Accustomed to the controversy caused by some of it's film choices, the Cannes Film festival is again making headlines, (and not because it was selected) for a controversial film. It's decision not to select the sexually explicit Ça Commence par la Fin, starring the unceremonious King and Queen of French cinema, Michaël Cohen and Emmanuelle Béart is doing exactly that.
The festival seems to be taking an uncharacteristic conservative stance despite being helmed by jurors Tim Burton, president of the Cannes prize award jury and actress Charlotte Gainsburg, who starred in last years controversial film, Antichrist.
According to the Guardian, friends intimate with the married couple, think the jury selection panel was scared off by the uproar caused last year by Lars von Trier's Antichrist, and has overlooked Ça Commence par la Fin as a way to avoid criticism. A charge a representative of the festival vehemently denies, and who also said there is no need for the panel to justify it's decision on each film choice it makes.
Ça Commence par la Fin tells the reverse story of how a sexually addicting relationship between it's lead characters Gabrielle and Jean played by Béart and Cohen, ends in complete destruction after beginning with intense passion, and cannot be erased from the mind of Cohen's character.
The film shows just how powerful an emotion sex played in the relationship and the difficulty the couple have ending it. The movie is based on Cohen's novel of the same name and is rumored to contain graphic and prolonged close-ups of sex between the actors.
In defense of his project Cohen has said,"I don't understand how a love story can provide such hatred on the part of certain viewers. It's practical to be one's own actor, one can allow everything, one doesn't impose any limits on oneself."
The film's exclusion from both the main competition and the critics' selections on the Croisette, means it will not be seen by the hundreds of international film critics who are attending the festival. Star Emmanuelle Béart has decided to attend the closing ceremony and walk up the red carpet, over according to friends, her husband's fervent objections.