clear
Wednesday November 22nd, 2017 3:22PM

With drama aplenty, Netflix and 'Okja' debut in Cannes

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CANNES, France (AP) — Netflix's entry into the Cannes Film Festival produced new drama Friday as the first screening of its film "Okja" was met with boos for Netflix and a technical glitch that prompted the festival to restart the film and apologize to the audience.

At the end of all the commotion, largely glowing reviews surfaced for director Boon Joon-ho's political fantasy about a girl and her genetically modified giant pig.

The premiere of the South Korean director's latest film, featuring Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal, was a heated affair to begin with. It's the first of two Netflix films in Cannes' top Palme d'Or competition to premiere this year, selections that prompted protests from French distributors and led Cannes to rule out, beginning next year, streaming-only films.

Some members of the international press at Friday's screening booed the Netflix logo that preceded the film. But that wasn't the end to the raucousness.

The projection that followed was in the wrong aspect ratio, throwing off the framing. While the film played, the packed theater hissed and clapped until the screening was stopped. After about a 10-minute wait, "Okja" was restarted — and the Netflix logo was booed all over again.

The festival quickly issued an apology, promising that the error was technical and not anti-Netflix sabotage.

"This incident was entirely the responsibility of the festival's technical service, which offers its apologies to the director and his team, to the producers and the audience," said the festival.

Bong, the acclaimed director of "Snowpiercer" and "The Host," was light-hearted about the snafu.

"What happened this morning, I'm quite happy with it because it forces you people to watch the opening sequence twice," he said, laughing. "There is so (much) information and story elements there. So very educational. I love it."

"Okja" will hit Netflix and play theatrically in many countries on June 28. It's about a girl named Mija who has raised a massive pig named Okja who was created by a large corporation (one run by twin sisters played by Swinton). Ten years later, the company is reclaiming the animal to help sell its new line of genetically modified food.

Critics mostly applauded its melding of Spielbergian fantasy and more darkly political themes about food production and capitalism.

On Friday, Bong and his cast defended the film's digital distributor. Swinton called the hubbub in Cannes over Netflix the start of "an enormous and really interesting conversation" and declared "there's room for everybody" in Cannes.

"Let's be honest, there are thousands of films that are screened in the Cannes Film Festival that people don't see in the cinema — the most beautiful, the most esoteric films that people never see in the cinema," said Swinton. "Netflix has given Bong Jong-ho the chance to make his absolutely liberated vision a reality, and for that I'm so grateful."

On Wednesday, Cannes jury president Pedro Almodovar appeared to rule out "Okja" and the other Netflix entry in competition for the Palme d'Or, Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories," saying he didn't think a film not playing in theaters should win the coveted Palme d'Or.

Swinton, a former Cannes juror, responded, "The truth is, we didn't come here for prizes. We came here to show this film to the Cannes Film Festival."

Bong, a deep admirer of Almodovar, was less slighted.

"I'm just very happy he will watch this movie," the director said, chuckling. "He can say anything. I'm fine with it."

___

Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Movies News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
With drama aplenty, Netflix and 'Okja' debut in Cannes
As if Netflix's entry into the Cannes Film Festival hadn't already prompted enough drama, the first screening of the Netflix release "Okja" was marred by a technical glitch that led the festival to apologize
8:52AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Amber Heard shows off form-fitting 'Aquaman' costume
Amber Heard has given the world a first glimpse of her look as the underwater alien she plays in the upcoming "Aquaman" film
8:49AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Big Sean, Major Lazer headline New York's Hot 100 fest
Big Sean, Major Lazer and Zedd are set to headline Billboard's Hot 100 Music Festival on New York's Jones Beach this summer
8:31AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Kobe Bryant dishes an assist to test-weary high schoolers
Kobe Bryant has come through with an assist for some high school students in Indiana by getting them out of a final exam
7:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
Here comes Pippa: Britain's almost-royal wedding on the way
She played a memorable supporting role at sister Kate's 2011 wedding, but Pippa Middleton will take center stage Saturday, and her wedding looks to be the high society event of the year
6:54AM ( 2 hours ago )
Cannes apologizes for projection snafu with Netflix's 'Okja'
As if Netflix's entry into the Cannes Film Festival hadn't already prompted enough drama, the first screening of the Netflix release "Okja" was marred by a technical glitch that led the festival to apologize
6:28AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Reema Lagoo, who played mother to top Bollywood actors, dies
Bollywood actress Reema Lagoo, the ever-smiling screen mother to some of India's top actors, has died at age 59
8:28PM ( 12 hours ago )
'Wonderstruck,' with deaf newcomer Simmonds, lands at Cannes
The cacophony of the Cannes Film Festival was quieted Thursday by Toddy Haynes' often wordless fable "Wonderstruck" and the young deaf actress who co-stars in it
3:51PM ( 17 hours ago )
Brooks, Reiner, Lear, Van Dyke discuss living well after 90
Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Dick Van Dyke and Norman Lear discuss living well in their 90s in the new HBO documentary "If You're Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast," and at the film's premiere Wednesday in Beverly Hills, California
12:02PM ( 21 hours ago )
AP Online Movies News
Amber Heard shows off form-fitting 'Aquaman' costume
Amber Heard has given the world a first glimpse of her look as the underwater alien she plays in the upcoming "Aquaman" film
8:49AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Big Sean, Major Lazer headline New York's Hot 100 fest
Big Sean, Major Lazer and Zedd are set to headline Billboard's Hot 100 Music Festival on New York's Jones Beach this summer
8:31AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear
Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, almost seven years after it began and five years after the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge inside Ecuador's London embassy to avoid extradition
8:29AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Worldwide effort set to keep Trump happy on 1st trip abroad
As President Donald Trump heads off on his first foreign trip, a worldwide effort is under way to accommodate America's homebody president on his first trip abroad since taking office
8:26AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Vice President Pence avoids political fray surrounding him
Vice President Mike Pence has approached the drama engulfing the White House with caution, offering loyalty to his boss but in a manner that seeks to limit his political exposure
8:20AM ( 43 minutes ago )