Netflix has made a debut in Cannes first time ever, which did not come without controversy and much of a storm. Even though many critics hoped that the prestigious French movie festival would mostly focus actually on the movies, their hopes have been crashed so far. The first movie to present Netflix was Okja, a bilingual movie from Bong Joon-ho, which is basically a crazy comedy, depicting the genuine attitude of GMOs and their ethics.
The movie was financed and distributed by Netflix, and so the viewers got to watch the movie that begins with the company’s logo. At that time, the viewers had already started to boo. Once the movie began, there appeared another issue: the misaligned projection resulted in the faces of the actors that were barely seen. The public started to yell and shout, and the movie was stopped after a couple of minutes. Later, the problem was fixed and the movie was on the screen again.
After the debut in Cannes, the most prestigious movie festival, of Netflix’s “Okja,” the festival experienced quite a strong storm, caused by the controversy of this pick and the company’s attitude
Technical issues have become something inherent to the prestigious French festival, so there is nothing surprising at it. But considering that it coincided with the Netflix’s debut in Cannes, it just added more fuel into the fire. According to the rules of the festival, each movie should feature French theatrical distribution – and neither of the Netflix’s movies (the other movie is the Meyerowitz Stories of Noah Baumbach) have it. Is resulted in the counterblast of the owners of the French theater, who stated that, despite this exception, all other movies that will feature no French theatrical distribution will be banned from the participation in the festival.
The thing that made the things only worse was a statement made by Pedro Almodovar, a president of the competition jury, who attacked Netflix by saying that “the movies should be no smaller the chairs we sit on.” Expectedly enough, Bong Joon-ho defended Netflix at his press conference, saying that it was an amazing experience to work with the company and that Netflix even allocated a higher budget for his movie. At the same time, he attacked the president of the jury, though in quite an implicit way, saying that he will be “happy that Almodovar will also watch our premiere tonight.” Bong Joon-ho later added that “whatever he says, I am happy.”
Tilda Swinton, Okja’s star, also criticized him, stating that “it is the right of everyone to think what he or she thinks, but, basically, I believe that there is room for everyone here.” And even though a number of accidents took place, the movie’s premier was not as bad as many expected. Many critics remain in anticipation of the premiere of the Netflix’s other movie. It is expected, however, that the premiere of the other movie will be smoother.