Will Smith, Pedro Almodovar open testy Cannes Film Festival

Ruben Ruiz
May 19, 2017

Anticipation is also high for Carol director Todd Haynes' new film Wonderstruck, starring Michelle Williams and Julianne Moore, in which two stories told 50 years apart intertwine in a mysterious way, and Bong Joon-ho's monster movie Okja, made for Netflix and starring Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton. The theaters trade organization has demanded that Netflixs two movies be removed from this years festival. The two Netflix films in question will be receiving a theatrical release in the U.S., but festival officials stated that "no agreement has been reached" to release the films in French cinemas and that the effort to reach one was made "in vain". [They] watch films they otherwise wouldn't have seen.

"All this doesn't mean I'm not open to or don't celebrate the new technologies. I do".

But Smith was among those not clapping and he disagreed with the Spanish director, revealing his kids are huge Netflix fans. So, for those that want to see what they have been missing, Netflix has a few previous Palme d'Or winners available to stream.

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The jury president of this year's Cannes Film Festival has announced he will only award cinema-released movies, which would exclude Netflix productions. This year, Turkish cinema does not appear in any of the sections, except one title: Şerif Gören's "Yol" will be screened in the' Cannes Classics' section, among 16 masterpieces selected from the 69 years of the festival.

The website - which has 100 million subscribers - hit back by saying the industry must embrace change, with CEO Reed Hastings blaming the French cinema establishment for "closing ranks" against it. Jury members Will Smith, from left, Jessica Chastain and Pedro Almodovar pose for photographers during the photo call for the Jury at the 70th worldwide film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 16, 20.

He added: "I personally don't perceive the Palme d'Or [should be] given to a film that is then not seen on the big screen". Many Netflix films had previously been refused entry, and festival officials previously advocated for the "discouraging" of Netflix's online distribution platform. "You really have to have the feeling of being humble and small compared to the big screen", he added. Besides the The Meyerowitz Stories later in May and Okja in June, Netflix will this month debut War Machine starring Brad Pitt, in December Bright starring Will Smith, and many more. "They said that movies would become obsolete after TV came out, but they still co-exist", he said. Festival programmers thought "they could get away with showing Netflix movies", he said. "The only thing, as we are talking about movie theatres, is that at a certain moment in the day, several times a day, the lights go out and we watch a film - together - and that's cinema". "In my home it has done nothing but broaden my children's cinematic global comprehension".

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