Everything that could possibly offend you about this year’s Cannes Film Festival poster
Time to get those “offended” caps off the shelf, folks, because the official 2018 Cannes Film Festival poster is out and no doubt it’s about to cause an uproar of Biblical proportions. But before we dive in, first let’s turn our attention to last year’s “scandal”, involving Claudia Cardinale, her thin thighs, and (shock, horror) a hint of airbrushing.
Yes, despite the fact most movie covers and fashion industry photoshoots are airbrushed within an inch of their lives, social media was “up in arms” about the Cannes 2017 poster over accusations the archive image of Claudia Cardinale (The Pink Panther) had been retouched to make her thighs a little thinner.
Leading French publication Le Monde asked, “[I]s Claudia Cardinale not perfect enough? Apparently not . . . She has become skinny and even her feet have shrunk.” Not the feet! Newspaper Liberation chimed in with, “Claudia Cardinale dropped a dress size in one swirl.” Elsewhere, tweeters picked apart the poster like they were on the brink of unfurling an illuminati conspiracy.
A touch of airbrushing? On a heavily Photoshopped and edited image? What an unfathomable expression of sexism and misogyny*. It’s no surprise people were so offended. Well, aside from Cardinale herself who wasn’t bothered at all and said it was an “honor” to be included in the Canne’s 70th edition poster. But you know, aside from her, everyone was pissed.
The rage might’ve died down, but it’s about to bubble up again thanks to the release of the 71st Festival de Cannes poster, inspired by the work of Georges Pierre and taken from Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, in which an unhappily married man who is fired from his job decides to run away with an ex-girlfriend as she is chased down by hitmen.
The poster itself is the work of graphic designer Flore Maquin, who used pop culture as her influence. Nothing wrong so far, right? Wrong! If people can find fault in a smidge of airbrushing, they’ll find fault in an image crafted by Godard showing Jean-Paul Belmondo (A Woman Is a Woman) and Anna Karina (Alphaville) making out. Now’s time to put on that “offended” cap, because we’re about to look at the poster through the neggy-hued glasses of a grade A virtue-signaller.
First up is the choice of Godard. Godard is a man. A man with a peen. Therefore the image is drawn out from the male gaze. How are we supposed to reach gender parity in the filmmaking business when men are behind the camera? Only the choice of a female director’s work could’ve fixed this mess. Okay, so the women in Godard’s films were liberated and independent. And yes, they were never stock characters and had strong and worthy roles. Alright, and Karina’s character was kinda complex and headstrong. But . . . erm . . . where were we going with this again?
Ah yes, the power struggle. Just look at the way Karina recoils in disgust as Belmondo forces her into that kiss. It’s clear from the body language she’s being dominated in the same way women are dominated in a patriarchal society. Why Cannes chose such an image in the wake of the #MeToo movement is beyond us.
Then there are the outfits. Belmondo’s in a full suit, while Karina’s just in a tee. Erm, hello? Is this not a major representation of the societal pressures on women today, presenting the female character in a sexual manner while the man is free to cover up? Only a male director could create such an image – come on Tweeters, do your worst.
And now, why we’re all here – Cannes clearly hasn’t learned from its mistakes from last year. That airbrushing technique is on fleek. In other words, it’s been retouched (no doubt by a man’s instructions) in an insulting and unnecessary way to facilitate the idea that women are worthless unless they’ve been edited.
If the film industry ever wants to move forward in the fight for equality, the only logical next steps would be to ban airbrushing, ban male directors, and ban movies that represent the male gaze. Will we ever get there? Maybe one day. But until then, let’s stand together in solidarity and hold a red carpet black dress protest against the Cannes poster and everything it represents. See you in Versace, bitches.
*Editor’s note: Film Daily cannot be held accountable for the terrifying levels of sarcasm presented by its staff writers.