Rabu, 30 Mei 2012

Hua wei mei (Bad Romance)

Film starts so promising that can't deny I thought I was watching a French film but after a few minutes style becomes repetitive and annoying, so much that definitively becomes pretentious, too arty and pretentious. Then editing is atrocious.

Film tells three stories, but you can tell that director real interest is the gay interest story as is about the only one that is more developed, but don't expect much development as director decided that only his images will tell the story, so dialogue is down to minimum, with silences that in this movie are absolutely unnecessary as you would have preferred to see "something" happening more coherently. Maybe if he had told one story first, then the next and last, the last one film would have made more sense; but in the end I think that director should have concentrated only in the gay story and film perhaps would have been more entertaining at least to those that like the genre.

Other stories deal with a young mother that meets a young man and last -really shorter- has been promoted as a trio, but actually is about a girl that likes another girl and a man that comes between them. But as movie name tells all stories end bad and unfortunately film is quite bad from any point of view you want to comment it.

François Chang's movie shows a director that wants to fusion French and Chinese cinema, as there are some references to French movies and style also recalls some Chinese movies, but in the end he is not successful in what could been a very interesting fusion. To get an idea of how good this movie could have been just check the trailer, but don't forget that what trailer promises is not delivered by movie.

Can't recommend film but I know that some of my loyal readers enjoy gay interest movies and this film surely will please them as sex scene -when finally comes- is long and hot.

Enjoy.

Watch trailer @MOC

Des Filles en Noir

In real life maybe there is nothing more disturbing than talking about suicide but I find that most movies that touch the theme have not really shown how disturbing it is as opt to show the horror when seeing the act being committed. In my opinion this movie also doesn't show how disturbing could be as director chose to show us motives that make you think about it, which indeed here are interesting as portraits something that nowadays is more relevant than ever before

The film starts when Noémie commits suicide, at least she tries as she is saved. Then we meet Priscilla and we come to realize how close Noemi and Priscilla are, they love each other intensively, but they are not in-love with each other. Theirs is a friendship relationship as intense as friendship could be, tied with a strong common bond, their disillusionment about what their future has in store for them and their total disrespect to what they are living.

They do not respect school as, why study if after graduation comes unemployment or being exploited by an exploiter? They don't respect love as they, besides the love they feel for each other, see no love around them as those who claim to love and/or care about them have taken everything from them. They don't respect sex as around them is used as an end that once achieved, there is not much left; which I believe is the reason why there is no sexual tension between them. Already said too much, but wanted to try to give an idea of what I believe is behind these two characters and the story that I don't think stays in giving a sociological point-of-view as goes deeper into a the infamous philosophical question: what is the purpose of life? A philosophical question that here is not place to philosophize but to concretely think about what many youths in the world have as a future.

Suicide is present here all over but as you perhaps conclude, I don't believe that is what this movie really is about.

Film name comes because both girls dress in black, which many think is because they're goth. Not me. To me they don't look or behave like goths and the only thing they could have in common with goth subculture is that they always dress in black but nothing else. I'm not alone thinking this as director clearly states it when he says:

... elles ne font pas partie d'une idéologie gothique, trop réductrice pour les définir avec justesse ... Si elles avaient été « gothiques », elles auraient effectivement appartenu à un groupe défini. Je tenais à ce qu'elles n'aient aucune appartenance. Ce sont des atomes libres, et c’est peut-être aussi cette liberté-là, immense, trop grande, qui les fait souffrir.

So in a way I find that the use of black costumes is an extension of the darkish color palette that predominates for more than half the movie as when the black dress leaves the screen, film palette also changes. Then transition from one palette into the other is done so beautifully that really eases the terrible scene we are seeing in the screen, when camera slowly retreats to show the beautiful flower colors in the garden.

I'm not familiar with Jean-Paul Civeyrac movies but those who are say that he likes to use symbols in his movies. Even when I read about it I'm not sure what they mean applied to what I saw in this movie, as everything I saw was too clear for me. One so-called symbol is in the scene when Priscilla violently kicks a Lalique chess board; whatever they find symbolic, to me is a clear statement against materialistic things and life.

It is an interesting film with many unsettling images, especially when darkish palette predominates, but I highly appreciate that film doesn't exploit the suicide theme and uses it so effectively to talk about other more interesting subjects.

Absolutely fantastic performance by the two young actresses, Elise Lhomeau and Léa Tissier, especially when their roles are very difficult and director seems to have made them even more difficult. I liked director storytelling style which I believe is also a strong protagonist in story. Film has above standard tech specs that make it a good visual cinematic experience. Civeyrac's movie premiered at 2010 Cannes at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and "just" took me two years to be able to watch it but wait was worth it.

Not for all audiences as I realize that film can be (or is) very brainy, you have to think beyond what your eyes see in the screen as otherwise you will be seeing only a sequence of quite unpleasant images/scenes with two girls that you will surely will not feel any sympathy at all. So if you don't mind thinking beyond the obvious, then this film is for you and only remind you that this is a very French film consequently be prepare to see it with an open mind.

Last have to comment about something else. This is not a lesbian interest movie or story, but it was hard for me to concentrate into everything that was happening because the most beautiful images of the two characters in the screen, which showed more love and caring than in many lesbian interest movies I have seen lately and perhaps ever. For whatever is worth, I shared my experience.

I strongly recommend this film to some of my loyal readers as definitively is a film that many could enjoy well beyond the obvious storyline. I liked movie a lot more than I imagined but then I had no expectations as this is one film where I knew nothing about story.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @MOC

Selasa, 29 Mei 2012

Impardonnables (Unforgivable)

Not easy to start to talk about this André Téchiné movie as you can tell is a Téchiné movie but story has some elements that suggest that the director is not his young self anymore. As is hard, let me share my experience while watching.

Started watching film understanding everything until I reached the moment when I said, what is this? Am I missing something? What is really going on? Honestly had no idea. So I relaxed continue watching but I was feeling a strong unsettling feeling. Suddenly I forgot about the unsettling feeling and for a minute got distracted as I noticed movie had grabbed me inside the story and I was enjoying the ride. But unfortunately there were moments when story released me enough to think what was going to come next and surprise, surprise I guessed right.

There are not many French movies that I can guess what comes next or that allow me to start thinking, much less a Téchiné film, and me guessing a "complex" plot next move in an auteur film is just unforgivable. Perhaps movie name comes to be because it was going to make me feel unforgiveness as I couldn't find anything else remotely unforgivable.

As always in Téchiné's films there is a relatively complex story with many little stories about the many characters that populate film; stories that eventually merge at one point and to my surprise in this movie that has a clear beginning and clear end, the end is happy. So story is complex due to many character stories; but then not really, perhaps is more confusing as there are some (too many) scenes that give information that doesn't add to the story of any of the characters.

Film tells the story of Francis (André Dussollier) a writer that can't write when he is in love and he falls in love at first sight when he meets Judith (Carole Bouquet), an ex-model, and now the real estate agent he visits when he arrives in Venice and is looking for a small apartment to rent. Judith shows him a house in rural Sant'Erasmo, he says he takes the large house only if she comes to live with him. Judith nose bleeds. Eighteen months later they are married and he has writer's block so he roams the streets and canals of Venice in search of inspiration while Judith continues to work. Everything is bliss until new characters with new stories start to appear and story unfolds in many directions that constantly crisscross and won't meet until almost the end. We have Ana Maria, Judith ex and a private investigator, plus Jérémie her son that is in prison; Alice, Francis daughter, an actress that comes for a visit and suddenly disappears leaving all her responsibilities behind, including her own daughter. So Francis hires Ana Maria to find Alice and we learn she is having a passionate affair with Alvise, an aristocrat involved in small-time drug dealing. Jérémie is released and Francis hires him to follow Judith as he is jealous, which only allows Jérémie to have a one-time affair with Judith as he's mainly a depressive homosexual.

So what's story really all about? To me is about nothing. Nothing special, just an elaborate tale of the regular life of men, women, old and young, who happen to have not-so-exciting but full of problems lives. In the end, as it happens in life, some die, some leave, some endure the problems they got into, some end up happy and some end up badly. Nothing special.

Think that wrote too much about a movie that I know many will not like as even when is great to look at -especially one scene with younger Ana Maria shot in black and white- but that is not easy to follow with the many inconsistencies the story has.

Anyway movie is not for all audiences, not even for those that enjoy European movies, this is only suited for those who love Téchiné no matter if he seems to be losing his impressive storytelling style seen in many of his movies.

