For the sixth time in the history of the Cannes Film Festival, the Jury explained their award choices to the press. Attending were Jury President Asia Argento, Shu Qi, Sharmila Tagore, Robin Wright Penn, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, James Gray, Hanif Kureishi and Lee Chang-dong. Highlights follow.
Isabelle Huppert on the awards:
It meant for me the possibility to reward an extraordinary film, on top of everything. Of course, it happens that I did two movies with Michael Haneke before. I think I always loved him as a director, and that's why I've worked with him before. And this love for his work, for his… how could I say? In a sense, for his humanity. In a sense, it's his humanity which takes strange paths, of course. Which makes it even more interesting, even more fascinating, because he goes so far into the human soul. And in this film again, in a different tone, in a different story, he manages to … To me, the movie is very philosophical, in a way. And his style, and his direction are totally ethical in my mind. That's what I wanted to reward. He keeps the perfect distance from his subject matter. He says very important things, but in a… As he says all the time, he doesn't deliver messages. He just shows things.
On how the Jury functioned:
Asia Argento: It was very democratic, in any case, and everybody spoke about the movies, and we all had time, and we listened to each other. And what I had hoped before starting to watch the movies was that maybe by hearing my fellow jury members ideas, I could change my mind about some movies, which really happened. So it was such a beautiful experience, and really a sharing experience of brains. I really loved it. Thank you so much, my fellow jury members.
James Gray : It's a tribute to Isabelle that there were not a series
of aesthetic criteria, and there was a very open discussion, a very frank
discussion, and no discord. I mean, I'm going to miss doing it, and it's
really due to Isabelle, that she didn't "set the rules," you know? We
felt free to talk.
Sharmila Tagore: I would endorse that. I would say that it was a
very democratic and free discussion, and we compared notes, and we
agreed, disagreed, but we always came to a consensus. We looked for
excellence, we looked for something that really moved us, we looked for
many other criteria, but on the whole, we looked for a totality, we
looked for a focus, and something that really touched us. And we reached
those ends by continuously discussing, and we met many times. And we
just continuously talked about the films that we saw. And it just
evolved, it just arrived at a conclusion.
Robin Wright Penn:
"There have been rumors circulating that we were fighting in the room. The beauty about loving each other, whether you're in a relationship, or you just meet someone you think could be a new friend… we could disagree, and we still love each other. I felt like we built a consensus amongst us, even though some of us didn't view the movies at the same time. It didn't matter. We'd come together, we'd have deliberations… It was the heat, and the discussion, and opening each others' minds, ultimately, which was the beauty of the love. It was so great to end and know that we're all friends. We got so much from each other. I learned so much from everybody. So, thank you.