Before entering the sepulchral closed doors inhabited by personalities overflowing with humanity, such as Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, we watched men – and women – on the road, on foot, on buses and in limousines, in the Bronx and in the bayou, in traffic and in mud, in fog and snow, men grappling with their conscience, their unease with themselves and with others, searching for love or a better life, beyond the hills, until “la noche de enfrente”…
“And what if we just tried to be happy, if only to set an example?” concluded Jean-Louis Trintignant, citing Prévert.
This anniversary year also stood out through the come-back of great French filmmakers such as Alain Resnais, Leos Carax, Jacques Audiard, Raymond Depardon and the much-regretted Claude Miller, whose posthumous film Thérèse Desqueyroux marked the end of the Festival. Poetic, imaginative, unbridled, original, at once deep and light-hearted, our cinema displayed all of its uniqueness at Cannes – and throughout France – as shown by French audiences’ acclaim for Jacques Audiard’s De Rouille et d'Os. The awards given to the other selections of the Festival also illustrate this: Noémie Lvovsky, Gustave Kervern & Benoit Delépine, Rachid Djaidani, Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, Nabil Ayouch... What’s more, the presence of Bruno Podalydès, Gilles Bourdos, Sandrine Bonnaire, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, and Alice Winocour within these selections confirms the strength of the latest generation of filmmakers.
Finally, French cinema displayed its international openness as, aside from the Caméra d'Or film, all of the feature films awarded by the Official Selection are French co-productions supported by the CNC, whether Austrian, English, Danish, Italian, Romanian, or Mexican… And the CNC gave support to 49 among 56 movies in different sections of the Festival. Strengthened by its 120 films coproduced with 38 countries in 2011, French cinema is increasingly anchored in the cinema of a world without borders, while holding on to its strength and identity – as such openness and influences are precisely what grounds and sustains it.
I sincerely congratulate the award-winning filmmakers, as well as Gilles Jacob, Thierry Frémaux and all of their teams, for having offered us, yet again, the most magnificent of film festivals.
I would also like to thank Edouard Waintrop and Charles Tesson, general representatives of the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and of the Semaine Internationale de la Critique, as they have played a major role in this success, with all of their collaborators.
photo : screenshot of the cérémonie de clôture du 65e Festival de Cannes © CANAL +