Who will decide the fate of this year’s crop of movies in Cannes, under the supervision of our favorite friendly agitator Nanni Moretti? Some French actresses, a British filmmaker woman, an American director and, (a first) a fashion-designer–Jean-Paul Gaultier.
Hiam Abbas (Palestinian director and actress, you might have seen her in “Lemon Tree,” available for streaming online), Andrea Arnold (British director and scriptwriter, perhaps England’s most visible filmmaker; her “Fish Tank” and “Red Road” were extremely well-received around the world), Emmanuelle Devos (French actress, an habitué of the Cannes Festival and one of France’s most in-demand thespians, she’s appeared in many of the most talked-about projects to come out of France in the last twenty years), Diane Kruger (a German actress and one of the supporting actresses in “Inglourious Basterds”), Jean Paul Gaultier (French designer), Ewan McGregor (“Matchpoint”), Alexander Payne (American director, scriptwriter and producer; “The Descendants”) et Raoul Peck (Haitian director, scriptwriter and producer; Peck is the president of La Femis, France’s most prestigious film school, and he directed 2000’s “Lumumba” (I believe this is the first time that the competition selection will include a Haitian jury member).
So yes, you read right: Jean-Paul Gaultier, France’s wordly fashion designer, will be on this year’s Cannes jury. A bit far-fetched? Not according to festival director Thierry Frémeaux, who reminded people during a recent televised appearance in France that Gaultier has costume-designed for several films (“The Fifth Element” in 1997, Pedro Almodovar’s “Kika,” 1994); he made assurances that Gaultier is a major film buff, too, but more importantly that the designer has collaborated with many artists throughout his career, thus giving him an intimate understanding of them and their travails.
All these reasons, in addition to the fact that the man is such a talented artist himself, lend the “enfant terrible” cred and fabulous legitimacy.