Cannes Film Festival 2024: Andrea Arnold Opens Up on the Bizarre Thought That Led to the Creation of Barry Keoghan Starrer Bird

Andra Arnold revealed that the initial inspiration for her Cannes competition entry, Bird, is quite unconventional. The film, which opened at the festival, received a seven-minute standing ovation.

Published on May 17, 2024  |  07:16 PM IST |  49K
Andra Arnold - IMDb
Andra Arnold - IMDb
Key Highlight
  • Andrea Arnold is a seasoned Cannes veteran and festival favorite, who won the jury for three films
  • Bird was warmly received at its world premiere in the Cannes Film Festival 2024
  • The film stars Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogoswki in lead roles

In a press conference on Friday, May 17, 2024, Andra Arnold revealed that the initial inspiration for her Cannes competition entry Bird, is quite unconventional.

She said, “A very long time ago, I had the image of a tall, thin man with a long pen** standing on a roof,” she explained at the press conference for the film on Friday when asked about her initial visual prompt. “But I didn’t know if he was good or bad or what he was.”

Since this bizarre thought, Arnold crafted a social realist drama that stars Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogoswki who were some fresh faces. When Keoghan was offered the role, he didn't even need to read the script before signing up. Arnold had been on a list of filmmakers Keoghan had wanted to work with for the past ten years. 

What is the plot of the film Bird? 

Set on the fringes of British society by the seaside, this realistic drama centers around a family's unexpected encounter with a visitor who develops a close bond with a young girl on the cusp of puberty. Barry Keoghan and Franz Rogowski star alongside newcomer Nykiya Adams, who portrays a resilient 12-year-old girl striving to protect herself and her younger siblings from the harsh realities of domestic violence in working-class England.

The film was featured at Cannes and Barry Keoghan who is a big fan of Andrea Arnold, who has been a Cannes alumni says it's a dream come true to work with her.


He further added, “I’ve been saying in interviews since 2014 that I wanted to work with Andrea, saying it over and over again,” he said. “And then the opportunity came up. I wasn’t given a script or anything like that. It was a no-brainer.”

The film Bird was quite well received at The Cannes Film Festival 

Bird was warmly received at its world premiere in the Palais on Thursday, earning a seven-minute standing ovation. Andrea Arnold is a seasoned Cannes veteran and festival favorite, having won the Jury Prize on three separate films, Red Road (2006) Fish Tank (2009), and American Honey (2016).

In 2012, she served as a member of the festival's jury. Her documentary Cow, which intimately portrayed the daily life of a dairy cow, also premiered at the festival in 2021.

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