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Au revoir Cannes: Netflix confirms it is out of iconic film festival

“Theres a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully a..

"Theres a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival," Sarandos said. "Theyve set the tone; I dont think it would be good for us to be there."

The French film market has an unusual set of existing regulations which make Netflix's presence at the Cannes festival – a major fixture in the film calendar – a little complicated.

Existing regulations stipulate that films which are released in French cinemas cannot be released on non-theatrical platforms – such as Netflix – for 36 months after their theatrical window.

As a result, Neflix's original films – like many independent films – previously entered the festival without distribution.

But unlike most independent films, Netflix was not in Cannes explicitly seeking distribution; that side of its business model is taken care of by a suite of market-tailored global streaming platforms.

Instead, Netflix goes to Cannes – as it goes to the Emmys, Golden Globes and the Oscars – looking for glory.

But following complaints from French filmmakers after Netflix's splashy arrival at last year's Cannes Film Festival, the festival's artistic director Thierry Fremaux flagged that the rules would be changed.

The festival will now require that any film in competition at Cannes have French theatrical distribution.

The net effect of the two regulations in tandem is that any film Netflix wants to place in competition at the Cannes Film Festival would have to be held back from subscribers to the French Netflix service for three years.

The ruling will also indirectly affect independent films which have previously competed at Cannes and secured theatrical distribution; they would also be barred from competition.

In a curious tilt against modernisation, the festival has also banned this year the taking of "selfies" on the Cannes red carpet.

Netflix had planned to take five films to the festival: Jeremy Saulnier's Hold the Dark, Paul Greengrass's Norway, Alfonso Cuarón's Roma, Orson Welless The Other Side of the Wind, and Morgan Neville's documentary They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, about Welles.

Sarandos told Variety today those rules were "completely contrary to the spirit of any film festival in the world."

Reaction to the news in Hollywood was mixed, with some analysts disapproving of the anti-modernist approach of the festival, and others noting that Netflix was, despite its proclaimed support for film art, simply another corporate giant carving out is space.

The issue is likely to be one which causes ongoing friction as Netflix makes its presence known in the film distribution business.

For the last few years the streaming giant's business has been driven for the most part by sinking billions of dollars into original television content, including programs such as House of Cards, Stranger Things and The Crown.

That strategy has effectively pushed it to the centre of the global television business, though its multi-territory, day-and-date programming strategy is disruptive to the older, vertical distribution model which most US studios use.

More recently Netflix has invested in film, releasing more than 100 original feature films on the platform and disrupting the existing model of theatrical distribution and exhibition.

Netflix is a particular threat to exhibitors – that is, cinema owners – who were among the most vocal complainants in France when the profile of the streaming giant in Cannes began to rise.

Sarandos confirmed to Variety that he would not be attending the festival in May.

The streaming platform would still be able to screen films at the festival "out of competition" but Sarandos said there would be little point as they had been explicitly singled out.

"I dont think there would be any reason to go out of competition," he said. "The rule was implicitly about Netflix, and Thierry made it explicitly about Netflix when he announced the rule."

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Michael Idato

Michael Idato is a Senior Writer based in Los Angeles for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

More: Ben Affleck

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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