Monday, April 23, 2012

The Palme d'Or

The Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) is the coveted top prize presented to the director of the best feature film in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

Although the Festival de Cannes was first held in 1946, the Palme d'Or was not actually created until a few years later. In the early years of the festival, the top prize was originally called the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (The Grand Prize of the International Film Festival).

The Palme d'Or was created in 1955 as a tribute to the host city's coat-of-arms, and it became the festival's highest honor until 1964 when legal issues forced the festival's directors to temporarily revert to the original prize. It wasn't until 1975 that the Palme was fully reinstated and it has remained the festival's main prize ever since.

In the 65 years (as of 2012) that the Cannes Film Festival has been held, there have been a few anomalies: the first year saw 11 separate films awarded; there have also been ties on 10 other occasions; plus one winner was awarded retroactively (in 2002 for the cancelled inaugural 1939 festival that had to be  scrapped because of WWII) for a total of 84 winners, of which only 8 of them have been voted on unanimously by the jury. 

Winning films have been selected from 25 different countries. The most successful being the USA with 18 Palme/Grand Prix combined. Followed by Italy with 12, France and the UK each with 9, and Denmark and Japan tied with 4.

Only one female director has ever won the Palme d'Or. New Zealand's Jane Campion for The Piano (1993).

There have also been 7 double award winning directors. Alf Sjöberg (1946, 1951), Francis Ford Coppola (1974, 1979), Bille August (1988, 1992), Emir Kusturica (1985, 1995), Shohei Imamura (1983, 1997), Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (1999, 2005), and most recently Michael Haneke (2009, 2012). So far no director has won the top prize more than twice.

As a new ongoing feature, I will attempt to eventually work my way through the entire list, watching and reviewing each and every one of the winners and keeping track of them all in this post. Even though the award winning films from 1939-1954 and 1964-1974 didn't actually receive a Palme d'Or, I will still include them here for completeness.

The Palme d'Or / Grand Prix du Festival Award Winners:

Union Pacific (1939)
Cecil B. Demille - USA
Iris and the Lieutenant (Iris och löjtnantshjärta) (1946) †
Alf Sjöberg - Sweden
The Red Meadows (De røde enge) (1946) †
Bodil Ipsen and Lau Lauritzen Jr. - Denmark
Portrait of Maria (María Candelaria (Xochimilco)) (1946) †
Emilio Fernández - Mexico
Neecha Nagar (नीचा नगर) (1946) †
Chetan Anand - India
The Turning Point (Великий перелом, Velikiy perelom) (1946) †
Fridrikh Ermler - Soviet Union
La symphonie pastorale (1946) †
Jean Delannoy - France
The Last Chance (Die Letzte Chance) (1946) †
Leopold Lindtberg - Austria
Men Without Wings (Muži bez křídel) (1946) †
František Čáp - Czechoslovakia
Rome, Open City (Roma, città aperta) (1946) †
Roberto Rossellini - Italy
Miss Julie (Fröken Julie) (1951) †
Alf Sjöberg - Sweden
Miracle in Milan (Miracolo a Milano) (1951) †
Vittorio De Sica - Italy
The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice (1952) †
Orson Welles - United States
Two Cents Worth of Hope (Due soldi di speranza) (1952) †
Renato Castellani - Italy
Gate of Hell (地獄門, Jigokumon) (1954)
Teinosuke Kinugasa - Japan
The Silent World (Le monde du silence) (1956)
Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle - France
Friendly Persuasion (1957)
William Wyler - United States
The Cranes Are Flying (Летят журавли, Letyat zhuravli) (1958)
Mikhail Kalatozov - Soviet Union
Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro) (1959)
Marcel Camus - France
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Federico Fellini - Italy
The Long Absence (Une aussi longue absence) (1961) †
Henri Colpi - France
O Pagador de Promessas (1962)
Anselmo Duarte - Brazil
The Leopard (Il gattopardo) (1963)
Luchino Visconti - Italy
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) (1964)
Jacques Demy - France
The Knack …and How to Get It (1965)
Richard Lester - United Kingdom
A Man and a Woman (Un homme et une femme) (1966) †
Claude Lelouch - France
The Birds, the Bees and the Italians (Signore e signori) (1966) †
Pietro Germi - Italy
Blow-Up (1967)
Michelangelo Antonioni - Italy
MASH (1970)
Robert Altman - United States
The Go-Between (1971)
Joseph Losey - United Kingdom
The Working Class Goes to Heaven (La classe operaia va in paradiso) (1972) †
Elio Petri - Italy
The Mattei Affair (Il caso Mattei) (1972) †
Francesco Rosi - Italy
The Hireling (1973) †
Alan Bridges - United Kingdom
Scarecrow (1973) †
Jerry Schatzberg - United States
The Conversation (1974)
Francis Ford Coppola - United States
Taxi Driver (1976)
Martin Scorsese - United States
Padre Padrone (1977)
Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani - Italy
Apocalypse Now (1979) †
Francis Ford Coppola - United States
The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel) (1979) †
Volker Schlöndorff - West Germany
All That Jazz (1980) †
Bob Fosse - United States
Kagemusha (影武者) (1980) †
Akira Kurosawa - Japan
Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza) (1981)
Andrzej Wajda - Poland
Missing (1982) †
Costa-Gavras - Greece
The Way (Yol) (1982) †
Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören - Turkey
The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考 / Narayama bushikō) (1983)
Shohei Imamura - Japan
When Father Was Away on Business (Otac na službenom putu) (1985) *
Emir Kusturica - Yugoslavia
The Mission (1986)
Roland Joffé - United Kingdom
Under the Sun of Satan (Sous le soleil de Satan) (1987) *
Maurice Pialat - France
Pelle the Conqueror (Pelle erobreren) (1988)
Bille August - Denmark
Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
Steven Soderbergh - United States
Wild at Heart (1990)
David Lynch - United States
Barton Fink (1991) *
Joel and Ethan Coen - United States
The Best Intentions (Den goda viljan) (1992)
Bille August - Denmark
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Quentin Tarantino - United States
Underground (Подземље, Podzemlje) (1995)
Emir Kusturica - Yugoslavia
Secrets & Lies (1996)
Mike Leigh - United Kingdom
Taste of Cherry (طعم گيلاس / Ta'm-e gīlās) (1997) †
Abbas Kiarostami - Iran
The Eel (うなぎ, Unagi) (1997) †
Shohei Imamura - Japan
Eternity and a Day (Μια αιωνιότητα και μια μέρα / Mia aio̱nióti̱ta kai mia méra) (1998) *
Theo Angelopoulos - Greece
Dancer in the Dark (2000)
Lars von Trier - Denmark
The Son's Room (La stanza del figlio) (2001)
Nanni Moretti - Italy
The Pianist (Pianista) (2002)
Roman Polanski - Poland
Elephant (2003)
Gus Van Sant - United States
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
Michael Moore - United States
L'enfant (The Child) (2005)
Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne - Belgium
The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) *
Ken Loach - United Kingdom
The Class (Entre les murs) (2008) *
Laurent Cantet - France
Blue is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d'Adèle - Chapitre 1 & 2) (2013)
Abdellatif Kechiche, (Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos) France