After realizing how much I could write about movie I came to realize that I like this movie no matter those unforgivable elements. Movie that was screened at 2011 Cannes Directors' Fortnight.

Enjoy!!

Watch trailer @MOC

Hemingway & Gellhorn

I'm afraid this movie was in Cannes mainly to honor Philip Kaufman as can't find another reason to include screening in the Official Selection. This is a TV movie that I can't compare to the other TV movie screened recently in fest, Carlos in the short or longer versions, even when both are biopics' Carlos seems like a masterpiece (which I don't think it is) when you put both movies side by side.

If I take this movie out of the Cannes context then can say that movie is so-so but is nothing similar to Kaufman's style in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June or Quills; so if I forget that Kaufman used to do great movies, then yes movie is entertaining with some great moments thanks mainly to Kidman performance and ironically, to the most not-believable story that benefits not one historic figure, much less Gellhorn. Don't think story is a Gellhorn bio and obviously is not Hemingway bio, so what is the story all about? A fictionalized slice of life telling about the times when Gellhorn and Hemingway were married? A romanticized vision of two strong-head characters? I have no idea as nothing I try to imagine fits to what I saw in this movie, that perhaps would have been better as the story of two fictional characters.

Being positive the story told is entertaining -but confusing if you relate it to reality- and Kidman has some good moments. Then I truly believe that the main male role was a miscast in whatever sense you want to imagine the character (Hemingway or anyone else) as Clive Owen performance seemed like a caricature of man that at first is charming to after become hideous. Is like there would be two parts to this movie, one when they meet up to when they get married, the other starts the minute they marry. The male character changes the film but the female character remains the same, which is kind of unfair as even when Hemingway was no saint, Gellhorn wasn't neither, so the "second act or movie part" should had been with both characters transforming more similar to reality.

Anyway know that many are not familiar with the story of the real characters and if you are one of them probably film story will seem dull and predictable, quite melodramatic and at many times worth of the Lifetime channel more than HBO. Then as a film, has its good moments with use of old footage but quality is uneven as I can clearly tell when actors were over-imposed of footage.

The story really killed the movie for me, so it's a terrible way to start my Cannes viewing experience. Know that I can only recommend this film to those that enjoy watching more Lifetime than HBO movies and to those that have to watch everything (good or bad) with Nicole Kidman, like me. I you also are like me, then be at ease as Kidman is on the good side of performing in this film.

All I wrote feels like me rambling, which is exactly a faithful portrait of how I feel the story is told in movie.

Enjoy.

Watch trailer @MOC

Minggu, 27 Mei 2012

65th Festival de Cannes Award Winners

Great ceremony with great awards, some will not be pleased, but I am.  To check winners at official site go here. The Jury gave a post-awards press conference I suggest to watch to learn some reasons why they gave the awards to the honored films. Go here.

Main Competition

Palme d’Or: Amour (Love), Michael Haneke, France, Austria, and Germany

Grand Prix: Reality, Matteo Garrone, Italy and France

Jury Prize: The Angels’ Share, Ken Loach, UK and France

Best Director: Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenebras Lux, Mexico, France, and Netherlands
Best Screenplay: După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), Cristian Mungiu, Romania

Best Actress: Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur in După dealuri (Beyond the Hills), Cristian Mungiu, Romania
Best Actor: Mads Mikkelsen Jagten (The Hunt), Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark

Camera d’Or: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, USA

Short Films
Palme d’Or: Sessiz-be Deng (Silent), L. Rezan Yeşilbaş, Turkey

Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard Prize: Después de Lucía, Michel Franco, Mexico
Special Jury Prize: Le Grand Soir, Benoît Delépine and Gustave Kervern, France
Special Mention: Djeca (Children), Aida Begić, Bosnia Herzegovina
Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress (tie): Suzanne Clement in Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan, Canada, France and Emilie Dequenne in A Perdre La raison (Loving without Reason), Joachim Lafosse, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and Switzerland

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight)

Feature Films
SACD Prize: Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds), Noémie Lvovsky, France
Special Mention: Ernest et Celestine, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, France, Belgium and Luxembourg
Arte Cinema Prize: No, Pablo Larraín, USA and Chile
Label Europa Cinemas Prize: El Taaib, Merzak Allouache, Algeria and France

Short Films
Illy Prize: The Curse, Fyzal Boulifa,UK and Morocco

Carrosse d'Or: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Semaine de la Critique (Critic's Week)

Feature Films
Grand Prize: Aquí y Allá, Antonio Méndez Esparza, Spain, USA and Mexico
Visionary Award: Sofia’s Last Ambulance, Ilian Metev, Germany, Croatia and Bulgaria
SACD Prize: Les Voisins de Dieu (God's Neighbors), Meni Yaesh, Israel and France
ACID/CCAS Support: Los Salvajes (The Wild Ones), Alejandro Fadel, Argentina

Grand Rail d'Or: Hors les murs (Beyond the Walls), David Lambert, Belgium, Canada and France

Short Films
Best Short Film: Circle Line, Shin Suwon, South Korea
Special Mention: O Duplo (Doppelgänger), Juliana Rojas, Brazil
Discovery Award: Un Dimanche matin (A Sunday Morning), Damien Manivel, France
Petit Rail d'Or: Ce n’est pas un film de cow-boys (It’s not a Cowboys Movie), Benjamin Parent, France

Cinéfondation

First Prize: ДОРОГА НА Doroga na (The Road To), Taisia Igumentseva,VGIK, Russia
Second Prize: Abigail, Matthew James Reilly, NYU, USA
Third Prize: Los Anfitriones (The Hosts), Miguel Angel Moulet, EICTV, Cuba

The Atelier Arte Prize: In Your Name by Marco van Geffen, Netherlands, Germany and France

Collateral Awards

FIPRESCI Awards
Main Competition: В тумане V Tumane (In the Fog), Sergei Loznitsa, Germany, Netherlands, Belarus, Russia and Latvia
Un Certain Regard: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, USA
Quinzaine des Réalisateurs: Rengaine (Hold Back), Rachid Djaidani, France

Ecumenical Jury Award: Jagten (The Hunt), Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark
Special Mention: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, USA

Prix de la Jeunesse: Holy Motors, Leos Carax, France
Prix Regards Jeunes: Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, USA

Prix François Chalais: Les Chevaux de Dieu (God’s Horses), Nabil Ayouch, France, Morocco, Tunisia

Queer Palm
Feature Film: Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan, Canada and France
Short Film: Ce n’est pas un film de cow-boys (It’s not a Cowboys Movie), Benjamin Parent, France

Palm Dog: Banjo and Poppy in Sightseers, Ben Wheatley, UK

65th Festival de Cannes Caméra d’Or Winner

2012 Camera d'Or winner is in *BLUE.

---///---
 5/14
The Caméra d’Or prize is awarded to the best First Film presented in the Official Selection (Competition, Out of Competition and Un Certain Regard), in Critics’ Week or Directors’ Fortnight. The Prize will be awarded by the president of the jury, Brazilian Carlos Diegues, at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday 27th May.

As you know I've been indicating in each Cannes post the first films, but this is the complete selection that includes first films in the Cannes Classics and Cinéma de la Plage programs.

These are the 25 films competing for the Camera d'Or.

Official Selection
Antiviral, Brandon Cronenberg, Canada and USA
*Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin, USA
Gimme the Loot, Adam Leon, USA
La Playa, Juan Andrés Arango, Colombia
Me and Me Dad, Katrine Boorman, UK and Ireland
Red Tails, Anthony Hemingway, USA
The Sapphires, Wayne Blair, Australia
Trashed, Candida Brady, UK
Villegas, Gonzalo Tobal, Argentina, Netherlands, and France

Quinzaine des réalisateurs
Alyah, Elie Wajerman, France
돼지의 왕 Dae gi eui wang (aka Dwae-ji-ui wang) (The King of Pigs), Yeun Sang-Ho, South Korea
Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood), Benjamin Avila, Argentina, Spain and Brazil
La Sirga, William Vega, Colombia, France and Mexico
Rengaine (Hold Back), Rachid Djaidani, France
Room 237, Rodney Ascher, USA
Yek Khanévadéh-e Mohtaram ( A Respectable Family), Massoud Bakhshi, Iran

Semaine de la Critique
Aquí y Allá, Antonio Méndez Esparza, Spain, USA and Mexico
Au galop (In A Rush), Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, France
המשגיחים Les Voisins de Dieu (God's Neighbors), Meni Yaesh, Israel and France
Hors les murs (Beyond the Walls), David Lambert, Belgium, Canada and France
Peddlers, Vasan Bala, India
Los Salvajes (The Wild Ones), Alejandro Fadel, Argentina
Sofia’s Last Ambulance, Ilian Metev, Germany, Croatia and Bulgaria
Broken, Rufus Norris, UK
Augustine, Alice Winocour, France

Caméra d’or Jury
President: Carlos Diegues, director, Brazil
Gloria Satta, journalist, Italy
Rémy Chevrin, representing the French Association of Film Cinematographers, France
Hervé Icovic, on behalf of the Federation of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries, France
Michel Andrieu, representing the Society of Film Directors, France
Francis Gavelle, the French Union of Film Critics, France

To check list and info about each film go here.  and to read info about each jury member go here.

