films were made in the U.S. Suleiman was refused an American visa. «After September 11 I cannot return to the United States, my second home. Today paranoia reigns triumphant but I believe that cinema can go a long way to dampening it down.» Michael Moore hard some harsh words for President George Bush and promised to oppose him by means of his films although «I will invite him to see my film when it comes out in the US.» Paul Laverty had this to say, «I´m much more interested in listening to what ordinary people think and how they live than getting involved with politics.»
Olivier Gourmet, who beat the favourite Jack Nicholson to this year´s best actor Palme for Le Fils by the Dardenne brothers said: «I chose to play this part in a very serious way.» Speaking about his home country of Belgium, Gourmet added: «We have lots of different films, directors and worlds». Finland´s Kati Outinen, winner of the best actress Palme for The Man without a Past made a declaration of love to her director, Aki Kaurismaki. «He is the only director I ever say `Yes´ to before even reading the screenplay». Paul Thomas Anderson´s words were also full of love. The talented young American won for Punch-Drunk Love , «My next project will be a film with Emily Watson and then another with Emily Watson and then another, and another and always and still with Emily Watson.»

(Translated from Italian)

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