* denotes unanimous win
denotes tie

How many have you seen? Which one should I start with?


FrontRoomCinema said...

Brilliant post, and brilliant mission! I can't wait to see the results.

Virgnie said...

I love this little history of the Palme d'Or, makes for a great post (that gave me a chill, he he!).

I'm loving your Cannes coverage so far, will you be attending the festival?

Virginie xo

Michaël Parent said...

I have seen 30 of the films in this list. I highly recommend, The Conversation, Taxi Driver, The Cranes are Flying, The Wages of Fear, Blow-up, Dancer in the Dark, Barton Fink, and The Leopard amongst the ones I've seen.
This is one of the lists I've been meaning to watch all the films.

Pete said...

This is a great idea.  I hope they all live up to their award-worthy status.  I've seen just under 20 of these and had no idea that many of them were Palme d'Or winners.  Many more of them are my list of 'need to see' and then there are plenty I have never even heard of.  Look forward to hearing your thoughts on many of these!

d_4 said...

Really loved the bit of history at the beginning, it's appreciated. Technically you've already started, but I think start with a unanimous win and space them out. I say this because I know just about nothing for most of these films.

A little side note, most of your links here (not all) have a link ahead of them. You might want to look into that.

Lisa Thatcher said...

Great great post!  One woman! GEE that's disappointing!  The Piano is a BRILLIANT film though.  And this is a great idea for a viewing list. Like all your other commenter's I found your facts fascinating. 
I was rather sorry to see the list contains so many American clichés. That surprised me.  I'm not anti American film, I just think it gets easily overrated. I adore Barton Fink, but think Pulp Fiction isn't the film its claimed to be (although I like it well enough) for example. 
I work my way through the list and all I can see are the missing films - ha ha ha!
This will be a great series. Very keen to read your review of The Piano. 
Fantastic post.

Steven Flores said...

If there's one award that I would love to win once I become a filmmaker, it's that one.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 Thanks Scott. It will take me quite awhile to get through them. I suspect some of these may be difficult to locate.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 Thanks Virginie!

No, I wish I was going... lucky lucky you!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Nice. I'm at 29 right now, but I saw most of them way before I started my blog so I'll need to watch them again for a fresh perspective.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Thanks I didn't notice I messed up the copy/pasting.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah, I was surprised there were so many American films too when I was tallying them up. But the only one I really take exception to is 2004 that was a BS political selection that should have gone to Oldboy

Bonjour Tristesse said...

For sure. Though, I'd be happy just to make it to the official selection.

Stevee said...

Only one female director has ever won the Palme d'Or. New Zealand's Jane Campion for The Piano (1993)." - That is awesome. One day I hope to be up there with her!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I never realized there were so many aspiring filmmakers in my circle of blog friends. I hope you make it there one day as well.

Steven Flores said...

Of the Palme D'or winners that I've seen.  32 so far.  For my upcoming marathon, 4 have been selected of the 13 films that I'm going to see, 2 of them will be re-watches.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Cool, I loved your Cannes marathon last year, so I'm looking forward to it again.

Chip Lary said...

I've seen 22.  I'll probably be seeing many of them soon as they are in the 1,001 movies list which I have started to actively work on.  I would also recommend Wages of Fear from the ones I have seen.

Eric said...

This is an awesome project! I have only seen nine of these, so it will be great to read about the rest.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Good recommendation, I have seen it but it's been too long to do a review from memory. I definitely look forward to watching it again for this feature.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

 Thanks Eric, glad to have you along.

Unknown said...

nice list....seen only eight.

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