Final Day at 2012 Cannes

Suddenly I was here with not much to do so this is my real last post that will be more in the non-serious side of the fest.

Is too early to publish, so probably will come back with more info, later.

The Jury

While all the rumors populate the net, the jury works and thanks to Gilles Jacob -who has been very Twitter active today- here are some nice photos from the room in the villa.





Rumors

The kind of rumors I like as is the best thermometer to speculate more accurately about possible winners.

From not reliable sources
Has been "confirmed" (not really) that Marion was called to come back from NY; then don't forget that Nicole Kidman hasn't left Cannes... Any of those two winning will be fine for me.
Audiard was ALSO called back... Audiard was at last night event at Magic Cannes
Moretti does not like Haneke, Mungiu or Salles, thus winner will be bizarre

Thomas Vinterberg and Mads Mikkelsen have been called back...

From really reliable sources
In Cannes, Mungiu, Carax... Audiard, Cotillard ... Getting interesting...

Me talking
Would be nice if Mungiu gets a second Palme? If Audiard gets his first Palme? If FINALLY Leos Carax get a Cannes award, la Palme? If Cotillard gets her first Cannes award? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Yesterday I was asked who could get the Best Actor award besides Trintignant? My first guess is Mads Mikkelsen, second Matthias Schoenaerts. An American? Hmm maybe Matthew McConaughey in Mud. But there are no rumors yet about who is in Cannes. The one that hasn't leave Cannes is McConaughey. Writing this and first gossip appears, yes Mads has been my expected winner since film was screened at fest. Then seems Pattinson hasn't leave Cannes too, if he wins I'll be in total shock!

Irreverent

Very Acid joke (free translation): Cannes rumor: only the Best Actress award will be given to a female. (took me 2 readings to really get it, ha)

Many, including Gilles Jacob (or who manages his account) have been saying: Habemus Palmam? (he, he)

Testing Links with Live info...

WATCH LIVE HERE.

Sabtu, 26 Mei 2012

Day 11 at 2012 Cannes

For the last day with my daily fest coverage we have two films that are Must Be Seen for me for quite different reasons. Tomorrow is all about the awards. Actually today was also about the many awards that have been already announced. Cheers to the winners!

Main Competition

Mud by Jeff Nichol's

Jeff Nichols is the youngest filmmaker in competition for the Palme d'Or this year and hours ago in Los Angeles, he was finishing his film; obviously is one of the reasons why film is screened so late in the fest, as the great Take Shelter director will screen one of the most-awaited films in the festival. I wonder if what Cannes will see is the final cut as most likely the released film could be different, which is nothing new in the fest history and only gives more possibilities that DVD could have two cuts.

Anyway I should stop my wandering mind and focus on film. From all the American films in competition this is the one that calls more my attention and the one that in my opinion has more possibilities to be honored. If you wish to read my spontaneous expectations before fest began go here.

Photocall has a large cast/crew including Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. I believe is the first time at Cannes for Oscar-winner Witherspoon, which makes me think that not often you see in Cannes Oscar winners, well American Oscar-winner actors. Nothing special in video to watch only for entertainment purposes.

TVFestival de Cannes has a very nice looking group with director and his main actors. Oops ... some story spoilers trying not to listen. Lots of love in film, hmm plus Mark Twain inspiration... see, spoilers. I can confirm that I believe Matthew talks so monotonously that you stop listening to him, noticed since previous appearance. Kids are cute. The Terrence Malick connection... nothing relevant. The river is a character but also influences style. Video has major story spoilers so watch if you don't mind them. I do but kept on watching.

Press conference has three producers plus actors and director. Oh! true, Sam Shepard is in film, also Michael Shannon, both are not here. Again more major story spoilers that I'm not paying attention, especially when director tells what he hopes audiences will get from film. So now I have in my mind one word I didn't had before: Love, trying not form expectations from word. Again, kids are very cute. The Malick connection again... director starts with the second question not-Malick related... Paul Newman connection seems to be tighter ... indeed answer seems honest and not really established relation. Reese talks about the "home" feeling in movie... the real mccoy unlike Kidman... hmm... then I ask what's the value of acting? of greatly performing a character far away from her real-self? ... my answer: an award-deserving performance by a great actress. Back to video. Again, the river as a character. Nichols gives more info that I'm willing to hear... tech info. Oh! more spoilers... nature, practical answer is great no spoilers but then visual spoilers... I'm not listening. The way you make a movie defines the kind of movie you make (hope to find exact quote)... interesting, actually very interesting and thought-provoking comment, I'm lost in my own thoughts. The way you do something defines the kind of something you do, that's me talking. Mark Twain connection again... Suggest you watch video that I found to be very interesting, beyond what is said about they talk about movie.

As was widely said, this year selection includes five American very different films but all have something in common, stories happen in the south. Not sure what this means, but I think if one film seems to have many south references is Mud. Which could be interesting, especially after thinking hard the only movie that comes to my mind with a very interesting southern set story is a so-so movie, The Prince of Tides.

Not much to add about a film that I'm really looking forward to watch. Yes I do believe that Nichols will have a long relationship with Cannes and have no idea if this film will collect honors tomorrow.

By now I truly believe critics' are tired so no surprise to find tweets that travel the like scale from one end to the other. I'm avoiding reading them as I am more interested in tonight audience reaction.

Do-Nui Mat (The Taste of Money) by Im Sang-Soo

I know many people will wonder why this film is in Cannes, surely they forgot that his previous film The Housemaid was also in competition at 2010 Cannes. If you wish to learn more about my spontaneous reactions to film go here.

Yes, film is Must Be Seen for me because I LOVE The Housemaid and no matter what anyone says, I have to visit again director's vision of Korean upper classes, a vision that I know will be told in an very-close to perfection visual style, just like in his previous movie. Story may be melodrama/melodramatic but is dressed with spectacular performances, sets, framing, editing and other tech specs, that who cares if melodrama predominates as you will be fascinated with everything around it. I don't like melodramas on TV or the big screen, but if they were "dressed" like this movie, then probably would have seen and enjoyed the genre more.

Quotes from press conference

Im Sang-soo on the relation between The Taste of Money and The Housemaid
"Yes, I suppose there are a few nods to my previous film. But The Housemaid was a remake and I felt quite constrained when I was making it. The Taste of Money is more in line with my way of seeing things."

My internet connection has problems. Called the service provider and confirmed that there are problems with their servers, felt relief that is not my machine. Will not be able to watch movie videos today, so will do it when they fix their problems or tomorrow.

Nevertheless I don't need to know more about this movie, but won't skip the fun-to-do exercise that sometimes becomes a great learning experience.

Un Certain Regard

Today awards ceremony. Winners have been announced see post.  A photo with the award winners.



Out of Competition

Festival closing film: Thérèse Desqueyroux, Claude Miller, France

I know film will be screened tomorrow but I'm including my comments and expectations today as there is not much going on today at Cannes.

I've seen almost all films by Claude Miller and of course will not skip his final film that absolutely is Must Be Seen for me. But there is one little problem, for not-clear reasons, I don't really enjoy Audrey Tautou performances. This is the synopsis.

In the Landes region of France, near Bordeaux, marriages are arranged to merge land parcels and unite neighboring families. Thus, young Thérèse Larroque becomes Mrs. Desqueyroux. But her avant-garde ideas clash with local conventions. In order to break free from the fate imposed upon her and live a full life, she will resort to tragically extreme measures.

A period film that surely will have great costumes and cinematography -as we can see both in the few clips available- in a tragic drama of a woman-centered story is more than I can wish for. If it wasn't for the "little problem" film expectations will be for an almost perfect French classical drama.

