Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

That sexism row bubbles on.

Not that you care, it was actually bleeding raining this morning. The sun has, however, now grudgingly come out to turn all pale-faced northern journalists an unpleasant shade of lobster pink. Today, we are looking forward to Sundance hit Beasts …

Fri, May 18, 2012, 12:49

   

Not that you care, it was actually bleeding raining this morning. The sun has, however, now grudgingly come out to turn all pale-faced northern journalists an unpleasant shade of lobster pink. Today, we are looking forward to Sundance hit Beasts of the Southern Wild and Cristian Mungiu’s intriguing sounding Beyond the Hills. I’ve just been to the press conference for Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise: Love , which was a great deal more light-hearted than the film. This morning’s film was Reality, the latest from Matteo Garrone. Fans of that director’s Gomorrah should prepare themselves for a shift in gear. The new picture is a serious comedy concerning a Neopolitan fish-monger who ends up on Big Brother. A full review will land here later. But I will say that I found it a mildly distracting minor work. If the jury want to generate copy they may well hand the best actor prize to the lead Aniello Arena. He would, however, be unlikely to attend. The actor has been in prison for 20 years and was only let out on a daily basis to make the film.

Some stepladders yesterday.

There is still a deal of chatter about the absence of women from the main competition. If the standard was at its highest then this would not be such an issue. But the inclusion of the distinctly ho-hum After the Battle just causes us to ask the question more forcefully.

Andrea Arnold, director of Fish Tank and Red Road, is, in my experience, not one to mince her words. Ms Arnold, a member of this year’s jury, came out fighting at a press conference. ”I would absolutely hate it if my film was selected because I was a woman,”she said. “I would only want my film to be selected for the right reasons and not out of charity because I’m female. I would say it’s true the world over in the world of film. There’s just not that many film directors. I guess Cannes is a small pocket that represents how it is out in the world.”

It’s an odd one. There were no woman directors in the 2010 event. But, last year, the organisers managed to dig up four pictures by people of that gender.

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