6:51 p.m., September 2, 2021, amended to 6:57 p.m., September 2, 2021
American cinema takes up residence in Normandy for ten days. On Friday, the Deauville Festival opens its doors for an eventful 47th edition. In addition to a selection of 13 feature films in competition (including the formidable Red Rocketby Sean Baker, and Blue Bayou, by Justin Chon, presented at Cannes), which will have to be decided by the jury chaired by Charlotte Gainsbourg, it will be necessary to take into account the prestigious previews (in particular Dune, by Denis Villeneuve), documentaries, the spotlight on six unreleased French films (which brings together authors such as Claude Lelouch, Yvan Attal, Christophe Honoré) and the partnership with the Cannes Film Festival in the presence of director Pierre Lescure and the delegate General Thierry Frémaux. This weekend, we expect Oliver Stone (Saturday) and Johnny Depp (Sunday). During the week, Michael Shannon and Dylan Penn, daughter of Sean, both honored this year in Deauville, will succeed them. As well as Jane Birkin, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Pio Marmaï, Denis Podalydès, Laurent Lafitte, Sandrine Bonnaire, Gérard Darmon, Kev Adams, Béatrice Dalle, Laure Calamy… “Something to delight the public”, assures Bruno Barde, the director, who returns on the highlights of the program.
Read also – Charlotte Gainsbourg, president of the Deauville jury: “I will seek the gaze of a director”
The results of a 2020 edition marked by the health crisis
“The best year I’ve had in Deauville, exceptional because of the Covid. A kind of state of grace, because we went through the drops: three days before the opening, when packing my bags, I I still didn’t know if the festival would indeed be held. The health situation was constantly changing! With Philippe Augier, the mayor, we believed in it from the start. But this sword of Damocles remained above our heads. In the end, on stage, there was Pierre Lescure, Thierry Frémaux and I, in the room, an audience happy to be there. All this led to a change in the face of the festival. We said to ourselves: why shouldn’t we open a window on French cinema?Because America and France have always looked at each other.
When I created the competition, I also decided that the jury would be French to observe the work of the Americans. The Michel d’Ornano Prize, composed of American journalists, rewards a French film. And when I crown Jacques Audiard or Olivier Assayas, I honor French directors who also work in the United States. This bridge between the two founding countries of the seventh art seems fair and interesting to me. Regarding the partnership with Cannes, we share with Thierry the same requirement, a desire to transmit our passion with pedagogy and generosity to the spectators who place their trust in us.”
Charlotte Gainsbourg is a complete and moving actress with a crazy talent
The return of Hollywood stars to the stage
“In total, there will be 55 films to see over ten days! It’s the festival for all Americans: studios, independents, platforms and documentaries. We’re celebrating the return of the majors with Universal, Disney and Warner, but also the presence of the Netflix streaming service and the HBO channel. 12 teams of feature films in competition will make the trip. Like Dylan Penn, Michael Shannon, Oliver Stone. Johnny Depp will create the event on Sunday, a star not like the others, mythical and disturbing. Although the United States health agency still lists France in the list of countries at health risk, I believe that people want to resume an artistic life. You have to live with the virus intelligently, by vaccinating and practicing barrier gestures. Moreover, the protocol will be radical in Deauville: pass and mask for everyone. But no gauge.
Competition takes the pulse of American society
“I watched 280 films instead of the usual 330, because of the Covid which slowed down or prevented certain filming, not to mention the feature films still not released for a year and a half. The theaters were closed for 162 days, it all shifted. The competition is very heterogeneous with almost all genres represented: fantasy, thriller, western, drama, comedy, even two stories about the world of pornography (Red Rocket, Pleasure). The independents resemble Europeans in their intellectual, literary, philosophical and social questioning. Faced with the virus, the climate crisis or the assault on Capitol Hill, we wonder about our behavior vis-à-vis these upheavals. Among the themes addressed are the quest for identity, the desire to change one’s life. Some candidates are also positioning themselves for the race for the Oscars.
Charlotte Gainsbourg, the president of the jury
“A complete and moving actress with crazy talent, who takes risks and impresses me with Wim Wenders and Lars von Trier. Musically, she takes after her father. She is brilliant, cash, sweet, simple. After Sandrine Kiberlain, Catherine Deneuve and Vanessa Paradis, not bad, right? I’ve been rolling out the red carpet for women for years for this post of president. Nicole Garcia, Charlotte Rampling, Carole Bouquet, Sophie Marceau, Emmanuelle Béart: I’ve had them all!”
47th Deauville American Film Festival, September 3-12. Reservations: www.festival-deauville.com