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Oscar Talk at Cannes: Von Trier Scandal, Tree of Life, Palme d'Or Contenders

by Anne Thompson
May 20, 2011 3:59 AM
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

As promised, Kris Tapley and I break our post-Oscar silence with a special Cannes edition of Oscar Talk with In Contention's London correspondent Guy Lodge. We cover the films in contention for the Palme d'Or, from Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, and censured filmmaker Lars von Trier's Melancholia, starring Kirsten Dunst, to Pedro Almodovar's divisive The Skin I Live In, starring Antonio Banderas. We also debate the Oscar chances of these films as well as Weinstein Co.'s The Artist, starring Jean Dujardin, and We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton. (IndieWIRE interviews von Trier --who says, “I will never do a press conference again.” So does A.P.)

[Photo of Antonio Banderas, Michael Barker and Pedro Almodovar by indieWIRE's Brian Brooks.]


  • Michael | May 20, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    Brian, with all due respect, I'm sure you were there defending Michael Richards and Mel Gibson, too.

    Most of us can separate the artist from the man. I think Woody Allen is one of the greatest filmmakers in history, but would I want him around my young daughter? (Yes, it IS objectionable to be romantically involved with a woman who has a young daughter and drop the mom for the daughter.)

    Is Mel Gibson a great actor and director? Yes. Would I want to break bread with the anti-semite? No.

    Great comedians can broach any subject but they still take into account the social mores we all live with. When Richards, LVT and Gibson cross that line, they deserve all the ridicule thrown their way.

  • Brian | May 20, 2011 7:46 AMReply

    Quoting Michael above:
    "There are social mores in this world and you can’t cross them."

    Says who?
    Says Nazis, Fascists, Communists, segregationists, tyrants and religious fundamentalists of all stripes. And our parents in the 1960s. What if we'd listened? We'd still be in Vietnam, for one thing. And still hiding unmarried pregnancies. And still going to back alley abortionists. And still banning interracial marriage and same-sex consensual lovemaking. Is that what you want?

    You also say:
    "Joking about the Jews and Hitler and Speer—and YES, there is some disagreement whether he was joking (check his past comments, DO some reporting)—is just not appropriate."
    So what? Lenny Bruce made a career (albeit brief) out of making jokes about things that were "just not appropriate." He was persecuted in his time and lionized afterward. You would have been on the side of those persecuting him, wouldn't you?

    When a director with a reputation as a provocateur gets punished for making rambling off-the-cuff remarks about a "sensitive" subject, there's something deeply wrong with our culture. What's next, a boycott of his films?

    People need to get over themselves.

  • Michael | May 20, 2011 4:58 AMReply

    Just because he was "trying" to be funny, Anne Thompson, doesn't mean he was funny. Michael Richards was "trying" to be funny, too.

    You are way off base on this.

    And extremely insensitive, which is shocking because you are so not like that.

    There are social mores in this world and you can't cross them. Joking about the Jews and Hitler and Speer -- and YES, there is some disagreement whether he was joking (check his past comments, DO some reporting) -- is just not approrpriate. Shock comedy does not play well, especially when there is no comedy.

    Rethink before you keep defending him.

  • Mark Johnson | May 20, 2011 4:25 AMReply

    I can't wait to see TofL. I can't believe that it won't be an Oscar contender. Disappointing to hear.

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