Midnight Screening

Maniac by Franck Khalfoun

I have tried to watch Cannes horror films in the past and totally failed to watch them completely, so no I don't think I'll be watching this film. But for those horror fans this is the synopsis.

Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank's obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.

To read more about film and watch trailer go here.  For my newest readers, no I don't like horror films.

Short Films

Today is the screening of all the short films in competition, afterwards jury delivers and winners will be announced tomorrow.

Around the Selection

While checking all films in Cannes I noticed that I skipped unintentionally one film that is Must Be Seen for Me. I'm talking about Cannes Junior -inside Cannes program not the other event- that screened Le Magasin des Suicides (The Suicide Shop) by Patrice Leconte. Is Leconte's first animation film. Have seen clip in French, but today found it English so maybe you'll like to understand what they say besides watching the amazing animation, go here for English or go here for French.The synopsis

Imagine a shop that for generations has sold all the accoutrements of the perfect suicide. This family business prospers in all its bleak misery, until the day it encounters true joie de vivre in the shape of the owners' younger son, Alan. What will become of The Suicide Shop in the face of Alan's relentless good cheer, optimism and determination to make the customers smile?

Can't wait for what I imagine could be a great darkish trip

Cannes Classics

Claude M le cinema (Claude Miller, cineaste de l'intime) by Emmanuel Barnault

Cannes homage to great Claude Miller screens the documentary by Barnault, an homage that also includes the screening of Claude Miller's last film on the closing ceremony.  The synopsis.

Barnault documentary guiding thread is a long interview, made in one sitting at the Miller family home in the Creuse, in 2011 but includes extracts from films and stock archives plus testimonials from five people close to the filmmaker, including Charlotte Gainsbourg, the revelation in Miller's Charlotte and Lulu at the age of 13.

Not really interested in watching documentary as definitively prefer to revisit one of his 17 feature films.

Closing Film: Final Cut - Holgyiem Es Uraim (Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen) by György Pálfi

I believe that this film could be magnificent or a disaster, the extremes and not the middle as recycling materials is not always successful. But spontaneously the idea of watching over 500 cuts from cult films with the "most beautiful love scenes in cinema" is appealing. The key word for me is "cult" but when I see picture my eyes tend to see not many "cult" actors. The synopsis

The real love film tells the story of the "real" man and the "real" woman. What is the real man in life? And the real woman? By recycling the celluloid heroes and heroines of 500 movies (the objects of so many dreams and desires) György Palfi's collage film shows what they are like and also what happens when they meet.

If you wish to learn more about film and as a reference watch trailer of his film Taxidermia go here.  His previous work does not give a positive idea about what this film style could be; but in the end I ask: who can resist the opportunity of watching over 500 love scenes? Not me. If film ever comes near me I'll give it a try.

Cinéma de la Plage

Program closes with a surprise film that actually are eight Banlieuz’Art award-winning short films. If you wish to learn about Banlieuz’Art school and competition go here.  These are the short films.

Allegretto by Fran Viña, Bad Toys II by Nicolas Douste and Daniel Brunet, Delivery by Fabien-Mariano Ortiz, Incidences by David Hadjadj, Le Commencement by Guillaume Tordjman, Le Vase by Mike Zonnenberg, Pandémie by Mathieu Naert, and Résiliation by Justin Blanckaert and Julien Rideau.

Cannes News

Today at Cannes Jury President Laura Morante gave to Cédric Kahn the Prix France Culture Cinéma consécration 2012 and to Pierre Schoeller the Prix France Culture révélation 2012.

I was hoping for a tranquil day having fun in Cannes but when Collateral Awards started to pour, it became chaotic, as every day in the fest has been. Sigh. On top gossip about who has been called back, usually a great thermometer, is starting to appear. For starters Michel Franco, Xavier Dolan, Delepine & Kerven and Joachim Lafosse have been called back, which makes them "possible" award-winners at Un Certain Regard.

Thanks to Twitter today I discovered a Cannes collateral event, Ecrans Junior that screens 8 to 10 films with particular interest to children between 13 and 15 years of age. To check this year selection go here.  This year the Cannes Junior award went to Ombline by Stéphane Cazes. It's a great find, especially for those interested in great films for their children to watch.

Main jury is sequestered at "une villa" up in the Cannes mountains, they are busy deliberating what we will learn tomorrow night.

Thinking

So, I was going to speculate about winners but with Cannes is a futile exercise as you will never guess what the heterogeneous jury members have inside their heads that helps them to prefer one film over another. Much less to know once each member has their favorites, how they can influence others, as this is a process of selection and talk, talk, and talk to defend your selection. Then not all juries reach unanimous decisions so the President is usually the one that has the power to define a winner. Nanni has been loudly saying that he is a democrat and democracy will prevail, but I know that he also will -gladly- assume his responsibilities as a Jury President.

In about 24 hours we will know all the winners, so there is no real need to burn grey matter guessing something that year after year has been proven to be highly unpredictable.

Nevertheless, if you have read my dailies by now you know my favorites. Cheers!

Not-so-serious comments

Awful news, Pattinson tapped for Hunger Games... no!!!
You confirm that Cannes is fading away when most photos at Getty Images site are with Paris Hilton. (LOL)

Photo of the Day

The best photo I have seen since day one.  Photo has a beautiful composition but also has outstanding tech specs.  Great photo as photo, not because who is in it.  Enjoy!

3rd Cannes Queer Palm Award Winners

It is impressive the lack of media coverage that this award received this year, even when Jury president is well-known. Not even the LGTB sites talked about award, but they talked about other movies in the fest. I believe that if organizers don't change their "game plan" the award will simply fade away due to lack of interest.

I know is not easy and that best reference, Berlinale Teddy Award, did not have an easy start, but they made it and now Teddy is a prestigious award recognized by the LGTB community and beyond. But now with all this tech that surrounds us, the Queer Palm should reach faster a credibility plateau; still, after three years of so-so promotion seems that the curve is going down, not up. Also the few comments suggested no interest in the award as "sure" winner was Lawrence Anyways... so on top, the award became predictable as no surprises yes Lawrence Anyways won the award. I love Xavier Dolan's movies but honestly I was hoping that Hors les murs (Beyond the Walls)by David Lambert could win this year. Thus those that shared their predictions surely know more than me how the award works. Sigh.

Anyway, winners are in *BLUE.  Read news here, available only in French.

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5/19
Is not until today that have a moment to check what's happening with this award and to my surprise I found a new film competing and is none other than Cristian Mungiu's Beyond the Hills that's in the main Competition. To read info at official site about this and the other films go here, available only in French.
---End of Update---

5/8
Organizers finally published the Cannes Queer Palm selection for 2012 there are a few feature-length films that could make the competition interesting, but there are not many shorts competing for the first time award. I'm including the info published along with the film announcement but unfortunately there is no info about the specific LGTB interest that each film has, so will try to figure it out and when possible will add it.

Feature Films

Competition
Holy Motors, Leos Carax, France
Léos Carax, director of the cult movie The Lovers on a Bridge has never been a filmmaker like the others. One can therefore expect anything from this film, in which stars the gay icon Kylie Minogue, and which could surprise us in many ways with a central character that has multiple identities, sometimes a man and sometimes a woman…

Un Certain Regard
*Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan, Canada and France (T)  Queer Palm winner feature film.
The young prodigy of Canadian cinema returns at Un Certain Regard two years after the success of Heartbeats. This time he tells the story of a man, Laurence (Melvis Poupaud) who decides to become a woman and will be helped in the process by his female partner. This two-and-a-half hour film is expected to be released in France on the 18th of July.

Mystery, Lou Ye, China (G)
Marriage and adultery, double life, murder, accident… A great mystery lies on the new film from the director of Spring Fever. But reliable sources indicate that this is a thriller which offers a great deal of secrets and ambiguity! To be followed, then…

Midnight Screenings
愛と誠 Ai To Makoto (The Legend of Love & Sincerity), Takashi Miike, Japan
The Japanese director takes on a genre that is rarely represented at Cannes: musical. The first images of the film let us hope for a joyful and offbeat treatment of the codes of the genre. Wait and see…

Special Screenings
Les Invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz, France
Sébastien Lifshitz, director of Going south, Open Bodies and Come Undone returns to documentary. He tackles in this film the subject of homosexuality and the old age, focusing on a quartet of witnesses that were born between the two world wars.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs
Rengaine (Hold Back), Rachid Djaidani, France
In the Paris of today, Dorcy, a young black Christian wants to marry Sabrina, a young girl from Northern Africa. It would be so much easier if Sabrina didn’t have forty brothers and that their marriage did not represent a taboo that is very rooted in their two communities : no marriage between blacks and Arabs. Slimane, the big brother which stands as the guardian of traditions, is going to do whatever he can to oppose this union.

