With Bong leading the way, Gyllenhaal goes big in 'Okja'

The sci-fi film was co-produced by three Hollywood studios - Plan B, Lewis Pictures and Kate Street Picture Company - while Netflix covered the film's entire budget of US$50 million.

A representative for Netflix said a technical issue stopped the screening. The film played for almost seven minutes with the top quarter of the frame cut off, inspiring a thunderous roar of boos, rhythmic clapping, and foot stomping in the room full of critics and reporters.

You may have read online about the slight hiccup encountered at the very first screening of the very first Netflix movie at the Cannes Film Festival earlier today.

The movie was jeered when its logo first appeared and there were further boos when the film stopped five minutes in after what the festival described as "a technical incident".

The backlash against the two streaming giants comes as Netflix refused to premiere its two Palme d'Or contenders in French cinemas. Having just finished the Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, Gyllenhaal was at the Cannes Film Festival to promote his upcoming film Okja.

Okja, which Bong wrote with Jon Ronson, stars 13-year-old South Korean actress Seo-Hyun Ahn as a farm girl trying to keep the multi-national Mirando corporation from kidnapping her giant pet pig (Okja).

Okja will be available to stream on Netflix by June 28, 2017.

At a news conference here last Wednesday, Pedro Almodovar, the Cannes jury president, read a manifesto defending theatrical screenings and said it would be a paradox to give the Palme d'Or top prize to a film that would not be seen on screens. The most attractive, the most esoteric films that people never see in the cinema.

"We came here to show the film to the Cannes Film Festival".

"I think it's actually really poor for people to watch films on their phones", she said at Cannes. There were no restrictions on their part.

Still, we weren't quite sure what exactly the film had in store, and the final trailer-released today ahead of the film's official premiere at Cannes- is somehow a bit more insane and wondrous than even the preview clip of Swinton talking about the types of nightmares a pig might have would suggest.

Audience member Ernesto Garratt, a journalist with the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, said the crowd started booing partly because the aspect ratio was wrong [which cut off the edges of the picture] but also because of the distribution dispute.

  • Salvatore Jensen