in No way jaded, still excited: the Festival de Cannes is always a “new adventure” for the Dardenne brothers, whose last film The Young Ahmed will be in competition this year. Already awarded two Palmes d’or for Rosetta (1999) and The Child (2005), the belgian brothers are well aware that the bar is very high for a third Palm that no director has never obtained. “It starts with a heavy handicap,” laughs Jean-Pierre Dardenne during an interview with AFP.
For a film, “Cannes may be an amplifier or a Terminator,” explains Jean-Pierre Dardenne, stressing that a bad reception for journalists can be fatal. “Hoping that this is not the version of Terminator that we are going to live, Cannes can only be good for the film,” he adds.
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in this new opus, which offers a eighth selection to these veterans of the Croisette, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (born 1951 and 1954) were shot with very young non-professional actors. “It is a great pleasure to discover it for the first time a face that has never been filmed, to see it live on the screen. The boy of 12 and a half years and the girl of 13 and a half years have been great. It does not direct of very young adolescents, it is necessary to put an atmosphere around them that they feel what we seek. They have this special feeling,” says Luc Dardenne.
Without revealing anything of the movie that deals with islamist radicalisation of a teenager, Jean-Pierre Dardenne is happy to say: “It’s not a film about a theme, you make a movie about characters, it tells the story of a child”.
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On the controversial subject of the participation of films produced by Netflix in the festivals, the Dardenne brothers believe that Cannes can carry out this negotiation. “Berlin (The Berlinale) has not the weight, Venice does not have the weight to negotiate it,” says Luc Dardenne. After the edition 2017 where Netflix had presented two films in competition on the Croisette, Cannes has imposed the obligation to go out in the room to be in competition. For its part, the Venice film Festival gave its golden Lion in 2018 to Roma , distributed by the us platform.
“The Cannes film Festival can be a time when the issues with Netflix appear to be the most acute. The filmmakers produced by Netflix and who want to come to Cannes will also put pressure on Netflix. It will no doubt that the French laws are changing. I will have to find other windows, in another timeline,” says Luc Dardenne.
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“The american filmmakers want to show their film to Cannes. Cannes is a myth for them. With the arrival of Disney (which is going to launch its own streaming website, editor’s note) and other major platforms, Nexflix is going to have to think about it seriously,” adds the filmmaker, a supporter of an exit of three months in theaters before “any type of dissemination”.