The WE and the I, Michel Gondry, US and UK (G)
In the end of the school year, the students of a high school from the Bronx get on the same bus for a last ride before Summer. The group of noisy and exuberant teenagers with its bullies, victims and lovers, evolves and transforms as the bus gets empty. Relationships then become more and more intimate and disclose the hidden sides of their personalities.

Semaine de la Critique
Augustine, Alice Winocour, France
Paris, winter 1885. At the Pitié -Salpêtriere Hospital, Professor Charcot is studying a mysterious illness : hysteria. Augustine, 19 years old, becomes his favorite guinea pig, the star of his demonstrations of hypnosis. The object of his studies will soon become the object of his desire...

Hors les murs (Beyond the Walls), David Lambert, Belgium, Canada and France (G)
Paulo, a young pianist living an ambivalent life with Anka, meets Ilir, a loner bass player. It’s love at first sight and they start living on love alone. The day Paulo promises to love him for life, Ilir leaves town for a concert, and never comes back…

Peddlers, Vasan Bala, India
A ghost town, Mumbai, inhabited by millions. A lady on a mission, a man living a lie, an aimless drifter. They collide. Some collisions are of consequence, some not, either ways the city moves on.

L'ACID
Noor, Çagla Zencirci and Guillaume Giovanetti, France (T)
Noor wants to be a man and turn the page on his love story. He works in a truck decoration center and knows what he wants : find a woman who accepts him the way he is. Known for his short films between fiction and documentary (Ata, Six, …), the French-Turkish duo presents their first feature film, which focuses on a character coming from the Pakistanis transgender community: the Khursas.

Short Films

Competition
Gasp, Eicke Bettinga, Germany (G)

Semaine de la Critique
*Ce n’est pas un film de cow-boys (It’s not a Cowboys Movie), Benjamin Parent, France  Queer Palm winner short film.
O Duplo (Doppelgänger), Juliana Rojas, Brazil
Yeguas y Cotorras (Mares and Parakeets) , Natalia Garagiola, Argentina (L)

To read the 2012 Queer Palm's guide, that includes the selection, go here to download the pdf file. File is in French and English.

I just came from discovering that 7 Dias en la Habana (7 Days in Havana) has a segment, Ritual by Gaspard Noé, that is full Lesbian Interest so it is surprising that film is not included in this selection. Not only is SO hard to have Lesbian Interest films in Cannes but when there is one is skipped from the selection. Hope they fix their list to include this film.

Jumat, 25 Mei 2012

Day 10 at 2012 Cannes

Yesterday was not an easy day for me as was really hard to learn everything I learned about Reygadas film. I suppose you can say that I'm a director passionate fan and reading the negative press reactions was not pleasant at all. The great news is that after the Grand Theatre Lumiere premiere the film got a long standing ovation, suggesting that critics and audiences are on different sides of the like scale. I'm really glad and congratulate the director.

I do this intense daily fest coverage for very personal reasons as is a way to force me to learn something about every single film in the fest. I want to learn about films because these films is what I'll be watching during the next calendar year, the ones that make me very happy when I finally watch them and the ones in the top of my watching queue. It's an exercise that I have been doing for a long time, before I started this blog, when was relatively easy to read print materials and the few available net articles; then everything exponentially exploded when the fest opened their web site and every year they have been adding more and more great information.

But this year things got really crazy thanks to Twitter as critics' and almost anyone that is in Cannes or not had something to say about the fest. People have become really comfortable using Twitter and is great to be able to read critics' spontaneous reactions that later are rationalized (and many times changed) when they write the article. I simply love it as makes me feel that I'm following a process, a "creative" process, an experience that in my wildest dreams never imagined I will be able to have. Of course you need to establish a criteria -very fast- as not everything you see in Twitter is reliable.

I'm exhausted but very happy with my learning experience that, yes had a few drawbacks. This year it was impossible for me to learn about the many short films in the fest, but as soon as I recuperate my strength after next Sunday, I'll go back to learn something and maybe will share with you all.

I thank all my loyal readers from always as well as the new ones, including those that come just to grab a photo, and let's start today daily coverage. Cheers!

Main Competition

Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg

I do enjoy films by David Cronenberg, a director I follow no matter what movie he does as I have several films that I didn't liked and somehow disappointed me but didn't made stop watching his films. His last film before Cosmopolis, A Dangerous Method was a movie that I did not enjoyed much plus did not liked actors' performances. An introduction that I think was missing from what I said in my spontaneous expectations regarding this film that you can read here.

I delayed as much as possible watching movie videos as imagined that great Juliette Binoche was not going to be in them. I was right. Sigh. Photocall is noisy as expected so lower the volume and watch only to see the known actors and meet new -to me- actors. Oh! just realize that the two women are Sarah Gandon and Emily Hampshire the winners of the first Birks Canadian Diamond award.

TVFestival de Cannes has the group which also includes Cronenberg, Pattinson and Giamatti. Cronenberg dark prediction: film became a documentary. Expectation is confirmed, Pattinson is in every scene of the film. Oh gosh, Pattinson rambling answers are as bad as when he is performing (and I'm being very objective), Cronenberg comes to his help with clear precise answer. Gandon shines, can't remember her from A Dangerous Method. Giamatti is good as always, Cronenberg asked him not to read the book. Watch for entertainment purposes as you will learn very little from the movie.

Press conference has more people, two producers, novelist Don DeLillo and the screenplay writer. DeLillo has nothing to do with the script, so I ask, why is he in Cannes? Then Cronenberg says the book and the film are two different things. Oh gosh, gossip say that Stewart is awkward -awkwardness that I like, but Pattinson is worst and not in a positive way. Pattinson answers improve, become more interesting, with more info, good... but then his mind wanders, his mouth rambles and the awkwardness prevails. True, Gandon was also in Brandon Cronenberg film, she talks about similarities and differences. Like DeLillo comments about the white limousines in Manhattan. Suddenly got the impression that Pattinson hasn't grown from his Harry Potter times, odd. You will learn a few things about movie and I believe no matter what you hear or read, nothing will give you an accurate idea -or spoiler- to what you'll see in film. Suggest to watch video, mainly to "meet" Mr. DeLillo.

Got curious about novel and read a bit; learned that was received with mix reviews, most are negative. Hmm, maybe I'll read the novel, as yes story is interesting for me.

Red carpet HAS Juliette!!! OH!!! Great!! Stop showing Pattinson, go to Juliette please! Oh! Thank you!!! Every time I see her she looks younger, marvelous. Can't wait to see the photos and you know who has to be at the bottom of this post. He, he very emotional but sincere comments. Sigh. Watch to see the cast/crew plus very elegant Juliette Binoche; also young actresses look remarkably good.

We know that Cronenberg has a long history with Cannes, but lately his films have been more honored by being in the official selection than winning awards; so I don't know if this film will follow the trend or will win him another award and don't feel like speculating before watching the film.

If I believe Twitter pulse then probably will have to eat all my words regarding Pattinson as reliable critics' are saying he is good in here.  Nevertheless film seems to be on the lower side of acceptance, but then maybe critics' are just tired, as their reactions are different to premiere audiences reactions.

V Tumane (In the Fog) by Sergei Loznitsa

I have a love/hate relationship with this director as I would simply LOVE to see his films and I truly HATE the fact that I haven't seen any. His films are impossible to find near me and I'm still "dying" to be able to see 2010 My Joy with those breathtaking images that I know are also in his newest film.

I expect not to be able to watch film for years and to miss what seems like extraordinary storytelling style telling interesting stories that to my eyes and imagination seem to belong to Russia and other countries of the old USSR. This is the synopsis.

Western frontiers of the USSR, 1942. The region is under German occupation, and local partisans are fighting a brutal resistance campaign. A train is derailed not far from the village, where Sushenya, a rail worker, lives with his family. Innocent Sushenya is arrested with a group of saboteurs, but the German officer makes a decision not to hang him with the others and sets him free. Rumours of Sushenya’s treason spread quickly, and partisans Burov and Voitik arrive from the forest to get revenge.
As the partisans lead their victim through the forest, they are ambushed, and Sushenya finds himself one-to-one with his wounded enemy. Deep in an ancient forest, where there are neither friends nor enemies, and where the line between treason and heroism disappears, Sushenya is forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.

