Although not as publicized as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Awards, some might say that if it were presented in English and focused only on mainstream box office hits, the Palme d’Or might be more internationally known than the golden Oscar statuette.

On the other side of things, the Old Hollywood glitz and glamour has slowly been replaced by marketing obsessed corporation that wouldn’t know Scorsese from Eastwood if it shot them in the face. How glamorous can one be when photographed in front of a Kodak and Network banner.

Film festivals are a dime a dozen. Seems as if the only innovative way to put your town’s name on the map over the past two decades has been to associate it with a festival. Even if founded on good intentions and true appreciation of the art form. As they say, everyone has their price which is eventually exposed when met by financial incentives. Therefore, when it comes to specifically art forms, respect should only be given when consistent artistic predominance maintains for decades. Cannes International Film Festival, founded in 1946, is still considered the world’s most prestigious film festival. And of course, still invitation only.

One might say that their committee goes hand in hand with old money high society which puts them in a position to be at ease with living for the arts without painfully selling-out. Some might even say that if it weren’t for finance, the Oscars would be holding the most prestigious award title. Well think again, not all of us sells out. True patrons of the Arts would never consider selling out to multinationals for the sake of survival by embracing donations with strings attached. The Cannes organization actually was financially unable to host their event in 1948-1950. As the true art connoisseurs that they are, there wasno festival held these years.

As for the Academy Awards, they could have made that wise decision on more than one occasion, a certain number of years. They have been hosting their ceremonies since 1929. Marcus Loew, a sharp entrepreneur, founder of Metro-Goldyn-Meyer, would have himself pulled the plug certain years. Based on Hollywood Folklore (which is now known as “based on a true story”), he is known to roll in his grave the full moon night before Oscar night.

Bref, back to Cannes’ Festival. This year, the guest of honour is Marilyn Monroe. Which is surprising for two reasons. First: she as a woman known for her beauty and sensuality, an icon and a money-making symbol of anything you want her to be. She is mostly associated with superficiality and marketability. Secondly, ironically enough, this years nominated directors are all males. Twenty two of them.

Let’s not come to the widespread common conclusion and shout sexism. If only 7% of directors are women and approximately 3 to 5 thousands movies are released each year, from that number alone less than 5% are good enough to make it to Cannes or any reputable film festival. You do not need to have attended and pass an advance calculus class to understand that one should not accuse the committee of bigotry without logical research and evaluation.

I am of course for us all living in a utopic Martin Luther Kingesque world, but certain accusations should be used when legitimate, valid and/or relevant. Also, understand that not even my children’s children will see the light of that day in which bigotry and discrimination is absent. Until then…

Dream a little dream …

Above that, the nerves of the ones basing their outrage on the fact that Madonna and Angelina Jolie film’s were not selected. I far from dislike them and appreciate the transitions that they took with age. However, nominations should not be given out to people based on anything but talent, for the sake of meeting statistics and preventing possible public outrage.

What most people, fail to understand is that good enough or great does not equal epic or classic. By nowadays standards, good enough dancers become great pop stars, which is of course is synonymous with outstanding singers and musicians. From there, the ones that started as a good enough dancers became respectable actors and then of course, legendary film directors.

In conclusion, I am proud to say that the Cannes committee did not concede to public irrational outburst and anticipated controversy.

On another note, a moment that I embrace this year is the acknowledgement of Xavier Dolan’s third movie: Laurence Anyways. This will be his third visit to Cannes, each for each of his movies. Despite the pre anticipated critics pertaining to favouritism, Cannes’ committee, once again, made decisions based on what they believed in and not based on public opinion or corporate directive. J’ai tue ma mere, his first movie of his unofficial trilogy, although critically acclaimed, is far from being on my favourite movie list of any kind. However, I did understand and appreciate the overload of visual feasts mixed with an eclectic yet esoteric choice of musical arrangement. Les Amours Imaginaires, which I saw a couple of dozen times, strangely validated feelings that we all hopefully felt towards another person at one point in our life, and it made me discover songs such as Exactement and Pass this on, which I surprisingly feel in love with. Now, as for Laurence Anyways, I am impatiently awaiting its grand opening on July 18th. This film is approaching the subject of, of course, love. More specifically impossible love between a man and a woman, after he decided to undergo a sex change operation. Whether you are a true, unrestricted true freedom seeker or not …

Dream a little dream …

Funny how the subject of love lead to another subject that is dear to our hearts, or should be dear to our hearts: freedom. When you really think about it, isn’t it contradictory when a country kills millions of people for the sake of freedom and democracy, but yet cannot seem to contemplate the idea of same-sex couples uniting, in a civil ceremony. Remember separation of state and church?

I hear you the ones out there, warming up your fingers, impatiently getting ready to send me a comment, educating me about the fact that same-sex marriage, although illegal at the federal level, is legal in certain states: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and Washington D.C.

Once again, still not recognized federally. Therefore, if this issue is dear to your heart, important for your freedom, then keep on fighting.

Dream a little dream …

In the meantime, for those living in countries in which same-sex unions are illegal and the suspicion of one being homosexual is not only an automatic trial-free death sentence but also a scarlet letter on your family. One way to bypass that agonizing death sentence might be to choose to undergo a complex transgender operation. One might think that a country that is against same-sex union and relationships should not even consider the option to facilitate such surgeries. Think again. Guess which country, after Thailand, ranks number two when it comes to sex reassignment surgery?

a South American Country (Land of …. name any)?

No.

the United States of America (Land of the Free, Home of the Brave)?

No.

Canada ( Land of free Health Care)?

No.

The Netherlands (Land of open-mindness)?

No.

It is good old Islamic State Iran. Supremely lead by Ali Khamenei through Mahmoud “the are no gays in my country” Ahmadinejad.

While you are trying to get off the floor, you might want to stay down as you finish reading the following. This Persian Republic also provide financial assistance for the surgery. Up to 50% of the cost, as the rest would be up to Allah to provide. In order to keep with synchronicities, I am taking this opportunity to recommend a festival-worthy film, Be Like Others which subject is transsexuals in Iran.

Dream a little dream ….

On our side of the ocean (or oceans, depending which direction one decides to follow), President Obama, which has been indirectly avoiding the same-sex union issue back from his pre oval office days, has recently openly declared his support for same-sex unions. The ones which were against the Obama administration have yet another reason not to vote for him. The ones that were initially for the Obama doctrine, then progressively realized that promises were not kept as admiration was being replaced by skepticism, understand that this is a politically driven and not socially driven statement. Lastly, for those out there that have not yet realized it, Obama might just be like the others: same difference as I like to say. Or shall we now say: Be Like Others.

Dream a little dream …

Dreamt a little dream …

Above is pictured Xavier Dolan, twenty-three year old director from Montreal, Canada, posing for Vogue Uomo Italia, in the July-August 2011 issue.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

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