Thursday, May 13, 2010

Video: Burton at Cannes, and Press Conference

The official website of the Cannes Film Festival has even more Tim Burton-related material.

There are three videos with Tim Burton of varying length (and in English and French):

Jury Photocall

Jury Interview

Jury Press Conference

Here are a few chosen extracts from the press conference, led by this year's Jury President, Tim Burton:

Have you given the members of the jury any instructions?

Tim Burton: I would never do that. The whole point of being movie industry professionals is not to have preconceptions. I think we're going into the Festival with a certain kind of spirit of openness and hopefully compassion for any filmmaker. We are expecting to be surprised on this trip. What counts is to feel the films, to talk about them, to see how they touch us intellectually or emotionally. I am very eager to get started on this Festival. We are a group of people from different cultures and countries, and that’s what is so fascinating about it. Hopefully we’ll be able just to appreciate the films, and not behave like a bunch of bad-tempered, frustrated artists.

Is it more difficult to judge or be judged?

Tim Burton: We are going to be receptive to what we see, each of us with our own feelings. I don't know if we can be called judges. Being judged or being a judge, neither is easy. We’re always being judged. We will also be judged as members of the Jury. Actually, that may be the most difficult thing. We will try to do our best.

Benicio del Toro, how did you react when you were asked to be a member of the Jury?

Benicio del Toro: I got a call from Thierry Frémaux who asked me if I would be interested in being in the Jury. He told me who the President was: Tim Burton. I thought he was a good choice. Then they sent me a list of people who were being considered as members. There was a film maker I have been watching for some time: Victor Erice. I could not believe that he was on the list, and that’s what really persuaded me to accept the invitation. I have been a fan of his for years. Whenever I am in Spain, I drop his name everywhere, hoping that he’ll call me up, and here he is!

There are no female directors in the competition for the Palme d’Or. What do you think about that?

Tim Burton: I don't know how the selection was made. In my case, all through my career, at least half the people who have green-lighted my projects have been women. When you make a movie, whether you’re a man or a woman, and no matter what country you’re from, there is a kind of fellowship.

Shekhar Kapur: In fact, we are both man and woman at the same time, in ourselves. If you don’t have both, you cannot be an artist.

Victor Erice, how do you feel about being here in Cannes this year when there are a lot of independent auteur movies?

Victor Erice: The selection for the Cannes Festival has always been very balanced. The way I see it, any selection of films is like a two-sided mirror. One side represents our own time, and the other what the cinema of tomorrow might become. It is this contrast that makes any selection of any kind interesting.

There are two women and seven men in the jury? Are you going to give the women three votes each to compensate? And you, Kate Beckinsale and Giovanna Mezzogiorno, how are you going to survive up against so many men?

Kate Beckinsale: I’m used to it. There are always more men than women. I am a great fan of Giovanna’s. I am very happy to be here with her on the jury and I’m not scared of the men. It doesn’t bother me. I am happy to be in such good company.

Giovanna Mezzogiorno: I feel the same way. In general, this question of gender doesn’t interest me, counting how many men or women there are. When I hear this sort of question, I find it hard to understand. I say to myself, “Ah yes, it’s true”. And of course it is true, but it’s not important. What counts is that we don’t know each other. I don’t know anybody. This is what will be most interesting: discovering each other, getting to know each other. It’s about human beings, not gender.

Kate Beckinsale: I don’t think they’ll cramp our style...

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