Spike Lee mistakenly announces Cannes top honors early


Julia DuCournau’s “Titan”, a wild body-horror thriller featuring sex with a car and a surprisingly gentle heart, won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, making DuCournau the second woman to win the festival’s top honor. Became a filmmaker. 74 years of history.

The victory on Saturday was accidentally announced by jury president Spike Lee at the top of the finale, which was broadcast on the Canal+ in France, leading to moments of confusion. French filmmaker Ducornau did not take the stage to accept the award until a formal announcement was made at the end of the ceremony. But the initial sign was not diminished by her emotional response.

“I’m sorry, I keep shaking my head,” said DeCornau, holding her breath. “Is that true? Why am I speaking English now?”

Vincent Lindon, from left, directors Julia Ducornau, Agathe Roussel, Garance Marillier and Lais Salameh pose for photographers as they arrive at the premiere of the film ‘Titan’ at the 74th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, July 13, 2021 (AP)

After several false starts, Lee persuaded Sharon Stone to announce: “She’s not going to mess it up.” Problems began when Lee was asked to specify which prize would be awarded first. Instead, she announced the final prize of the evening, when fellow juror Mati Diop dropped her head in his hands and others rushed to stop her.

Bella Hadid covered breasts with golden lunge necklace at Cannes

Lee himself spent several moments with his head in his hands before apologizing for the evening taking too much suspense.

Decornau’s victory was a long-awaited victory. The only previous female filmmaker to win Cannes’ top honor – one of the most prestigious awards in cinema – was Jane Campion for “The Piano” in 1993. In recent years, Cannes’s frustration over gender equality has grown, including in 2018, when 82 women including Agnes Varda, Cate Blanchett and Salma Hayek protested gender inequality on the Cannes red carpet. Their numbers reflect films by female directors selected to compete for the Palme d’Or – 82, compared to 1,645 films directed by men. This year, four of the 24 films for the Palme were directed by women.

The 12-day red-carpet premiere at the Cannes finale, regular COVID-19 tests for many attendees and the first major film festival to be held since the pandemic began almost in its normal form. With less crowds in theaters and mandatory mask-wearing, Cannes went ahead with an ambitious slate of global cinema. Last year’s Cannes was completely canceled by the pandemic.

Jury President Spike Lee, center, poses for photographers at the awards ceremony and premiere of the closing film 'OSS 117: From Africa with Love' at the 74th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, July 17, 2021.  (AP photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Jury President Spike Lee, center, poses for photographers at the awards ceremony and premiere of the closing film ‘OSS 117: From Africa with Love’ at the 74th International Film Festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, July 17, 2021. (AP photo/Vadim Ghirda)

In 2019, Palme went to Bong Joon Ho’s “Parasite,” which later also took home best picture at the Academy Awards.

Others were spread across a slate of films that featured several prominent international filmmakers.

2021 Cannes Film Festival: Candice Swanepoel, Bella Hadid and other stars pose on the red carpet

The Grand Prix prize was a joint honor split between the Iranian drama “A Hero” and the Finnish director Juho Kuosmann’s “Apartment No. 6”.

Léos Carrax was awarded the Best Director award for “Annet”, the fictional musical that opened the festival. The award was accepted by the music duo Sparks, who wrote the film’s screenplay and music.

Nadav Lapid’s “Ahead’s Knee” won the Jury Prize, while Caleb Landry Jones won Best Actor. Renate Reinesway won Best Actress for “The Worst Person in the World” by Joachim Trier.

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The Croatian coming-of-age drama “Murina” by Antoneta Alamat Kuसीijanovic took the Camera d’Or award, a non-jury award, for best debut feature. Kusijanovic was absent from the ceremony after giving birth the day before.

Lee was the first black jury president in Cannes. His fellow jury members are: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Song Kang-ho, Tahar Rahim, Mati Diop, Jessica Hausner, Kleber Mendonca Filho and Mylene Farmer.

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