The Cannes Film Festival enters its final stretch. While the countdown begins for the tradition of the most prestigious Palme d’Or on Saturday, May 27, the end of the festival is marked by the presence on the red carpet of two “regulars” of the “Croisette” who came to attend. his new movies.
The German director Wim Wenders, who this year already presented the experimental documentary ‘Anselm’ in a special screening, received a welcome on Thursday in the preview of ‘perfect days’, a poetic story set in a Tokyo public toilet worker.
British Ken Loach, a veteran of the festival with two Palme d’Ors to his credit, also returns with ‘Old Ok’, in which a small town in the north of England sees its daily life disrupted by the arrival of Syrian immigrants.
French Catherine Breillat with ‘L’été dernier’, a transgressive love story between a woman and her 17-year-old stepson, and Alicia Rohrwacher, whose film ‘La Chimera’ follows a group of small-time traders in Etruria.
Finally, another event made sense on the “Croisette.” The visit of the exuberant American director, Quentin Tarantino, came to teach his fans about his films.
The meeting was organized two months after the publication of a book of film speculations, in which the director lists his projects as buffoonery. Quintino Tarentino, who is actually working for the tenth, indicated that this could be the end.
Quentin Tarantino Masterclass in Cannes, Thursday 25 May 2023. © David Rich
Tarantino and the film master class
By mid-afternoon on Thursday, a long line blocked MARMORA in front of the Théâtre de la Croisette. Fans from all over the world to attend the master class of the great master of his cinema, winner of the Palme d’Or 1994 with the film ‘Pulp Fiction’.
Acclaimed long after his arrival on the scene, the filmmaker shot a 35 mm screening of an unexpected film: “Rolling Thunder” (Legitimate Violence, 1977), an action film by the American director John Flynn, little known to the public, but appreciated. by Tarantino as “the best revenge movie of all time”.
After seven years in the prisons of Vietnam, Captain Charles Rane returns to his native Texas. Like a true hero’s greeting, he is offered a box full of cash and a beautiful red Cadillac. Unfortunately, of course, these small gifts attract the greed of the thugs, who kill the family for murder, and get their hands on the garbage disposal. Now, with a plastic arm with two hooks, a first-born and a half-human, and a half-robot, he embarks on a mission of revenge that ends up in Mexico City among a shower of corpses.
Taste kitsch and exasperation
“How many of you haven’t seen this movie before?” asks the director at the end of the film. Almost all hands go up. “There is a lot of customer satisfaction!”
With this film, Quentin Tarantino took a few risks, but all his potential is there: ultraviolence, kitsch taste and exasperation. “niakoués”, “japos”, women… They all have fun.
Once used in a movie, this kind of expletive even earned Quentin Tarantino some controversy. Director Spike Lee criticized him for repeatedly using the word “nigger” in his scripts, while defending director Morgan Freeman.
Quintinus Tarentinus in his master class. © William Lutz / Hart
But “‘Rolling Thunder'” also shows a love of individuality, a sharp and funny treatment of rhythm and lines that characterize Quentin Tarantino’s films.
“Why do I always end up crazy?” The beautiful blonde who accompanies the old man on his journey is looking for him when he discovers the cause of this fatal road. “Because they are the only ones left,” he replies.
Violence against “public voters”
This screening is an opportunity for the director to revisit the concept of violence, in some of the bloodiest films he is particularly fond of. In the book, he explains that his mother, a big cinephile, would go to the movies with her from an early age, and was often the only child in the room. For her, violence in the tents was not a problem, even for her little son, as far as understanding was concerned.
Tarantino believes that morals do not dictate the aesthetics of the film. The main thing is to “electrify the public”, as the American director Don Siegel used to say, he explains. “The violence that I doubt is what is done wrong, it is incompetence,” he says, if it “moves in the wrong direction,” it is because in it there is a detriment to the story of the film.
Nevertheless, the director promises that he has a moral limit in this field that he cannot cross: “To kill real animals in the film”, as “a lot has been done in the cinema of Europe and Asia”. “He owns insects,” he added, drawing laughter from the audience, who won his case.
Quentin Tarantini in his master class at Cannes. © William Lutz / Hart
“I don’t want to see real death. We’re here to pretend, so I can bear this force. We’re playing around, we’re children playing, not real blood and no one gets hurt,” he concludes.
The tenth movie dedicated to love cinema
In this class of masters, the director also gave preference to directors and works that had received little attention, or that were not considered to be of real importance, such as the choice of “Rolling Thunder”, the first film by the unknown John Flynn; whose assistant I was then.
Likewise, in his book, he expresses his love for Brian de Palma, his director in the eighties. “Everyone loves Spielberg and Scorsese, there was no question of joining the popular club, which is not my style! No one tried to defend them when some people really don’t like De Palma. Part of my love Beyond the fact that he is a great director, working from the ability to defend him, sometimes to let’s get the lashes.
Quentin Tarantino also said about the film overflowing with passion, referring to the most recent film, “Once upon a time … in Hollywood”, which was released in 2019. He said his main reason for making the film was to “revenge” Sharon Tate, the actress and Roman Polanski’s wife, who was brutally murdered by members of the “Manson Family” in the 1970s, imagining an alternative outcome of the tragedy.
Quentin Tarantini in his master class at Cannes. © Delphine Pincet
When asked about the new film in preparation, a new ode to the film whose protagonist will be a celluloid critic, Quentin Tarantino was much less talkative: “I don’t know what you guys can say until you’ve seen the film”… He then mocked the audience making the room laugh.
“I’m tempted to tell you about the character monologues now … But I’m not going to do it. But I’m not going, no, no. with fewer cameras.”
This tenth film is somewhat more anticipated since the director has stated several times that it could be his last. “Question to follow,” he concluded.