Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland on Saturday supported environmental protesters on the Venice Film Festival red carpet as they promoted art-world thriller “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the fest’s closer, in which they both star.
The Rolling Stones frontman, who plays a demonic art collector in the film, was asked at its press conference about how he felt about the estimated 300 to 400 protesters gathered in front of the Palazzo del Cinema demanding a ban on huge cruise ships from entering Venice and also raising awareness about the threat of climate change.
“I’m glad they are doing that. Because they are the ones that are going to inherit the planet,” Jagger said.
“We’re in a very difficult situation at the moment,” he added. “Especially in the U.S. where all the environmental controls that were put in place… are being rolled back by the current administration. So much so that they are all being wiped out,” he went on to note.
The protesters on the red carpet mostly belonged to an organization called The Venice Climate Camp which claims that the boats sailing through the lagoon are eroding the foundations of the historic city. But their action also carried a broader message. “The message is clear, the earth is burning. The time has come to mobilize, to take serious measures, to ensure social and climate justice,” the organizers said on their website.
Jagger in his show of support for the protesters also pointed out that “the U.S., which should be the world leader in environmental control has lost that,” he said. “They’ve decided to go the other way,” he added. “I’m glad that people feel so strongly they want to protest, whether it’s the red carpet or another place.”
Sutherland, who in the film plays a famous contemporary artist, provided his show of support by pointing out that environmental protection measures put in place during the Obama administration “were barely adequate; and now they are being torn apart.”
“And now they are being torn apart in Brazil, and they will be torn apart in England,” he added, noting that environmentalists “have to fight harder and they have to get as much support as they can.”
The artworld thriller directed by Italy’s Giuseppe Capotondi (“The Double Hour”) is set in present day Italy. It also stars Claes Bang (“The Square”) playing a charismatic but crooked art critic who hooks up with an earnest young woman played by Elizabeth Debicki. Together, the pair arrives at the Lake Como estate of the powerful reclusive art collector played by Jagger.
“I really enjoyed playing the role of the collector,” said Jagger who added that his character is also an art dealer.
“He has a gallery and wants to hype the gallery up, which is another aspect of the artworld,” Jagger explained. “The art world has all these people. Not just artists; but people [like critics] who hype the artists and make their art more valuable than other artists, perhaps”. And sometimes the artworld “is also hyped by thieves,” he noted.
Asked if he was an art collector and if that helped him play the role, Jagger was dismissive the question:
“I’m not really a collector. I throw things away. That’s what I do. I’m a hopeless collector.”