Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
Entertaiment | By Kelly Sanders

Cannes 2018: Cate Blanchett speaks about equality at 'gladiatorial' festival

Cannes 2018: Cate Blanchett speaks about equality at 'gladiatorial' festival

Before accepting the position of jury president, Blanchett said that she had laid out her own stipulations to Frémaux.

She vowed all measures - including the helpline - are in place to protect all women in the film industry.

Cannes' "dismal" record on female directors, and Saturday's red carpet protest, may generate the most heat in a festival packed with political hot potatoes - even if the launch of the new "Star Wars" spin-off, "Solo", should lighten the mix.

Another change implemented this year is that critics will no longer be seeing films before they premiere, but now at the same time, as a way for organisers to try minimise what they see as the negative impact social media can have on the buzz of a film at Cannes. "Not specifically. There are several women in competition but they are not there because of their gender, they are there for the quality of their work".

"But they're not there due to their gender", Blanchett said.

Jessica Chastain, an actress and regular attendee of the French Riviera festival, past year reflected on her time spent on the Cannes jury shortly after they selected Ruben Ostlund's The Square as the Palme d'Or victor. She admitted that she would want to see more women directors but the change can't happen overnight. "Do I expect and hope that's going to happen in the future?"

On the opening ceremony's carefully choreographed red carpet, one of the festival's numerous modifications this year - a ban on selfies - was broken by some attendees who attempted to take photographs with their phones.

Scorsese - whose film Taxi Driver had previously won the festival's top award, the Palme d'Or - was brought out to officially open the festival with Blanchett.

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DuVernay, the filmmaker of "Selma" and the Netflix documentary "13th", said that the power of movies is the ability to "speak to each other through cinema".

"It's so important that we are inclusive of the different ways in which we participate in film", said the director.

The dissident director made it clandestinely after being banned from making films for 20 years for his activism after the "stolen election" of 2009.

Blanchett bristled at a question about how Cannes, which celebrates women in stilettos and glamorous dresses, fits into notions about female equality.

Asked about the festival's emphasis on gorgeous actresses and red-carpet glamour-which seems incongruous with the current cultural reckoning-Blanchett said, "Being attractive doesn't preclude being intelligent".

As for her duties on the jury, she said that it would be impossible to actually select a movie as the best.

"It's very hard to sit in judgement of other artists. that is going to be the most challenging, most painful moment for all of us", said Blanchett.

The film is based on the experiences of a 10-year-old orphan named Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who moves in with his uncle Jonathan (Jack Black) in the titular abode, which is also home to supernatural curiosities such as hidden monsters, magic windows and rising spirits.

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