Cannes 2021 is a very loaded moment. The festival sticks obsessively and rightly to the idea that films should be seen in cinemas, and refused to go online for the 2020 screenings. That noble gesture wrecks a lot of releases, which were relying on the festival as a launchpad.
Six days ago, festival director Thierry Fremaux rewarded veteran journalist Eric Kohn with an email interview just before the list of official contenders was revealed. ‘Cannes supports cinema, and cinema requires theaters,’ he wrote. ‘We could have had a virtual festival, and we didn’t, because it would have trivialized the event. Cannes canceled in 2020. It was better to go down in history that way than with a few screenings on the internet to make people believe that we exist.’