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    Why is there only men selected at the Cannes movie festival?
An open letter by the feminist collective La Barbe, signed by more than a thousand actors:

Is it not enough for women to aspire to be mistress of ceremonies one day, on the festival’s opening night? Bérénice Béjo in 2012, Mélanie Laurent in 2011, Kristin Scott-Thomas in 2010: women are perfect hostesses, who are perfectly happy with a simple, “you have beautiful eyes, you know”, or other flattering compliments. They become disturbing icons who you manage to leave where they belong: on display on the festival posters. This year, we celebrate Marilyn Monroe, in 2011 it was Juliette Binoche, in 2009 Monica Vitti, and in 1989 the republican Marianne . In 1976, the naked buttocks of a woman were honoured. What could our muses complain about? They are celebrated for their essential qualities: beauty, grace, lightness … Let us preserve them from the torments of bossing around a film crew, let us spare them the painful confrontation with the technical puzzles of a film set. Why allow them to bore themselves in the festival steering committee, where important decisions are made, where only male presidents have ruled since its creation? Let us go on only giving men the heavy load of onerous duties. Let us be even better than Hollywood, where men make up 77% of Oscar academy voters.

    Why is there only men selected at the Cannes movie festival?

    An open letter by the feminist collective La Barbe, signed by more than a thousand actors:

    Is it not enough for women to aspire to be mistress of ceremonies one day, on the festival’s opening night? Bérénice Béjo in 2012, Mélanie Laurent in 2011, Kristin Scott-Thomas in 2010: women are perfect hostesses, who are perfectly happy with a simple, “you have beautiful eyes, you know”, or other flattering compliments. They become disturbing icons who you manage to leave where they belong: on display on the festival posters. This year, we celebrate Marilyn Monroe, in 2011 it was Juliette Binoche, in 2009 Monica Vitti, and in 1989 the republican Marianne . In 1976, the naked buttocks of a woman were honoured. What could our muses complain about? They are celebrated for their essential qualities: beauty, grace, lightness … Let us preserve them from the torments of bossing around a film crew, let us spare them the painful confrontation with the technical puzzles of a film set. Why allow them to bore themselves in the festival steering committee, where important decisions are made, where only male presidents have ruled since its creation? Let us go on only giving men the heavy load of onerous duties. Let us be even better than Hollywood, where men make up 77% of Oscar academy voters.

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    In praise of … Dustin Hoffman

Here is the paradox: Dustin Hoffman makes his name playing anti-heroes (think Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy, or David Sumner in Straw Dogs), yet this week’s reports that he saved a jogger’s life are immediately convincing. The story goes that the Marathon Man star was walking in Hyde Park last month when a jogger collapsed with heart problems. Hoffman called an ambulance and waited with the stricken 27-year-old until paramedics came and he was out of immediate danger. All this chimes with the way Hoffman plays his parts: they’re generally a bit scrappy and more accustomed to losing than winning. But it’s also the actor himself: a Democrat activist, and willing to slog it out on stage as well as appear in front of the camera. Yet despite his credentials as a Serious Actor, he is not naturally pompous: again, that detail about the paramedics mistakenly whisking away his iPod rings true. And have we mentioned Meet the Fockers?

Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

    In praise of … Dustin Hoffman

    Here is the paradox: Dustin Hoffman makes his name playing anti-heroes (think Ratso Rizzo in Midnight Cowboy, or David Sumner in Straw Dogs), yet this week’s reports that he saved a jogger’s life are immediately convincing. The story goes that the Marathon Man star was walking in Hyde Park last month when a jogger collapsed with heart problems. Hoffman called an ambulance and waited with the stricken 27-year-old until paramedics came and he was out of immediate danger. All this chimes with the way Hoffman plays his parts: they’re generally a bit scrappy and more accustomed to losing than winning. But it’s also the actor himself: a Democrat activist, and willing to slog it out on stage as well as appear in front of the camera. Yet despite his credentials as a Serious Actor, he is not naturally pompous: again, that detail about the paramedics mistakenly whisking away his iPod rings true. And have we mentioned Meet the Fockers?

    Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

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