As they cheered and hooted, they were far more confident than the film actors on display, who seemed ill at ease when they stepped from their cars, like celebrity criminals ferried to a mass trial by jury at the Palais, a full-scale cultural Nuremberg furnished with film clips of the atrocities they had helped to commit.
– JG Ballard in Super Cannes
Cannes is the ultimate cinematic event – a “monastic institution” in Bazin’s words – insofar as it effectively accommodates the eccentricities of art cinema and the universalism of profit in one cumbersome experience. Here, in one of stronghold of the xenophobic nationalist right, the clergy of world cinema gathers to deliberate on the poetic meaning and financial value of cinema. Cannes is to cinema as the Mecca is to Islam, Lourdes to Christianity; a sanctuary of illusions so convincing as to make the world go round.
Firmly committed to the discovery of new talents, Cannes suffers nonetheless from an acute form of ‘red carpet syndrome’, whereby the attention of a gossip-starved press is all focused on those few square meters of red-carpeted stairs, where men turns into stars and women into erotic capital. In the age of cultural retro-mania and perpetual celebration of past achievements, Nisimazine keeps looking at the present of cinema as its primary source of inspiration. There, where the photographers’ flashes don’t seem to reach, we, for the past six years, have been finding the most uncompromising voices of young cinema.
To a midnight in Paris we prefer a high noon of unexpected grace, we follow the trail of creativity for the one of gold leads to an Eldorado of spiritual misery that is in fact melting in front of our very own eyes. Even if uncertainty, inside and outside the cinema industry, seems to be the only certainty we are left with, we look at the films of today firmly convinced that the future remains unwritten. When we look away from the red carpet is not out of envy, but is because we know that the lifeblood of cinema is elsewhere, in a rousing place where red stands for desire not fame.
by Celluloid Liberation Front