The Kering Women in Motion Talk series at the Cannes Film Festival is a fancy invite. The luxury group that includes Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga among its brands has hosted the series since 2015, held in an intimate suite at the Majestic Barrière Hotel with a tranquil ocean view as its backdrop. Some of the biggest stars of the festival drop by — Isabelle Huppert and Robin Wright were among last year’s featured guests. Cold-pressed juices are handed out to attendees. Not just anyone gets to go. So when the golden ticket landed in my in-box, I was obliged to attend. Even at an essentially fluffy, star-obsessed event such as this, there’s ostensibly plenty to talk about, especially as one of the most important film festivals of the year falls dismally behind the rest of the world with regard to representation of female directors.
The first event this year was a discussion with Carey Mulligan, who’s here with Paul Dano’s Wildlife in the Critic’s Week sidebar. It was kind of a disaster. Things started off agreeably softball-ish, with moderator and Variety New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh asking the usual gobbledygook questions people ask actors (“How did the 2016 election impact your performance as a ’50s housewife in Wildlife?”) It seems that, even with all the money and consideration poured into every detail of the event, the poor dears at Kering couldn’t find a single woman in Cannes to moderate the discussion.