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Cannes 2017

Here’s Why French Films Are Good For Your Media Diet

Hollywood might be the centre of the Western entertainment universe, but with the 2017 Cannes Film Festival just around the corner, it’s worth remembering that it takes all different kinds of creative sensibilities to make real movie magic. Or at least, that’s the thinking behind ‘Pitching French Films’, a new short in which the plots of existing masterpieces are vetoed by Hollywood producers for being too “out there”.

The storylines of modern classics such as ‘Blue Is The Warmest Colour’ and ‘Love’, as described by an aspiring French auteur, fall on deaf ears in the video. What the experiment showed is that even the very best French cinematic masterpieces wouldn’t have had a chance in Hollywood as they don’t fit the traditional formula.

Devised to make the notion of watching a French film more accessible to global audiences, ‘Pitching French Films’ also highlights the scarcity of diverse storytelling in modern pop culture.

This is especially telling in the segment relating to ‘Blue Is The Warmest Colour’, a coming of age tale which centres on the burgeoning relationship between two young women. “Could one of them be a guy?” The producer asks, unknowingly giving voice to the LGBTQ erasure all too common in mainstream entertainment. The same goes for ‘Love’, which explores the taboo subjects of ageing and death, and is dismissed in the clip as far too grim for American audiences.

“We are very excited by this campaign as we feel it conveys French cinema’s depth of scriptwriting in a fresh and humorous way. The intention is not to be, obviously, in competition with Hollywood but to broaden audience’s horizons. We’re eager to see how this film will help to promote French cinema in Singapore and abroad and attract larger, more diverse audiences,” said Anne-Garance Primel, Executive Director, Alliance Française de Singapour.

In addition to piquing the viewer’s curiosity with its humorous, truncated summaries of Palme D’Or-winning stories, the short film also presents a challenge to the entertainment industry in general; vive la difference!

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