Suggest to watch clips here and use the link to the director's site to explore his magnificent body of work.

Photocall introduces me to the cast, but not to the director that I knew from his 2010 visit to Cannes with My Joy. TVFestival de Cannes is interesting for answers from Loznitsa like, (paraphrasing) I've seen the film with eyes of a director... today will see film for the first time with regular spectator eyes... hope I understand it; which is perhaps the best answer I heard from all directors in fest and ever. Actors praise director. Suggest you watch it even when there is a question about the first scene that I tried not to listen.

Press conference also has the producer. Director continues to give great answers, this is not a war movie is a people movie. Oh! book writer story, interesting. Loznitsa does not want to comment about the political situation, which is highly appropriate in this venue and/or relating to the movie. I'm starting to understand the language... and directors great answers continue. German producer also gives sharp answers. Gosh, what a great answer to a journalist that wants to know what film is about. Grrr film has everything I like in films, very frustrating to know that won't see it fast. Suggest you watch this video and also the red carpet to meet more cast/crew.

Needless to say that film is Must Be Seen. Loznitsa history with Cannes is short but covers all his 2 feature films as he used to do only documentaries. If one director I wish will win the Palme is Loznitsa that really can use the Cannes exposure to promote his films.

Un Certain Regard

Gimme The Loot by Adam Leon

Film seems to me like good representative of American indie cinema, a cinema with many films that I don't like and a few that positively surprise me when I dare to watch them. Don't know if this film will surprise me or if I'll dare to watch, but somehow the graffiti element in the story calls my attention. The synopsis.

Malcolm and Sofia, two determined teens from the Bronx, are the ultimate graffiti-writers. When a rival gang buffs their latest masterpiece, they must hatch a plan to get revenge by tagging an iconic NYC landmark, but they need to raise $500 to pull off their spectacular scheme. Over the course of two whirlwind, sun-soaked summer days, Malcolm and Sofia travel on an epic urban adventure involving black market spray cans, illicit bodegas, stolen sneakers, a high wire heist, and a beautiful, rich girl’s necklace that is literally their key to becoming the biggest writers in the City.

Unfortunately film stills plus clips make me think that film will be one of the last in my watching queue.

11・25自決の日 三島由紀夫と若者たち 11.25 Jiketsu no Hi: Mishima Yukio to Wakamonotachi (11.25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate) by Kōji Wakamatsu

Clips and film stills allow me to know that visually I'll enjoy this film, but story absolutely calls my attention. The synopsis.

"If we value so highly the dignity of life, how can we not also value the dignity of death No death may be called futile." - Yukio Mishima

On November 25th 1970, a man committed ritual suicide inside the Tokyo headquarters of the Japanese Ministry of Defence, leaving behind a legacy of masterpieces and a controversy that echoes to this day. The man was Yukio Mishima, one of Japan’s greatest and most celebrated novelists. With four members of his own private army - the Tatenokai - Mishima had taken the commandant hostage and called upon the assembled military outside the Ministry to overthrow their society and restore the powers of the Emperor. When the soldiers mocked and jeered Mishima, he cut short his speech and withdrew to the commandant’s office where he committed seppuku - the samurai warrior's death - tearing open his belly with a ceremonial knife before being beheaded by one of his colleagues.
What was Mishima truly trying to express through his actions? And what did he witness during his final moments?

Will watch film the moment it comes near me.

Closing film: Renoir by Gilles Bourdos

I'm always concern with movies about painters as most of them have not pleased me with directors' vision on how to blend the bio part with the painter magnificent oeuvre. Can't deny that I'm concerned with this film but as always I'll be watching especially when is a biopic from one of my most admired painters. Not really familiar with director but film stills stimulate my visual imagination and just hope that when stills move the magic will still be there. The synopsis.

The Côte d’Azur. 1915. In his twilight years, Pierre-Auguste Renoir is tormented by the loss of his wife, the pains of arthritic old age and the terrible news that his son Jean has been wounded in action. But when a young girl miraculously enters his world, the old painter is filled with a new, wholly unexpected energy. Blazing with life, radiantly beautiful, Andrée will become his last model, and the wellspring of a remarkable rejuvenation.
Back at the family home to convalesce, Jean too falls under the spell of the new, redheaded star in the Renoir firmament. In their Mediterranean Eden - and in the face of his father's fierce opposition - he falls in love with this wild, untameable spirit... and as he does so, within weak-willed, battle-shaken Jean, a filmmaker begins to grow.

Film closes the section but winners will be known on Sunday, unless Twitter allows to learn them before.

Out of Competition

Hemingway & Gellhorn by Philip Kaufman

Great news that the director of films that I highly have enjoyed has a new movie, as his last one -that I didn't particularly liked- was released in 2004; but who can forget The Unbearable Lightness of Being or Henry & June? Not me as both are in my collection to visit and revisit.

Hemingway & Gellhorn is a TV movie, an HBO production which only makes me really happy as know will be watching very soon as film will premiere May 28th at 9:00pm EST on HBO. Great!

I'm curious about this movie because not only want to know why movie is in Cannes -believe is the second TV movie in recent times (or ever?) after Carlos- but also because Nicole Kidman stars in a role that she agreed yesterday at press conference, is the opposite to the one she played in The Paperboy. Then story seems interesting as stated in the synopsis.

Hemingway & Gellhorn recounts one of the great romances of the last century - the passionate love affair and tumultuous marriage of literary master Ernest Hemingway and the trailblazing war correspondent Martha Gellhorn - as it follows the adventurous writers through the Spanish Civil War and beyond. The combined magnetism of Hemingway and Gellhorn ushered them into social circles that included the elite of Hollywood, the aristocracy of the literary world and the First Family of the United States. As witnesses to history, they covered all the great conflicts of their time, but the war they couldn't survive was the war between themselves.

Film suggest to be more a Gellhorn than Heminway tale, which if true, could be a fascinating biopic about a remarkable and brilliant woman, a journalist/war correspondent that covered many important history events; like for example, the civil wars of Central America or the US invasion of Panama when she was 81-years-old.

I have not liked all Nicole Kidman movies but I'll watch everything with her in it, let's hope that this is one performance I like, the Cannes credentials make me think that film has to have something special. Then also hope that is not in the Official Selection only to honor Philip Kaufman work. I'll find what this movie is all about in a few days which will make it my first Cannes movie of the year. Great.

Suggest to watch Red Carpet video if just to watch Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen and Rodrigo Santoro. Nicole looks a bit tired but then she has worked hard for two days in a row.

Special Screening

Le Serment de Tobruok (The Oath of Tobruk) by Bernard-Henri Lévy and Marc Roussel

I'll be perhaps too honest about this movie that to me seems is included in the official selection more as a well-intended political statement than because of the quality of the movie. I say this because IF Cannes is willing to every year include a well-intended political statement -which I do approve-, THEN I might be wrong about what I feel and already said about Cannes absence of women directors.

IF Official Selection is partial to real awful political situations around the world, THEN the selection could be partial to women directors' and create a space to screen movies not because movie-quality but to improve women directors' exposure. Even if is only ONE movie, the void, the vacuum will be filled and the much needed women directors' exposure will start to be present in the fest.

With all this out of my system, let's talk about movie that has impressive credentials behind the making. What absolutely captures my attention is the possibility of watching "something" that has French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy vision, but know that film -or better said: intellectual/historic document- will be visually hard-to-watch and that will not come near me easily.

Cinéfondation

Short Films Program 4 with the last three shorts, Derrière-moi les oliviers (Behind Me Olive Trees) by Pascale Abou Jamra, Los Anfitriones (The Hosts) by Miguel Angel Moulet, and Tambylles by Michal Hogenauer

Winners will be announced today. If you wish to 'meet' this year directors' suggest to watch video here. Winners have been announced by Jean-Pierre Dardene, jury president, see post to learn them.

Cannes Classics

A Great Day in Harlem by Jean Bach

An interesting documentary dedicated to Art Kane's legendary photography with all the greatest names in jazz in the 1960s. Suggest to read fascinating story of that 1958 day and the background behind Bach's 1994 documentary. A brief summary is here.  This is the synopsis.

In August 1958, the young photographer Art Kane made his first photo report and cover for Esquire. He managed to mobilize the big names of jazz artists in Harlem for a photo shoot. 57 jazzmen and jazzwomen are for ever in this historical picture. The film A Great Day in Harlem is about this event.

