Breaking the Stereotypes: Molly Manning Walker Wins Cannes Un Certain Regard Newcomer Prize for How to Have Sex
Molly Manning Walker, a 29-year-old Londoner, won the Un Certain Regard newcomer prize at Cannes for her feature debut How to Have Sex. In her acceptance speech, Manning Walker dedicated the award to “all those who have been sexually assaulted”. The film follows three best friends in Crete, with one of the girls on a mission to lose her virginity, but things soon go wrong. The movie aims to break stereotypes about Brits abroad while delving into the thorny issues of rape and consent.
The film caused a storm at this year’s Cannes festival, drawing rave reviews. Variety found it “chillingly dark”, The Guardian admired its “complex chemistry”, and The Hollywood Reporter dubbed it a “hidden gem”. Drawing from her personal experiences, Manning Walker said she was inspired by “the best times of my life” and the sexual assault she suffered at 16. The director wanted to show all aspects of these experiences without judgment.
Shot in a fly-on-the-wall style, Manning Walker resisted showing graphic assault scenes. Instead, she focused on her characters’ emotional experiences, stating that “everything was from her eyeline and everything was on her face and reading her emotion”. Manning Walker is part of a group of emerging British women directors, including Charlotte Wells, whose Aftersun was last year’s unexpected breakout at Cannes, earning an Oscar nomination for star Paul Mescal.
Before directing, Manning Walker was a cinematographer for nearly a decade, shooting films for other young British talents, including Charlotte Regan’s Scrapper, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance film festival this year. She has also made music videos and adverts, as well as two short films, including Good Thanks, You?, which screened at Cannes in 2020.
Manning Walker’s win at Cannes highlights the importance of diverse voices in the film industry. Her ability to break stereotypes and confront difficult issues in a sensitive and thought-provoking way is impressive, especially considering that this was her feature debut. Her dedication to representing the emotional experiences of her characters without exploiting graphic assault scenes is commendable and shows that she is a director to watch.
It is also worth noting that Manning Walker is part of a growing trend of British women directors making waves in the film industry. Their unique perspectives and fresh approaches to storytelling are challenging longstanding industry norms. The recognition of their work at festivals like Cannes shows that audiences are hungry for diverse voices and stories that reflect the world we live in.
In conclusion, Molly Manning Walker’s win at Cannes is well-deserved recognition for her impressive debut feature. How to Have Sex is a thought-provoking film that challenges stereotypes and confronts difficult issues in a sensitive and nuanced way. Manning Walker’s dedication to representing the emotional experiences of her characters without exploiting graphic assault scenes is commendable and highlights the importance of diverse voices in the film industry. Her win, along with other emerging British women directors, shows that audiences are eager for fresh perspectives and stories that reflect the world we live in.
- Cannes newcomer prize
- How to Have Sex
- British film industry
- Independent filmmaking
- Indie cinema
News Source : Malay Mail
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