Bitcoin enthusiast and New York Knicks fan Spike Lee is known for many things, and a more dubious honor to add to his illustrious film career is spoiling the big winner at Cannes earlier than everyone there would have liked. The She’s Gotta Have It director was asked a question on Saturday and accidentally gave away the film festival’s biggest secret ahead of the official announcement, causing a bit of chaos on stage as a result.
The moment came when Lee was onstage with other judges and was asked through a translator which was said in English as follows: “can you tell me which prize is the first prize?”
The host meant for Lee to simply read off the first winner in the scheduled closing ceremonies, but he thought he was supposed to read off the “first prize” of the entire festival: the overall winner of the festival’s prestigious Palme d’Or. So he said “Titane,” which the Associated Press described as “a wild body-horror thriller featuring sex with a car and a surprisingly tender heart.”
“Wait wait no,” another judge says on stage, and the host and panel start to laugh.
In other words, Lee spoiled the ending of the closing ceremonies, and the film’s director, Julia Ducournau, didn’t even get to go on stage until the end of the program. This isn’t a Moonlight/La La Land moment, though: Titane was supposed to win. But that moment was supposed to come a bit later in the show, and it did get a laugh and a few extremely worried looks from the festival’s panel of judges onstage.
Thankfully everyone seemed to take it in stride, but it just goes to show that word choice is important, especially across languages.