As a huge jazz lover and photography fanatic this documentary joins two of my most intense passions, thus is a Must Be Seen for me. Documentary screening is preceded by two short films, All Colored Vaudeville Show by Roy Mack and Jammin' The Blues by Gjon Mili.

Cinéma de la Plage

Red Tails by Anthony Hemingway

Film was released last January but I'm not really interested in watching another version of the famous Tuskegee Airmen. But if you are interested, suggest to read article here.

Around the Selection

Masterclass with Philip Kaufman

Usually Cannes has only one Masterclass and is only this year that there were three. The usual lesson is about directing and this year is American director Philip Kaufman turn. If you wish to read more about Kaufman go here.  As we know his latest film, Heminway & Gellhorn is screened today out of competition.

Quinzaine

Closing Film: Camile Redouble (Camille Rewinds) by Noemi Lvovsky

The fifth film by 2003 prestigious Prix Louis-Delluc winner, 1999 Prix Jean-Vigo winner and her 1994 debut film was screened at the Berlinale; impressive directorial credentials for this also well-known actress that I last saw in Bonello's L'Apollonide - souvenirs de la maison close and I'm looking forward to watch in 17 Filles, plus much awaited by me Les Adieux Les Adieux à la reine.

With the above introduction you have no doubt that this film is Must Be Seen for me so even when is not necessary will tell you that I'm also attracted to film story and don't really mind if film is a comedy. The synopsis.

Camille was sixteen years old when she met Eric. They fell madly in love and had a daughter… 25 years later: Eric is leaving Camille for a younger woman. That’s New Year’s Eve, and Camille suddenly finds herself back in her past.
She is sixteen again and has returned to her parents, her girlfriends, her childhood… and Eric. Will she flee and try to change the course of their lives? Will she fall in love with him again, even though she knows how their story will end?

I know that synopsis will probably make you think about an American movie, Peggy Sue Got Married; but I can assure you -before watching- that if stories are similar, in the hands and head of a French director will be told very differently.

Awards ceremony

As we know the parallel section does not have awards to films in the selection; but besides some films competing for the Camera d'Or, section sponsors present awards. So tonight during the closing ceremony and before the screening of the closing film, we will learn the Art Cinema (CICAE) award, the SACD prize, the Europa Cinemas Label and the Illy Prize winners. If you wish to learn more about these awards go here.Winners are in the Quinzaine main post.

Semaine de la Critique

Today section screens all award winner films.

L'ACID

The last film in the section, Stalingrad Lovers by Fleur Albert with a synopsis that describes a style I like but doubt will watch because story essence. The synopsis.

A neorealist film noir that makes us discover the real life of crack dealers and users. From dealers chasing customers to addicts waiting for product, everyday life on the street is about surviving, or dying.

If you wish to learn more about film suggest you watch clip here.   Again films in this section never come near me as most does not get distribution. There are no awards in this section as surely the "award" for any film here is finding buyers; nevertheless tonight there is a closing event with a concert by Jean-François Pauvros, the musician that composed Stalingrad Lovers score.

There are some films that I skipped but will come back after Sunday to check them, but if you wish to learn about all films go here.

Cannes News

Today the Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA) honored Nanni Moretti with a "Distinction Numérique", an award that gives him the totality of his broadcast and radio appearances in France and has more than 20 hours from almost 90 sources. INA's archive is one of my favorite reference sites that I suggest you to check, link is the first column.

The most fun Cannes award has been announced! This year Palme Dog goes to Banjo and Poppy, two Terriers in Ben Wheatley's Sightseers, screened at the Quinzaine.

Not-so-serious comments

Very wealthy people attended the amfAR's Cinema contre le sida gala as the foundation registered an historic record when 9 millions of Euros were pledged. The foundation was created by Elizabeth Taylor and yes there are two guests that pledged 850,000 Euros each to star in Karl Lagerfeld short but also an hour of tennis with Novak Djokovic got a significant pledge.

French press plays and takes their crystal ball to predict winners; le Figaro predicts Audiard will get the top award and Mungiu the grand prix; Nicole Kidman and Mads Mikkelesen with actors' awards. Actually predictions sound good to me.

Very FUN to read today's post by Steve Butterworth with the up-to-date results of his "Cannes Twitter Awards", the result of tracking Twitter news about Cannes for the last couple of weeks. Suggest you check post here.  Here are some highlights.

Which Films got the most BUZZ: In first place with 10,243 mentions, On The Road.
Which Film got the most LOVE: In first place with 94% positive sentiment, On The Road; but interesting is to find that overall positivity rating for Cannes has been very high averaging 84% positive sentiment.
People that got the most BUZZ: Not surprising for me (lol), with 14,894 mentions is Kristen Stewart. If you wonder, Pattinson is the fifth in the list.

Then the social media craze for celebrities is confirmed when out of 320K tweets, 67% are celebrity mentions versus 33% film mentions.

Photo of the Day

Impossible to find a free Julitte Binoche photo where she is alone, so here are some couples from tonight Cosmopolis premiere.

43 Quinzaine des Réalisateurs –Directors’ Fortnight Award Winners

Award winners have been announced and they are in *BLUE.

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4/26
A couple of days ago Edouard Waintrop, the Quinzaine new artistic director, announced this year selection with 21 films. New this year is the inclusion of several comedies in the selection, which surely will delight many but not me that do not really like comedies, sigh. These are the feature films in the selection.

Feature Films
Opening film: The WE and the I, Michel Gondry, US and UK

3, Pablo Stoll Ward, Uruguay, Germany and Argentina
Adieu Berthe, l’enterrement de mémé (Granny’s Funeral), Bruno Podalydès, France
*Alyah, Elie Wajerman, France
Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds), Noémie Lvovsky, France SACD Prizer winner.
돼지의 왕 *Dae gi eui wang (aka Dwae-ji-ui wang) (The King of Pigs), Yeun Sang-Ho, South Korea
危险关系 Dangerous Liaisons, Hur Jin-Ho, China and South Korea
El Taaib, Merzak Allouache, Algeria, France Label Europa Cinemas Prize winner.
Ernest et Celestine, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner, France, Belgium and Luxembourg Special Mention.
Fogo, Yulene Olaizola, Mexico and Canada
गैंग्स ऑफ़ वासेपुर Gangs of वासेपुर (Gangs of Wasseypur), Anurag Kashyap, India
*Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood), Benjamin Avila, Argentina, Spain and Brazil
*La Sirga, William Vega, Colombia, France and Mexico
No, Pablo Larraín, USA and Chile Arte Cinema Prize winner.
Opération Libertad, Nicolas Wadimoff, Switzerland and France
*Rengaine (Hold Back), Rachid Djaidani, France
*Room 237, Rodney Ascher, USA
Sueño y silencio (The Dream and The Silence), Jaime Rosales, Spain and France
*Yek Khanévadéh-e Mohtaram ( A Respectable Family), Massoud Bakhshi, Iran

Special Screenings
La Noche de Enfrente, Raoul Ruiz, France and Chile
Sightseers, Ben Wheatley, UK

*First Film, competes for Camera d’Or

Short Films
Avec Jeff, à moto, Marie-Eve Juste, Canada
Königsberg, Philipp Mayrhofer, France
Os Mortos-vivos (The Living Dead), Anita Rocha da Silveira, Brazil
Os vivos tambem choram, Basil da Cunha, Switzerland and Portugal
Porcos raivosos (Enraged Pigs), Leonardo Sette & Isabel Penoni, Brazil
Portret z pamieci (Drawn From Memory), Marcin Bortkiewicz, Poland
Rodri, Franco Lolli, France
The Curse, Fyzal Boulifa,UK and Morocco Illy Prize winner.
Tram, Michaela Pavlatova, Czech Republic and France
Wrong Cops, Quentin Dupieux, France

To check the list and eventually info about each film go here. There are some non-comedies that seem quite interesting especially the film by Yulene Olaizola and surely any film by Pablo Larraín is must be seen for me.

The Cannes parallel section runs from may 17 to 27. The following is a video with comments about the selection by Waintrop, has English subtitles.



Watch trailers @MOC

Kamis, 24 Mei 2012

Day 9 at 2012 Cannes

Today our first award ceremony which makes us realize that the end is near. Sigh.

Main Competition

Post Tenebras Lux by Carlos Reygadas

I've been waiting for so long for another Reygadas movie that my expectations were really high, if you wish to read about my spontaneous expectations please go here.

