By Michael Roddy
CANNES, France (Reuters) - Filmmaker brothers Joel and Ethan Coen said on Wednesday it would be a new experience for them to be watching movies rather than having a film in competition as the first co-presidents of the main Cannes International Film Festival jury.
The Coens, responsible for "Fargo", "No Country for Old Men" and 1991 Cannes top-prize winner "Barton Fink", head up a jury comprising directors Guillermo del Toro and Xavier Dolan, actors Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller and Jake Gyllenhaal, and singer-songwriter Rokia Traore.
Asked what it would be like to be sitting in judgment on other directors' work, Joel Coen, who did most of the talking on the brothers' behalf, said he would try to watch the films "simply as an audience member and somebody who isn't involved".
But he said it would not be possible to remain completely neutral, given his role on a jury which must eventually award the Palme d'Or top prize on May 23.
"When you're asked to watch something as a jury member it may affect the way you watch it, it has to, to a certain extent, because you've been asked in a sense to pass judgment on it or analyze it and you have to defend your opinions to a group of people," he added.
Gyllenhaal said jokingly that after only one meeting, the jury had been broken up into the Ethan camp and the Joel camp.
"We're not allowed to talk about who's in what group but after a while you'll probably start to understand who's in what group and that was purely based on personality and we had no choice," he told a press conference.
(Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)