What would the Cannes Film Festival be without its scandals? Whether they are behind the scenes, on the red carpet, at the show or during the ceremonies, scandals and other controversies are also the salt of this prestigious French festival.
So when they touch on a film that wins a precious sesame, they definitely have a completely different taste. Take a look at the Palme d’Or that caused a scandal at the Cannes Film Festival.
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Director Federico Fellini’s Italian-French film La Dolce Vita (released in France under the title La Douceur de vivre) had already caused a stir before its presentation at the 13th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in 1960.
A few months earlier, its screening in Italy had brought its director and lead actor Marcello Mastroianni boos, abuse and even spat on, as the film was deemed immoral by audiences and the Catholic Church.
Constructed in a sequence of episodes, La Dolce Vita follows the plight of gossip journalist Marcello Rubini during a week of social events in Rome. His performance in Cannes also evoked shocking reactions.
However, Federico Fellini’s film won the Palme d’Or from the jury chaired by Georges Simenon. Whistle award by the public during the closing ceremony.
If La Dolce Vita was panned by the Italian press, it was generally better received by French critics. If it caused a scandal at Cannes and when it was published for describing a society of wealth and depravity, today it is considered a classic of Italian cinema and a major film in his career. Federico Fellini.
Taxi Driver (1976)
In 1976, Martin Scorsese is 34 years old and presents a taxi driver in the competition. The film follows the wanderings of a Vietnam War veteran in New York, played by Robert De Niro, who has become a taxi driver. Along the way, he meets a young prostitute played by 13-year-old Jodie Foster.
The taxi driver’s extreme violence shakes the Croisette. Viewers boo the film, while others leave the session. “Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel were stuck in a hotel and barely got outJodie Foster recalls The Hollywood Reporter.
The filmmaker learns that the president of the jury, Tennessee Williams, hates the film. Persuaded to leave empty-handed, he returned to the United States to finish his next film, New York, New York. Finally, after much deliberation, the taxi driver accepts the Palme d’Or branch, much to the outrage of the outraged.
The feature film was a huge success upon its release, attracting 2,697,355 viewers in French cinemas. It received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
Under Satan’s Sun (1987)
Adapted from the 1926 novel of the same name by Georges Bernanos, Sous le soleil de Satan is Maurice Pialat’s ninth feature film. Starring Gerard Depardieu, Sandrine Bonner and Pialati himself, this film tells the story of Muschet’s descent into hell, a young girl torn by evil who suspects the presence of Satan within her. Father Donisani, in search of absolute purity, tries to bring him back to God.
Its themes clearly earned the film a radical following when it was screened at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival by the public and the press, who accused Maurice Pialat of betraying the novel.
First of all, critics see Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire as an ideal candidate for the Palme d’Or. However, the jury, chaired by Yves Montagne, unanimously awarded the prize to Pialati’s film.
At the closing ceremony, this coronation is whistled and hissed by the public. The answer, which has since become known, from Maurice Pialati, fist raised, does not wait:
“I won’t lose my reputation: I’m especially happy for all the shouting and whistling you give me this evening. And if you don’t like me, I can tell you I don’t like you either.”.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino’s cult film, Pulp Fiction, however, was not well received by everyone at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. After gaining exposure thanks to Reservoir Dogs , the great filmmaker was awaited with a second feature-length shot.
Bruce Willis, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction tells the bloody and burlesque odyssey of petty thugs through the Hollywood jungle through three intertwining stories. Since becoming a great cinema classic, this film confirmed Tarantino’s talent and highlighted his innovative, colorful and violent style.
And it is surprising that the jury of the 47th edition, chaired by Clint Eastwood, gives the Palme d’Or to this outsider of the competition. If the majority of the public applauds, a dissenting voice is heard in the assembly.
A woman shouts:What nonsense, but what nonsense! Damn, damn“So what does Tarantino do in response? A hidden middle finger that shocked audiences and still gets people talking today.
Five years after Grave, her first film, Julia Ducournau presents Titane, selected for the 74th Cannes Film Festival in 2021. Through questions about the body and its multiple transformations, it tells the story of a serial killer – the stunning Agate Roussel – who, in order to escape the police, pretends to be a boy who disappeared ten years ago.
The scandal occurs not so much when the film receives the Palme d’Or, but after the official screening organized on July 13. Titan’s violence evokes many visceral reactions, such as discomfort, in some viewers. Reactions that lead firefighters to intervene at the Grand Théâtre Lumière.
On-site AlloCiné immortalized hot messages on video. “This movie should be banned“, the audience was outraged by our microphone.
The Palme d’Or given to the film is a revolution in the history of the Croisette. 28 years after Jane Campion, Julia Ducournau becomes the second woman to receive the top prize. First of all, this is the first time that a so-called “genre” work, so transgressive and flirting with horror, has been received with such respect.
Rose James is a Gossipify movie and series reviewer known for her in-depth analysis and unique perspective on the latest releases. With a background in film studies, she provides engaging and informative reviews, and keeps readers up to date with industry trends and emerging talents.