Famous films that were booed at Cannes

Kristen Stewart's latest collaboration with Olivier Assayas, Personal Shopper, received boos at its Cannes screening despite many critics lauding the film and her performance.

It's not the first time French critics' outspoken rudeness has fallen upon an undeserving film. We take a look at some greats and not-so-greats which have been served boos at Cannes.

If anything, the booing could tip the film for the Palme d'Or going by past experience.

A sultry Uma Thurman in Tarantino's classic Pulp Fiction.
A sultry Uma Thurman in Tarantino's classic Pulp Fiction.

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)

Arguably one of the most influential films of the 90s, Pulp Fiction was spared jeers during the screening - instead it came when Tarantino won the most respected prize, the Palme d'Or.

Grief, among a number of other unspeakable things, lie at the heart of Antichrist.
Grief, among a number of other unspeakable things, lie at the heart of Antichrist.

Antichrist (Lars von Trier)

It's a challenging and divisive watch, but von Trier's exhibitionist study of grief was packed with powerful imagery and some truly unsettling scenes backed with the courageous acting of Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsborough.

During the Cannes screening, a number of scenes were met with loud laughter and jeers, and when the curtains came down, the booing exceeded the applause. Von Trier was awarded the 'anti-award' for "the most misogynist movie from the self-proclaimed biggest director in the world".

Antichrist went on to enjoy cult success after people fainted during further screenings.

From humble beginnings to the start and end of the universe. Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life
From humble beginnings to the start and end of the universe. Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)

An auteur's magnificent meditation on life of two boys growing up in the 1950s, spanning right back to the beginning of time. The Tree of Life looked at living in consequences, a father's distance shimmying towards palpable sadness in adult life. The film is widely regarded as a masterpiece; however, that didn't stop the booing at Cannes.

According to critics at the viewing, a small amount of people began booing the film while others in the audience tried to counter, it resulting in a rather ugly way for the film to debut.

No matter, the film went on to win the Palme d'Or.

The infamous Red Room in Fire Walk With Me. I want my garmonbozia (pain and suffering) anyone?
The infamous Red Room in Fire Walk With Me. I want my garmonbozia (pain and suffering) anyone?

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (David Lynch)

David Lynch at his best or worst depending on what side of the fence you sit on. Lynch packed every scene with coded meaning (often leading nowhere). Who can forget the sour-faced girl pulling a fist in pantomime? Or the dwarf's formica table? Or Bob's creepy smile?

Irrespective, the prequel to Twin Peaks was roundly mocked, booed, and spurred many walk-outs during its Cannes screening. The film was later savaged by critics in its theatre run, aside from some more forgiving English critics. Today, the film is a cult classic and a must watch for any Lynch fan. Critics have more recently come around to the film with Village Voice even describing it as Lynch's masterpiece.

Best if we don't talk about the fetish at play here in Crash.
Best if we don't talk about the fetish at play here in Crash.

Crash (David Cronenberg)

If there was ever a director to take JG Ballard's avant-garde exposition on sex and technology to the screen, it was Cronenberg. The question is whether a film about people being sexually aroused by horrific car crashes should have been made at all.

Cronenberg did a superb job within the limitations he had (read: censorship) but also received a jeers and boos from the crowd who found the graphic sex and violence a little too salacious.

It did, however, go on to win the Special Jury Prize.

Donny with his baseball bat in Inglourious Basterds.
Donny with his baseball bat in Inglourious Basterds.

Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)

Some audience members didn't take Tarantino's revisionist World War II movie very well. The revenge tale of Jews forming a special squad to scalp Nazi's in occupied France was met with derision for its silliness and humour.

The film was later lauded by critics at release, however, a mystery remains. The film that screened at Cannes was cut and re-edited before general release, meaning we may never know what exactly it was that prompted the booing.

You booing at me? Taxi Driver screened in a climate of fear and violence prompting a number of jeers.
You booing at me? Taxi Driver screened in a climate of fear and violence prompting a number of jeers.

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese)

Scorsese's classic (with a capital C). The film was actually did well at Cannes - another booed film that went on to win the Palme d'Or - but the climate of 70s in Cannes gave the film a disturbing edge.

Cannes was going through a violent upheaval with bombings occurring around the time of the festival. Taxi Driver, in its nihilistic and violent take on shell-shocked life was seen as too celebratory in its revelry and audacity.

Wild at Heart, a bit of Lynch's lighter side.
Wild at Heart, a bit of Lynch's lighter side.

Wild at Heart (David Lynch)

Lynch's Bonnie and Clyde-style road trip movie was certainly controversial for its eroticism and infamous torture scene - but it's also Lynch's straightest film in many ways.

Cannes audiences reportedly jeered and booed throughout many of the film's more graphic scenes. But guess what? It won the Palme d'Or.

- NZ Herald

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