By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn April 23, 2009 at 2:13AM
Cannes prez Gilles Jacob thought long and hard about this one.
In his opening remarks while announcing the Cannes lineup this morning, festival president Gilles Jacob revealed that participating filmmakers would have a new opportunity to take advantage of the festival's website:
Since our new website has greater bandwidth, we would like to offer this platform to any of the films in the Official Selection that would like to make use of it, when comes the time of their theatre release. The idea is to present to the audience, and especially young audiences, the first 5 minutes of the film and not the usual typical trailer that extinguishes all desire. Was it Altman or Renoir, I forget, who said that the great artists are at their best in the first and last reel? Let’s hope that Internet users everywhere might drop their games and be tempted to rush to their nearest theatre to find out what happens next. Let’s hope so, for the sake of the artists. We make no distinction between their films. They are all there, somewhere, in the atmosphere that surrounds us all. They are all there and available, chemically, digitally, electronically, in binary, in VOD, virtually, we can feel them, they surround us. They are looking out for us. Let’s not abandon them.
"Drop their games"? Au contraire, Monsieur Jacobs. Surely you must have a higher opinion of the Internet if you are willing to offer it as a platform for the movies showcased in your festival. Of course, a begrudging acknowledgment of web audiences is probably the best one should expect from the mighty throne of the Cannes Film Festival. I say that with love, even if it's not mutual.