Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets 'Tor' network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • The centenary of Austria-Hungary’s calamitous last hurrah

    Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

Culture

In handing De Niro Cannes jury gig, France honours an idol

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-05-12

Robert De Niro will serve as jury president for the 64th annual Cannes festival (from May 11 to 22). The announcement made on Thursday is evidence that the love affair between France and the US actor is back on.

After being questioned over his possible involvement in a Paris prostitution ring in 1998, a furious Robert De Niro told French daily Le Monde: “I will never return to France”. He would advise his friends against visiting the country, give back his Legion of Honour, and steer clear of the Cannes Film Festival.

But time heals all wounds as proved by Thursday’s announcement that De Niro will serve as jury president for the 64th annual Cannes fest next May.

“The Cannes Film Festival is a rare opportunity for me, as it is one of the oldest and one of the best in the world”, the famously terse and press-shy De Niro said in a statement.
 
Cannes festival presidents, Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux, were even more laudatory in explaining their choice to the press. They praised De Niro’s “chameleon-like flexibility” and his “precise, nuanced performances” in a variety of his best known roles, including young mafioso Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part II” and gambling mogul Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”.
 
Meanwhile, the French press responded enthusiastically to the announcement, with Le Figaro critic Jean-Luc Wachtausen saying that the selection of “a living legend of US cinema” was “good news”. “He knows European cinema well, so it’s a real opportunity for Cannes to have him”, Wachtausen assessed, adding “We hope that he’ll choose the winners well”.
 
De Niro’s presence at the head of the jury follows a tradition of US film icons (Tim Burton last year, Sean Penn in 2008, Quentin Tarantino in 2004, and David Lynch in 2002) entrusted with picking winners at a festival that strives to showcase international art cinema rather than brand-name Hollywood projects.
 
De Niro has long been loved in France, where he is known for his fruitful partnership with director Martin Scorsese and an unwavering commitment to his craft. "He is an iconic figure here, because he's known to inhabit his characters and do whatever it takes to play that role", said Franck Garbarz, a French film scholar and critic for the magazine Positif. "Very few actors will do that". 
 
Indeed, De Niro is one of the emblematic figures of the “Method” approach (which he studied at New York’s famous “Actors Studio”) through which performers strive for authenticity by trying to conjure their characters’ feelings and emulate their outer appearance both on and off the set. In two of the actor’s most dramatic physical transformations, De Niro packed on 60 pounds as boxer Jake La Motta in Martin Scorsese’s “Raging Bull” and shed all body fat to play a chiselled psychopath in Scorsese’s “Cape Fear”.
 
More recently, De Niro has been seen in lighter, mainstream fare, including “Meet the Parents” – the latest instalment of which, “Little Fockers”, is currently on French screens. These are not the films that De Niro's French fans prefer to see him in. "For the last fifteen years or so, many in France have been a bit disappointed, because De Niro has had very few interesting roles", Garbarz noted. 
 
But according to Garbarz, De Niro's reputation remains mostly intact in France, where he is remembered above all for his charismatic and disturbing turn as Travis Bickle, the unstable title character of Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver”. That film, incidentally, took home Cannes’ coveted Palme d’Or prize in 1976.

Date created : 2011-01-07

  • CINEMA

    With 'Somewhere', Sofia Coppola puts a new spin on old obsessions

    Read more

COMMENT(S)