“There are too many films and many are alike”

“There are too many films and many are alike”

Faced with the worrying crisis in cinema attendance, some three hundred independent professionals in the sector – all trades combined – had signed, on May 17, 2022, a forum in The world expressly questioning the political choices of the National Center for Cinema and the Moving Image (CNC). This text, which worried about an ideological inflection of the institution, called for the holding of States General of French cinema. A day of assembly of the profession is planned, on October 6, at the Institute of the Arab world, in Paris, to push the public authorities to their concrete organization. Meeting with the producer Saïd Ben Saïd (André Téchiné, Paul Verhœven, Nadav Lapid, David Cronenberg…), one of the spearheads of this movement, to better understand the issues.

The report on the financing of French cinema submitted in 2018 by the then new director of the CNC, Dominique Boutonnat, immediately worried part of the profession. What do you blame him for?

It is a report which does not take into account the singularity of films by acting as if they were all the same and which advocates, in the name of a purely accounting conception of culture, the destruction of public action in terms of movie theater.

What has changed in CNC policy since then?

Let us remember first that the CNC does not distribute subsidies to film professionals but reinjects the money from the exploitation of films in French cinema in the form of automatic and selective support. This automatic support is proportional to the commercial success of the film, while selective support is granted to films with an artistic dimension but not necessarily meeting market criteria. It is this principle of equalization, which has proven itself for decades and which the whole world envies us, which is gradually being called into question by results, profitability and performance objectives.

Also read the column: Article reserved for our subscribers “The political choices of our institutions seriously weaken the cinema”

The marginalization of cinema in favor of the audiovisual sector in the CNC’s aid policy is an important element of your argument.

Dominique Boutonnat would like to merge the support and support mechanisms of the cinema with those of the audiovisual sector, based on the observation that the series have gradually filled the void left by a part of the cinema. The observation is not totally false, but it could not be more partial and biased. Cinema has become, with the disappearance of the studios, which only produce franchises, a craft producing prototypes: the films of Kelly Reichardt and Bennett Miller in America, those of Hong Sang-soo, Lee Chang-dong or Hamaguchi in Asia, Abdellatif Kechiche, Julia Ducournau or Alice Diop in France… The production of series is an industry. It is the reign of quantity. These are two radically different economic and artistic approaches.

You have 58.98% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

#films #alike

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button