Bruno Dumont, a two-time Grand Jury Prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival, was back this year with Jeannette, The Childhood Of Joan Of Arc. The director, who last year was in Competition with Slack Bay, continues to evolve in his choices; this time not only delving into the origins of one of France’s most famous figures, but doing it in musical form.
Based on the novels by Charles Péguy, the Directors’ Fortnight title is set to electro-pop and is sold by Luxbox Films. It’s an avant-garde take on the future liberator of France’s youth.
In the video above, Dumont tells me that in looking for a subject for a musical he had to find “something quite simple, but well-known. At the same time, I chose something about Joan of Arc that’s not very well-known, her childhood. We all know how it ends, but what we don’t know is how it began.”
I asked the Cannes veteran how he considers the festival has evolved over the years. “The festival itself stays stable,” he says. “It’s more how the films are changing.”
This led to an inevitable — for this Cannes edition — discussion of how new media like Netflix is changing the landscape. “We see that it’s changing French cinema which is a bit old and based on an industry of following the windows system… But we see that today’s consumption of films is much more immediate.”
In terms of creativity, he says, “I see things, for example, on Netflix, that are very interesting… Even more interesting than in American cinema… You feel there’s really something very daring and that’s what speaks to me, whether I watch it on Netflix or in a cinema, I don’t care. It’s not a problem.”