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The sanitisation of sex work and the view of women as commodities was deemed acceptable in the 1990s, but it does not deserve a retread

I covered the Cannes film festival once and it was instructive. I drifted around following the money, succumbing to the madness of trying to get into parties on boats as big as castles. I watched minor royals doing drugs. I watched women get sewn into dresses, get into limos, drive 100 metres and then hobble up the red stairs. The one thing I didn’t do there was watch a film.

The performance that really fascinated me was the performance of pitching – that’s where the money is. Big-screen writers told me all about good and bad pitches; unfailingly, what I thought was bad – a movie very similar to another successful movie – was deemed good.

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