Thierry Frémaux: «Cinema is a poetry art»
One of the most renowned French cinephiles visited the Festival, not only to present his book, Official Selection, but also to remember the first steps of the cinematographic world and the festivals, to question the role of the critique and to distinguish between a cinematographic author and television products.
The multifaceted Cannes Festival General Delegate, Thierry Frémaux, was joined by director Daniel Burman in the presentation of his new book, in which he goes through a whole year of his life -from the end of one edition of a festival to the beginning of the next-. “It is a year in cinema but also a year in my own life”, says Frémaux. “The idea was to show how our world us, from those working in a little theater to press and stars”.
Names like Xavier Dolan, Bernardo Bertolucci, Quentin Tarantino, Wim Wenders and Jake Gyllenhaal appear on the autobiographical pages of Selección Oficial, a sort of personal diary registering the backstage of Frémaux’s personal life, from his confessions, sensations and general data about the organization of a festival to his visit to Argentina and his relationship with the critique. “People need a smart critique, a dialogue. We are not perfect and those who write about cinema aren't either”, he claimed.
Other topics addressed in the talk included the making of the film Lumière! L´Aventure commence, a colossal personal project devoted to rescuing the work of the fathers of cinema. “It is a film that aims at re-including the Lumières in history. I was in charge of the staging and the soundtrack, but it's not my film. It's a Lumière film”, he argued.
One of the climax points of the date was when Burman asked Frémaux about his opinion as regards the Netflix phenomenon. With a precise look about the differences between the big screen and the television format, Frémaux explained it's not a matter of separating the aforementioned platform and the theaters. Instead, the line must be drawn between those who stay in front of the television and those who go out and search for an experience. “It is as when I watch soccer at home. It's not the same as actually going to the stadium, cheering and singing with my friends and then go for a beer. There's a unique experience there”, he said.
But his position was even clearer when he mentioned the cases of those directors who premiered their productions on the platform. “In the case of films by Noah Baumbach or Bong Joon-ho, those are not ‘Netflix films’ those are their films. Netflix just bought them. Every film is a wish and a proposal by an artist”, Frémaux explained. “I struggle to protect authors. Cinema is a poetry art. Everything has an author, a signature. In series like Game of Thrones, who's the director?”, he asked.
To close the night, Frémaux commented that he is working on new literary projects: on the one hand, a book about judo. On the other hand, the writing of an essay approaching the idea of reinventing the relationship the French have with their past. We will be tuned, then, to the next emotions of this big fan of the cinematographic universe.