(Berlin) “In full transparency, I’m shaking! We wouldn’t have guessed. Kristen Stewart appeared on Thursday at the traditional press conference of the jury of the 73rd Berlinale, of which she is president, and answered questions with poise, eloquence and a touch of defiance.
Posted at 7:30 p.m
Photographers tore her up with her boyish Frodo-style haircut from The Lord of the Rings, shirtless under a neo-hippie Chanel orange tweed pantsuit. I didn’t dare look at his jacket for too long for fear of hallucinating a hidden message like in steganography.
The Spencer and Sils Maria actress wasn’t freezing because she was cold, unlike fellow judge, Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To, who was a regular at Montreal’s Fantasia festival and wore a winter coat. It’s true that he “fa fred” in Berlin in February, as they say in Barcelona.
Kristen Stewart trembled at the task that she and her jury had to face: select from the 20 films in the competition, selected by Italian Artistic Director Carlo Chatrian and his team, those deserving of a Golden or Silver Bear.
There are titles by well-known filmmakers – the Germans Margarethe von Trotta and Christian Petzold, the French Philippe Garrel and Nicolas Philibert or the Australian Rolf de Heer – and lesser-known ones, including the young Canadian Matt Johnson (The Dirties), who made Blackberry , about the ups and downs of the makers of the phone of the same name.
“I can’t wait to see how this experience changes us,” said Kristen Stewart, a 2018 Cannes judge who is as familiar to moviegoers for films by Olivier Assayas and Pablo Larrain as she is to the general public for her role as Bella of the Twilight series, which she unveiled 15 years ago.
“Opening up for new things is why there are festivals,” believes the (nearly) 32-year-old filmmaker. Not judging what is best, which is a fleeting concept. I have a penchant for the difficult, the disruptive. The Berlinale is a festival that is historically confronted and political. »
Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, who has lived in Berlin, France since Asghar Farhadi’s 2009 great About Elly, the Silver Bear, believes cinema can offer solace in times of political turmoil. “With what’s happening in Iran, in Ukraine, with the earthquake (in Turkey and in Syria), it can feel like the world is unraveling,” she said. Art and culture are like a fire. We can gather to warm up. »
The one we saw in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson and recently in Manele Labidi’s Un divan à Tunis intends to fight for freedom, she says, in Iran and in the world. “In a dictatorship like Iran, art is not just intellectual or philosophical, it is essential like oxygen. »
A breath of fresh air in an otherwise amicable press conference, Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude (Bad Luck Banging or Looney Porn, Golden Bear 2021) mocked a few questions from journalists and even seemed to answer indirectly to American producer Francine Maisler, also of the jury, who was pleased that Top Gun: Maverick had “saved” cinemas last year.
Jude quoted Isidore Isou, a Romanian avant-garde poet, who said in his film Traite de bave et d’éternité (1951) that “cinema is the industry of money and stupidity”. “He wasn’t wrong,” he said. Although we are here to see movies that don’t make money and maybe less stupid. »
Kristen Stewart, who said in the trial that the film industry could indeed be “stupid and embarrassing,” said she hoped the jury she chairs would vote for a film that didn’t have unanimous support. “I hope we choose the one that stands out. If we don’t all agree, it’s probably because it’s good! “That promises.