Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, May 23, 2004

Kill Bill or kill George, it's all pulp fiction on the Cote d'Egoisme.

To no-one's surprise, the Cannes film festival has signed on to the anti-US chorus by awarding Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 its top award.

Millionaire Mike, however, knows that he's still an outsider, even in old Europe:
"You just did this to mess with me, didn't you?"

he challenged jury chair and fellow anti-Bushie, Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino can not be categorised as narrowly political. He also has a sharp eye for accessories. “That’s a dynamite purse. Where’d you get it?” he asked a fan in LA.

Continuing his winning line in sardonic humour, Moore went on:
"I did not set out to make a political film," Mr. Moore said at a news conference after the ceremony. "I want people to leave thinking that was a good way to spend two hours. The art of this, the cinema, comes before the politics."

How could it be politics? Moore's film was financed by Miramax, which also distributes Tarantino's splatter flicks.

He also said that Mr. Tarantino had assured him that the political message of "Fahrenheit 9/11" did not influence the jury's decision.

despite the fact that "Fahrenheit 9/11" was one of only three nonfiction films allowed in competition in nearly 50 years.

It wasn't a European stitch-up, according to Moore. Four of the judges represented the Coalition of the Willing.

Apart from Tarantino, there's secret Blair fan, Tilda Swinton.

These are her qualifications for exercising non-political judgement:
At the Serpentine Gallery in London in 1995 and a year later in Rome, Miss Swinton displayed herself in a glass case eight hours a day for a week straight.

Miss Swinton's politics lean hard left. She's married to socialist writer-painter John Byrne
from whose opinions she may, of course, diverge.

Another member of the jury was poster-babe Kathleen Turner, who has no political axe to grind but thinks the political power shift to the GOP in last fall's mid-term elections "scares the hell out of me. ...I am a respected actress of many years," she said. "I feel it's very important to stand up for my beliefs

So up they all stood, and the crowd cheered, and the cash-registers are drumming out another $100 mill or so for the fat man.

Who said that true art demands poverty of its creators.