At the European Film Awards, faith in auteur cinema and in Without Filter

The satire of Swedish Ruben Östlund, Palme d’Or at Cannes, left only crumbs for his counterparts. The seventh French art left empty-handed from a ceremony defending the new voices of the Old Continent.

From our reporter in Reykjavik,

Founded in 1988 by Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman with his colleagues Claude Chabrol and Wim Wenders, the European Film Academy organizes an annual ceremony which crowns the best productions and performances from the continent in the broad sense: the Baltic countries, Switzerland or Israel. are also part of it. This academy, based in Berlin, brings together more than 4,200 directors, screenwriters, actors, technicians, critics, either invited by recommendation, or by application and CV showing their involvement in the seventh art.

This 35th edition, the 2022 vintage, has a special flavor. It will be the first time since the start of the pandemic that the evening, hosted this year in Iceland in Reykjavik, can be held in person. “Our job is a social and meeting profession. The European Film Awards also celebrate European unity. Whether we are in Scandinavia or in Eastern Europe, certain issues, certain concerns, certain challenges unite us, torment us.underlines the Dutch producer Matthijs Wouter Knol, new director of the academy.

This “era of time» European who wonders about the questions of identity, diversity, class struggle, Matthijs Wouter Knol sees it in the films in the running this year. Among the nominees are many Cannes winners: Without filter, Close, Nights of Mashhad.

The joy of Zlatko Buric, best actor following his performance in Without filter. HALLDOR KOLBEINS / AFP

As on the Croisette, the emetic satire of the Swedish Ruben Östlund Without filter grabbed the charts, achieving a stunning grand slam. The adventures of the passengers of a luxury cruise ship won the prize for best film, best director, best actor, best screenplay. In the press room, the film, whose original title was triangle of sadness was renamed “triangle of happiness“. “An author’s story with the most international and diverse distribution”, praised its producers.

Faced with this creaking and cruel sinking gold palm aping the sufficiency and cynicism of the super-rich, Saint Omer by Alice Diop, however awarded at the Mostra, could only bow. Just like the friendly melody of Lukas Dhont, Close. Ruben Östlund was favored by the Academy in 2017 for The Square, his first palm. Playing one of the most egocentric passengers in Without filter, Zlatko Buric took advantage of the love rating and supplanted the amazing Paul Mescal, father hiding his depression from his kid in aftersun or Eden Dambrine, the glow of Close.

The feverish joy of Vicky Krieps

Empress Sissi hit by midlife crisis in Bodice, Vicky Krieps wins the statuette. She triumphs over Léa Seydoux (A nice morning) and the Cannes laureate, the Iranian in exile Zar Amir Ebrahimi, a journalist tracking down a serial killer in Mashhad Nights. Sick and feverish, the Luxembourger appeared in videoconference wrapped up in a pajama jumpsuit and dedicated this victory which she “did not see coming to all the women who around the world need to be seen and heard to heal ancestral wounds”.

Sick, Vicky Krieps intervened from her home. HALLDOR KOLBEINS / AFP

Considered a drama, Without filter could not claim the prize for best comedy which allowed the Spanish satire on the corporate world El Buen Patron with Javier Bardem to walk away with the trophy. Its director Fernando León de Aranoa was the first to be surprised: “I expected to see The divide by Catherine Corsini. The French cinema also left the evening empty-handed.

Ukraine was omnipresent in people’s minds. The Eurimages prize was awarded to Ukrainian producers for their resistance and the preservation of their culture. The statuette for best documentary went to Mariupolis 2, investigation by Mantas Kvedaravicius on the 2016 Donbass war. The Lithuanian filmmaker was killed at the end of March, in the first weeks of the conflict by Russian forces. It was his daughter who came on stage, her voice choking with emotion, recalling her devotion to the inhabitants of the martyred city.

An evening of hope for the future of cinema

In a general context of desertion from cinemas, the European film academy wants to be a beacon of hope. Its director Matthijs Wouter Knol emphasizes the success of its operation “A month of European cinema» and succession of generations: « younger filmmakers, from across the continent, from underrepresented communities: religion, sexual orientation, gender“.

And to insist: “We have hosted works from platforms like In the west, nothing is new from Netflix, honored in technical categories. Our culture is that of arthouse films, independent, low-budget feature films that long ago shed their reputation for being slow and boring. They turn out to be extremely dynamic, acquire lasting visibility“. “Human beings will always need stories. Cinema will not die any more than literature”wants to believe the Dutchman. “What is upset is the way films are brought to the public. The pandemic has driven home trends that were budding and driven by the digitization of our daily lives. This evolution is very rapid but the world of the seventh art has always been able to adapt. We have to rethink the way we can get spectators out of their homes..

And Matthijs Wouter Knol, refusing to be pessimistic, cites the insolent dynamism of the film and audiovisual industry in his host country: Iceland “modest nation that boxing in the top category in terms of production”. Not a festival now that does not place a film from this country in the selection. From Lamb to Godland. New shooting studios, competence and logistical efficiency of local teams, ecological rigor to ensure neutral shooting in CO2 emissions…, the assets are not lacking. Dependent on geothermal energy, the island is not affected by the energy crisis that is hitting Europe and electricity bills are not soaring. So many infrastructures sought after by auteur films as well as major international productions. Jodie Foster has been present on the island since October to film the fourth season of the detective series. True Detective. The Icelandic landscapes pretend to be those of Alaska.


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