Gilles Jacob’s passion for cinema is clear: throughout his career he has always placed art before commerce. At the helm of the Cannes Film Festival since 1977, you might say he’s a walking history book of the cinematic arts. Initially a film critic for French daily L’Express, Jacob was fired after he wrote a negative review. In 1968, he selected Andrzej Wajda’s “L’Homme de Marbre,” which had been censored in its home country. He is especially responsible for modernizing the Cannes Film Festival and transforming a seasoned institution into a media and market powerhouse. In 2001 he was named president of the Cannes Festival. Here’s our version of the Proust questionaire:
Ali Naderzad- Do you have a cult film?
Gilles Jacob- “The Rule of the Game,” by Jean Renoir.
AN- What is your greatest quality?
AN- Describe an ideal Saturday night.
AN- What would cause you great despair?
AN- What’s your biggest fear?
AN- What’s the best aspect of your profession?
GJ- Right now, I am listening to the entire recorded opus of “Kalliwoda” (Johann Wenzel, Prague 1801, Karlsruhe 1866), especially the chord quartet, and in particular the third Opus 90 scherzo in G major, although the adagio (attaca) of the 2nd is quite brilliant as well.
AN- What drives the dynamic between Thierry (Fremaux, Cannes’s Artistic Director) and yourself, professional courtesy or great friendship?
GJ- Friendship between us succeeded to professional courtesy, but courtesy affords us a chance to ask one another whenever we meet: how are you?