veteran french politician Rosalyn Bachlot has taken an extraordinary potshot at the French film industry and state funding system in a candid memoir recounting its difficult tenure as Franceduring the culture minister of COVID-19 Epidemic.
entitled 682 Jour – Le bal des renegades ,682 Days – The Hypocrite Ball) The book is stirring controversy in France after its publication on Thursday for Bechelot’s outspoken criticism of the behavior of everyone from technocrats to small-town councilors to “stars on big salaries” during the health crisis.
In a section on the film industry, Bachelot questions the efficacy of France’s state funding mechanism for cinema, suggesting a driving principle of French cultural exclusion, resulting in a lack of interest for the general public.
“The famous ‘cultural exception’ actually allows too many French films to ‘not find their public’, to put it politely, or more bluntly, to flop,” she wrote. “The system also guarantees leading actors to secure extraordinary fees, three or four times better than actors in American independent cinema.”
“Public subsidies, advances on receipts, tax breaks, intermissions (support schemes for freelance entertainment workers) have created a subsidiary economy that hardly cares about audience tastes and has contempt for even popular, profitable films.” does,” she continued.
He recalled how giving the Cesar Award to Danny Boone for the box office success of his films was greeted with derision in some circles.
“Giving a Caesar to Danny Boone and his over 20 million entries… what a ridiculous idea!” He parodied.
Bachelot said: “You can tell me that some of these flops are probably essential acts that we will later discover with a sense of guilt for having missed his genius. It is always startling to see how ‘left’ The people of K are contemptuous of ‘those’ who like shit to them.
His comments come at a complicated time for French cinema and are unlikely to be welcomed by many local film professionals.
French titles, both commercial and art, struggled to attract audiences to cinemas in 2022. For the first time in 30 years, not a single French production appeared in the film Top 10 highest grossing movies year in France.
When asked about his comments on the RTL radio network in a promotional interview for the book, Bachelot said that he hoped his ideas would be useful for the whole cultural sector.
“When you go through something as extraordinary as I did as culture minister at a time when almost all cultural sectors were closed… it is important to take stock. The world of culture and the Ministry of Culture are at a crossroads. Things are happening, the drastic changes mean that the way we have implemented cultural policies is coming to the end of its term.
However, he denied that his comments on film finance meant that he felt France had invested too much state money in film.
“Ah no! It makes perfect sense to continue doing so. If France is the only European country to have a cinema industry, which in turn feeds into an industry on platforms, it has been there since the creation of the National Cinema Center (CNC) in 1946. Because of the policies we have in place.” he said. “We need to keep at it.”
Bachelot was appointed Minister of Culture in early July 2020, just days after French cinema reopened after a three-month closure due to the first wave of COVID-19.
Summer optimism was short-lived after Europe was hit by fresh waves of the virus in autumn, resulting in the French government ordering cinemas to close again on October 30 and reopen on May 19, 2021.
Other public cultural venues were also closed for the same period.
The move sparked fury in the culture sector, particularly after allowing shops and commercial centers to remain open in the lead-up to Christmas, with the country’s Ministry of Culture bearing the brunt of the anger.
Disappointment spread within the cinema world on the stage of the 2021 ceremony for France’s César Awards on March 2021, culminating in actress through speeches and speeches targeted at the government corrine masiero Famously stripped naked, draped over her breasts and body to reveal the slogan “No Culture, No Future”.
Bachelot recounted in an account of the evening in her memoir that she was not impressed by the gestures.
“The César Festival bills itself as ‘the big party of French cinema’,” she writes.
“For ministers of culture, this is a difficult test. In the absence of recognition, let’s not ask the impossible, you can at least expect a brief and polite greeting to the state representative during the ceremony,” she wrote.
He suggested that the film industry publicly discredit itself as a benefactor of its state to mark the fact that art and culture cannot be bought.
“It always leads to the same scenario,” Bachelot wrote.
“Men and women dressed to the tune of several thousand euros, with hair, shoes, jewelry and makeup by the best professionals in Paris, flaunted their well-being and accusatory political engagements.
“He sprinkles his intervention with words concocted by a tired ‘gagman’, takes aim at the minister, knocks him into the corner of the ring like a boxer slumped in his seat, then runs towards Fouquet,” he said. Next up, the high-end restaurant on the Champs Elysées that traditionally hosts the post-ceremony dinner.
Bachelet held the position of Minister of Culture until May 2022 when she was replaced by Reema Abdul Malak as part of a cabinet reshuffle after Emmanuel Macron was re-elected as French President for a second term.
She also attended the 2022 César ceremony, a more high-profile affair that unfolded without major incident.
Her comments also come at a sensitive time for Caesar Academy, which rebooted in 2020 after famously facing allegations of a lack of transparency, gender equality, and diversity, as well as turning a blind eye to individuals named under investigation. trying to do. sexual assault crime.
The organization was rebuilt with the creation of a gender-balanced co-chairmanship, board and chapter heads and has just announced new rules that bar cinema figures from attending its award ceremonies while under investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct. will do it.
In the background, its awards ceremony, like that of French cinema, is struggling to attract audiences. Last year’s edition attracted just 1.3 viewers for Canal Plus, a third of the audience for its record-breaking 2012 edition when 3.9 viewers tuned in.