Cannes Film Festival 2021: Jodie Foster says films have long been deprived of a female perspective, Entertainment News
There’s never been a better time for women to enter the film industry, American superstar Jodie Foster said at the Cannes film festival on Wednesday, saying films have been deprived of female perspectives for too long.
Speaking to a large crowd of mostly young festival-goers in almost fluent French, she encouraged budding filmmakers to seek their own truth and not try to please others.
“Now is the time for women to enter the industry,” Foster said.
Although the industry’s male dominance has “not completely changed,” she said, “there is now a realization that it’s been too long since we’ve heard the stories told. by women… Now is the time”.
Foster was awarded the lifetime achievement on Tuesday for her work that has included starring roles in Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone as a child, to her Oscar-winning role in The Silence of the Lambs. She has also directed several films, including Money Monster with George Clooney and Julia Roberts.
“I know it’s a bit cliché to say ‘tell your own stories,'” Foster said. “But what I’m saying is: ask yourself questions about whether things are true and whether they resonate with you, rather than pleasing others, whether it’s the audience or the producers.”
– ‘Worst reason’ –
Foster said many young actors entered the film industry saying “I want to be looked at in my pretty clothes”, which she said was the “worst reason” for taking up the profession.
“For some people, it can take years, unfortunately, to shed that armor that separates you from on-screen authenticity,” she said.
Speaking from his own experience, Foster said that Pedro Almodovar – who presented him with his Palme d’honneur the day before – was “the first feminist director for me”.
“It was the first time I saw films that spoke about women in an authentic way,” she said of the legendary Spanish director, who put women at the center of several of his films.
Foster called Almodovar an exception among male directors who “can’t easily shift into a woman’s body and wonder what the complicated, complex experience of a woman is all about.”
– Male “Confusion” –
Referring to her experience as a director, she said there was still “confusion” in the male-dominated film industry about how women hold leadership positions.
“They don’t understand how women lead because they’ve never seen women lead,” she said of the male producers.
“They don’t know how to talk to women to convince them of something. They’re scared because they don’t know how to handle these situations.”
The Cannes festival raised eyebrows for including only four films by female directors in the list of 24 films vying for the Palme d’Or in the main competition.
The gender balance is less favorable to men in the festival’s other competition categories, and the main jury this year is mostly female, including American star Maggie Gyllenhaal, French-Canadian singer Mylène Farmer and French-Senegalese director Mati Diop.
Only one woman has won the Palme d’Or in 73 editions of the festival – Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993.
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