Monday, May 27, 2013

Why the Cannes Film Festival Doesn't Matter

The Cannes Film Festival was this past week.

I know, how could you have missed it?

Anyway, the top prize was given to a movie called Blue is the Warmest Color.

Right off the bat, any movie with a name that pretentious needs to be disqualified.  But, no, it's ponderous title must have signaled to the judges that it was indeed very deep.  I know that you should not judge a book by its cover or film by its title... but come on!

Of course it needed more than a horrible title in order to get noticed.  The movie is about lesbians.  Giving an award to a movie that portrays a homosexual lifestyle in a positive light is just the sort of brave statement the cultural elites needed to make in order to tell the world how open-minded they are.

Not only that, but it has a 12-minute-long graphic sex scene.  I've heard it described as "hardcore."  If this adjective is used in the technical sense (and I cannot tell from the articles I have read), then the film captures an actual, not simulated, sex act on camera.  Finally!  That's really what we needed!  A movie that obliterates the line between art and pornography.  How enlightened!

And finally, the sexual relationship is between an older woman and a 15-year-old girl.  This reminds me of the original script for the Vagina Monologues where a young girl talks about how she was plied with alcohol and forcibly seduced by an older woman.  But since it was a lesbian woman and not a straight man, it was portrayed in a positive light.  The character said, "If it was rape, then it was a good rape."

Now, I'm sure the acting is superb and the directing is top notch.  But a film is more than the sum of those parts.  If the visuals are vulgar and the theme is vile, then the attempt to cosmetically enhance something intrinsically ugly is doomed to failure.

But don't tell the judges at Cannes.  Let them bask in the warmth of their own self adulation as we plebes await their judgments as our arbiters of excellence.


  1. Urg, sums up my thoughts exactly. Seems it is not art unless it's explicitly sexual. And a sex scene between two women? It's probably against the law to object to that, you're marked for life if you dare utter a word against that.
    Of course if someone slipped "boom-chicka-wow-wow' onto the soundtrack everyone would be up in arms.
    And yet, a sexual scene is almost too easy to object to. If this had emphasized the warmth and trust between the two women, all the stuff lesbians are supposed to advocate, a hand on the shoulder, sitting arm in arm watching the sunrise, maybe a chaste kiss, it would be that much harder to honestly react to. By a 12-minute scene of "the good stuff" the producers and the Cannes people have tipped their hand as to where their interest really lies.
    I will say the title "Blue Is The Warmest Color" is in itself interesting, as it really doesn't give an indication of what the film is about. Is it about Amish quiltmaking? A boy coming of age in Alaska? An anime about a plucky mermaid princess? A sad Brazilian orphan who lives in a church? The possibilities are many.

  2. And looking at the beloved and Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, I also think of the poem he read, "Lovely Lady, Dressed In Blue, Teach me how to Pray..."