Of course, we all know what being “cancelled” means in the film industry. It’s a very real thing. If you have had a past with a clear sin, especially one which doesn’t conform to the standards of the P.C. and Woke brigade, then, even if you apologize or are innocent of the crime, you cannot be forgiven and your career will be “cancelled” in the process. This has bled into film festivals where now the likes of Toronto and Sundance are trying to attain gender and minority quotas when it comes to the film lineups they program.
Venice boss Alberta Barbera is someone that doesn’t seem to be adhering to this program. After all, the Venice Film Festival decided to include the latest films from accused rapists Roman Polanski and Nate Parker into their lineups this year. Outrage, of course, ensued from journalists, mostly American, calling for Barbera’s head.
An excellent example of this outrage towards Barbera can be found in a new piece titled "Completely Tone Deaf": How Venice Became the F-You Film Festival” which was written by THR’s Scott Roxborough , Tatiana Siegel
As you can imagine, writers Roxborough and Siegel are not very happy with Venice at the moment, mostly due to how “unwoke” the festival has become. An unnamed major A-list film festival head is even quoted in the article stated "maybe we should all be like Venice — just ignore everything you journalists and the PC media say with regard to gender equality and Netflix and do whatever we want and then sit back and hear how we are the best festival in the world.”
I will not speculate who may have stated the above quote, but I have my guesses.
I sent the THR write-up to Hollywood-Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells this morning. He then proceeded in writing a reaction-piece titled “Barbera With A Target On His Back.” In the piece, Wells decides to give his readers a blueprint on the post-MeToo selection process which is happening at most North American film festivals these days. It’s quite reasonable to assume that this is probably how it works:
“(a) program as many reasonably good films as possible that have been directed by women, POCs and gays, or otherwise programming with an eye towards p.c. quotas, (b) selecting as many “instructive” films with diverse subject matter as possible, and (c) not exactly frowning upon films directed by straight white males but being careful to limit their inclusion, depending upon the quality of their relationships with well-positioned progressives in the filmmaking and film-festival community.”
Does cinematic quality even matter to these festivals? Of course it does, but, at times, it maytake a slight backseat for the greater good of inclusivity.
Europe has been far less willing to adapt to American progressivsm, which has led to not just Venice but also the Cannes Film Festival getting heat from American and British-based journos for not being inclusive enough. American values in art may be best described by Berlin-based producer Janine Jackowiski (Toni Erdmann) who states in the Roxborough and Siegel article, “You can see how in America, if you don’t play by the rules, you’re out. Here in Europe, there’s still the idea of the ‘genius’ who is allowed to do anything and should be celebrated for it.”