Close relationship with the Cannes Film Festival

Mrs. Perben, have you counted the number of times you’ve been to Cannes?

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Countless times for over 40 years. Luis Malles Pretty Baby is believed to date back to 1978. I was already here.

Do you have any special memories from an early visit?

In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg’s ET was shown, but an international soccer match was also shown on the same evening. Two-thirds of the cinema was filled with women, and men preferred television sports. After the last movie “Home, Home” by the alien, tears flowed in the cinema. It was a collective booth for crying. However: not only women, but also screaming men were among the few men in the cinema.

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Why did you come here even if you didn’t have a movie at first?

I have contracted with a large cosmetic company for six years. For me, the good thing about Cannes is that this festival brings together big American films and European films, an interesting mix. Of course there is a lot to offer here. But it is precisely this that attracts attention that helps the always-threatened cinema. Especially in these times of pandemic and flux.

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Does Ukraine’s war reduce enthusiasm for the festival?

The festival has become more political – just as the Berlinale has always been. This is good. I’m sure many are wondering if it should happen during these times. Ukrainian President Selinsky spoke at the opening, and so I think the festival should seize the opportunity to offer a platform on which bridges can be built across cinema, art and culture.

This year you are in competition with the entry of “Triangle of Sadness” which will be released in German cinemas in mid-October: Why was it attractive to act in a film where you always say the same three words?

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When you get an offer from director Robin Ostlund, don’t think twice. I was impressed by this careful observation of people in uncomfortable situations. Giving a character a resume with the three words “In the Clouds” was a challenge. I play a woman after a stroke and have to put all the feelings, all the questions, all the practical demands into these words.

Rolex watches, expensive jewelry, articles sponsored by fashion companies all appear in the film: Isn’t Cannes like a shipping company?

Naturally. You have to put up with this contradiction. Anyway, I keep asking myself questions: Do we really still need a movie in these times? Do you need a festival? But I’m not without vanity either. It’s good to be able to say: How nice to be here in Cannes with a film like this, after more than 50 years in this profession.

If the Berlinale had a male-dominated program like Cannes again this year, there would be a storm of indignation: Why not here?

When Julia Docorno became the second woman to win the festival last year, she thought the festival had woken up. But it continues as before. Maybe something will change when Iris Knoblauch takes over as president here next year. Right now, I’m pissed that we didn’t develop faster with this topic. I used to be an opponent of the stake. Now I think: without it can not. The pressure must continue.

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In a year that was the first after the big shutdown, I wore a signature dress: What did you come up with for the red carpet this year?

In 2021, she said “Plus Fort Ensemble,” Together we are stronger. Now we hope “Triangle of Sadness” makes a statement.

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