The following is an English translation of the welcome remarks offered, in French, by actress Berenice Bejo at the opening-night event of the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
I love this silence. In it I hear the sighs of the characters of Wong Kar-wai, the cries of the lovers of Pedro Almodovar, the shots of Quentin Tarantino, the laughter of Marcello Mastroiani, and closest to me, Michel Hazanavicius, who tells me:
"Dear, I have a great idea. You're going to be quiet for an hour and forty minutes."
That's what he suggested, all smiles, two years ago. A man's dream. And it feels so good for everyone -- including me -- that we can only say thank you. For that matter, I want to thank the Cannes Festival, where it all began last year. Thierry, Gilles, thank you.
It's beautiful, all these people from around the world who loved this film in which the French are silent. It's like a message sent to everyone: just shut up.
We are all born in noise. The sound of the crowd that argues right before the movie starts. And before that, the sound of a film shoot. And even before that, the sound of a technical team that is working in the sound of the director yelling, "Silence," and at the beginning, the sound of the writer who types on his keyboard in the middle of the night. A man's dream.
And then there is the wait between the end, for those who make the film, and the beginning, for those who watch the film. A great emptiness, a silence.
And the noise begins again. The sound of laughs, of hearts, the sound of collectivity, of applause and the sound of Cannes, the cries of the photographers who scream your name. The cries of photographers who scream your name so that you get out of the way of their shots of Catherine Deneuve. The sound of Ferraris that roll in at 3 mph, stuck on the Boulevard de la Croisette. The sound of a helicopter landing on a yacht and and the sound of my voice, yelling, "Did you see that? There's a helicopter landing on a yacht!"
And tonight, I stand before you.
So, I'll speak: be quiet.
You who tell your child not to dream, that dreams don't come true. Be quiet.
You who nit-pick, you who whine, you who would have wanted the film to be more like this or like that, you who make fun of all those who watch movies with the round eyes of children. Be quiet.
Men don't cry? Be quiet.
Movies that don't work, that are predictable? Be quiet.
Movies that work, as expected? Be quiet.
And above all... above all, you who answer your phones right in the middle. Be quiet.
And now, I am going to follow my own advice and be silent, letting cinema speak for itself, because it always has the last word.
Article co-written with Kyan Khojandi and Navo