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Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

19 May 2017, 10:57 | Ross Houston

Almodovar and Smith's comments on Netflix at Cannes

Asghar Farhadi

Spanish director Pedro Almodovar is leading the jury charged with picking a victor among the 19 films vying for the coveted Palme d'Or top prize, on a panel that also includes Smith, "Interstellar" star Jessica Chastain, and Chinese actress Fan Bingbing.

The gathering on the southern French coast, where 19 films will be vying for the coveted Palme d'Or top prize and hundreds more will be screened, also comes with a higher security status than in previous years. Notably, as Variety reported in 2015, four USA movie theater chains refused to screen Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation because the film was to be released in theaters and on Netflix simultaneously, rather than abiding by the traditional 90-day delay for home debut.

Regarding the controversy over its limited screenings in theaters, which has brought about criticisms from the cinema industry, Sarandos said that Netflix is "not against movie theaters" and does not "mean to harm movie theaters", but rather, wishes to coexist with them. I do acknowledge them, but as long as I am alive, I will be fighting for one thing that I'm afraid the new generation is not aware of: the capacity for hypnosis of the large screen for a viewer.

"In my home, Netflix has been nothing but an absolute benefit".

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Cannes jury chief Pedro Almodovar fired a warning shot at streaming giant Netflix declaring that the film that wins the festival's top prize should be shown in cinemas. But a brewing storm over Netflix's place at the world's most prestigious film festival continued to steal the spotlight as Cannes rolled out the red carpet. For the first time, Cannes selected two Netflix releases - Bong Joon-ho's "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories" - for its Palme d'Or competition.

"They go to the movies twice a week and they watch Netflix", Smith said of his three children.

"I'm a bit nervous as we approach the premiere at Cannes", Bong said during a press event for the film in Seoul on Monday. Going forward, films will only qualify if they have a theatrical release in France (it's unclear whether those two titles will). The model dictates that movies must be released exclusively in movie theaters before they are made available at home. And now they get to find those artists and they get to look them up online and they make contact. While Cannes is one of the most recognizable names in film, numerous movies that compete (and win) at the festival are foreign, and thus do not generate the same viewership domestically as those that originate in the United States.

Others in the running for top honours include Happy End, another film set against the backdrop of the migrant crisis by Amour director Michael Haneke, who is seeking a record-breaking third Palme d'Or.



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