From the festival that brought you such hits as “no flats on the red carpet” and “are Netflix movies really movies?” comes a new Cannes rule: No selfies on the red carpet. Aside from, presumably, the crime against aesthetics committed every time someone takes a picture with a front-facing camera, the justification for this particular change reads as follows: “At the top of the red carpet the triviality and slowdown of flow provoked by the disorder of selfies ruins the quality of the red carpet, and thus the festival entirely.” So, it’s a traffic issue.
That’s from Cannes president Thierry Frémaux, who rolled out the selfie ban along with a few other changes to the Cannes rules in an interview with French industry magazine Le Film Français (as translated by Deadline) earlier today. And speaking of the by now well-worn debate over the role streaming services play in the cinema world—and, specifically, Netflix’s refusal to conform to a traditional theatrical rollout for its original films—Cannes has also changed its rules to require a French theatrical release for competition titles, essentially excluding Netflix from competition. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Frémaux says that “Netflix and other streamers can still show their films out of competition, but they won’t be in the running for a Palme d’Or.”
The tension between Netflix and the French film industry, which really began to bubble up after Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories played in competition at last year’s Cannes, stems from a clash between the streaming service’s “day and date” policy, in which films are released on Netflix the same day they open in theaters, and rules requiring a 36-month window in between a film’s French theatrical premiere and its streaming debut. Now, Netflix’s policy isn’t exactly popular with American film distributors, either. But a year and a half is a very long time, especially compared to the 90-day window that’s become increasingly common in the U.S.—which is how streaming services like Amazon, which has been far more willing to play ball with theatrical distributors than Netflix, may end up suffering as well. But hey, at least it’s good news for Lars Von Trier, who now has some friendly competition for the title of enfant terrible of the Croisette.