Then saw opening night clip and my expectations went down -still was denying the evident-; when poster and first clip were released I became speechless as no, I didn't like both. It is not until five days ago when teaser 2 was released, when the very-fast expectations crashing-down stopped, as is the only clip that contains images that I can relate to Reygadas. Last, yesterday after first press viewing, reliable critics' started to twit terrible comments about movie. I wasn't surprised, as when a serious filmmaker starts to release movie clips that look more like bad family videos, then something has to be wrong.

Still today serious reviews while not being strongly positive, claim to recognize Reygadas style in many moments; this gives me hope that I will be not that much disappointed. Sigh. Some general samples.

erickohn: "Post Tenebras Lux" is Reygadas' weakest movie, but frequently awe-inspiring nonetheless
Greg Chapman: I'll be the judge of that! Reygadas’ 'Post Tenebras Lux' Is Singularly Strange, But Not Especially Impressive
@Variety's Jay Weissberg on Carlos Reygadas' POST TENEBRAS LUX, which "makes Djuna Barnes feel like Dan Brown"

"No me ha gustado. Está sobre-intelectualizada. No es generosa. No es bella. Yo adoré las dos primeras, pero en esta no hay nada. No soy hostil a este cine pero esta no. Lo siento", declaró el crítico de la televisora privada gala, Canal Plus, Xavier Leherpeur. ... Por el contrario, medios españoles y algunos de otros países como Tailandia expresaron más respeto por la película "que tiene belleza y es diferente y siempre interesante", comentaron a esta agencia.

retweeted several times: "Post tenebras lux" de Carlos Reygadas se proyecto en el Festival de Cannes. Compite x La Palma de Oro. Termino abucheada x periodistas

This chaotic accumulation (aggravated by time distortions in the editing that are difficult to explain) may revolt the director’s critics, but is not a major problem for those who prefer an intuitive approach to his work. That having been said, one cannot however justify all excesses in Post Tenebras Lux because that would be taking one step too far.

The one comment that really makes sense to me after recalling reactions/comments about Batalla en el Cielo is this one:
"According to Twitter, POST TENEBRAS LUX is the greatest/worst thing ever. In other words, it's a Carlos Reygadas film"

Surely is better not to know so much about reactions but when you want to write about Cannes, de-facto you will learn too much. But I know will erase everything from my mind before watching. So let's go to the fun part.

Photocall has the director, his actors plus a producer and is peaceful, quiet. TVFestival de Cannes has Natalia Acevedo and Adolfo Jimenez plus Reygadas. A film "almost autobiographic", "my real son and daughter"; both are non-actors and Natalia speaks really good French. Watch in French as everyone is speaking that language. I already "know" Reygadas and like his personality, but if you're not familiar with him suggest to watch to "meet" him. Obviously there are no spoilers in interview, think is impossible to learn spoilers from this film. Haven't seen the violent images but as Jimenez says, yes happens in reality, I add: not only in Mexico but in other countries. Mexico bleeds, Mexico sangra... so true and in this context whatever is in his film surely will make sense.

Press conference also has Jaime Romendia, the producer. Yes the blur/haze is only in outdoor scenes done for esthetic purposes. As I already started to imagine, some tech specs come from Reygadas short in Revolucion... what he learned/liked. By the way many didn't liked that short, I love it. If I only watched videos and didn't paid attention to news then would have imagined that press actually liked the movie. Interesting. Humor in Reygadas? Well he says is there. Love the answer he gave to one journalist asking for the director to do their job. He blushes, his face gets red after the Spanish-language writers question, hmm... why? Too many answers in my head. But answer comes later and one that I imagined and highly understand "me hice el loco" [para no contestar] (avoided to mention names). Pictorial tradition... interesting... and there is a lot of truth. Smart, very smart press conferences.

Sometimes is better not to read much, this is one of those times. Let see what happens when finally I'm able to see movie.

Does Reygadas has chances with this film? I think that Reygadas will always have opportunities in Cannes, but maybe as it happened with Batalla en el Cielo, his film will not collect honors this year.

The Paperboy by Lee Daniels

I couldn't watch Precious but seems that I have to watch Nicole Kidman playing what today was called "White Trash Slut" and "Oversexed Barbie Doll", I won't miss that no matter if film is not that good. The good news for me is that one of my favorite critics twitted "I loved the lurid, ridiculous, overblown The Paperboy. Bad cinema at its best" and we usually have the same taste for certain kind of movies. Great.

If you wish to read my spontaneous expectation go here.

Photocall is must be seen if only to see Nicole Kidman dressed in a color that absolute makes her look glorious. But also to catch a glimpse of John Cusack -I like him a lot and think he is very handsome- and well, the other actors too. Hope to find a free photo with Nicole and John, have seen it at the not-free site. TVFestival de Cannes has the same cast/crew as photocall. Interviewers says film has a different style (than Precious), I say great. Matthew McConaughey: "the reality not the morality" "everyone is wonderful dysfunctional". Great answer by John ... that finishes with "I listened to Bob Dylan". Watch it is very brief as seems don't want to talk about the "morality" of this film. Let's see what happens in the press conference.

Press conference has the same group. The Almodovar relationship comes first, great as haven't been able to learn story. Oh! gosh having fun, real fun! Laugh hard with reactions to Zac Efron "eroticize" question. Drying my eyes while Matthew talks so seriously... the moment is gone, agwh. True, agree with Daniels when speaking about merging good actors and not-to-easy to finance films. Oh! Matthew plays homosexual. I think I'm enjoying this press conference a lot more than what I imagined and yes is turning around my first impressions. Love the way John looks at Nicole while she's talking. Very interesting comments, suggest you watch.

I should thank someone or something that makes me watch so many movies not caring if I would like them or not, as many times films surprise me. But I'm grateful, like today, when I see a "different" side from directors/actors as definitively change my perceptions, stimulate my imagination and make wish to see their films. If only I could do this press conference "thing" more often. Truly good experience for me to see the press conference video.

Red carpet video starts with Nicole signing autographs, dress is too pale after the one she wore this morning. Oh! Kidman husband, what's his name? Keith Urban. Is okay, watch only for entertainment purposes.

Seems that after tonight premiere at the Grand Theatre reaction from audience was different than from press, as there was a 10-minute standing ovation.

Does Lee Daniels have chances in Cannes? Not sure about movie, but just from what I learned today about Kidman character plus previous buzz, I know she is the other big contender for the actor top award, along with Cotillard. Still there could be surprises, sentimental surprises. But let's hope award goes to Kidman or Cotillard.

Un Certain Regard

Miss Lovely by Ashim Ahluwalia

Admit I'm interested in movie that seems could be interesting for story, about India's C grade films (a blend of horror, gangsters and porn), and great visuals; synopsis is really long so if wish to learn more about film suggest go here where you can also watch a long clip/trailer.

Thierry Fremaux pitched movie by saying "Mean Streets meets Boogie Nights" and after watching clip can tell you that his pitch is very accurate, almost literal. But maybe is the headline "a Baroque fairytale in the Bollywood slums" more accurate. Nevertheless, clip images suggest great visual trip, which is explainable as director videos have been exhibited at the Tate, MoMa and Centre Pompidou.

Will watch as soon as comes near me.

Trois Mondes by Chaterine Corsini

Corsini returns to Cannes after being in competition with amazing 2001 La Repetition (yes THAT movie with Emmanuelle Beart and Pascale Bussieres) now telling a story of three very different characters all being 30-years-old. The synopsis.

Al, a young man from a modest background is about to marry his boss’ daughter, along with succeeding him as the head of a car dealership. One night, while coming back from his bachelor party, he is guilty of a hit-and-run accident, urged by his two childhood friends present in the car. The next day, gnawed with guilt, Al decides to inquire about his victim. What he does not know is that Juliette, a young woman, has witnessed the entire accident from her balcony. She is the one who had called 911 and helped the victim’s wife Vera, a Moldavian illegal-immigrant.
But when Juliette recognizes Al as the reckless driver in the Hospital corridor, she is unable to denounce him…

Don't need to learn much about movie as I know will watch the moment that comes near me, but if you wish to see film clips go here.

Special Screenings

The Central Park Five by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David Mcmahon

Not particularly attracted to film because story, this is the synopsis.

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, the film tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

To read more about documentary go here.

Cinéfondation

Short Films Program 2 with the following shorts, Abigail by Matthew James Reilly, Pude Ver un Puma (Could See a Puma) by Eduardo Williams, Slug Invasion by Morten Helgeland and Casper Wermuth, and Les Ravissements (The Raptures) by Arthur Cahn

Cannes Classics

Les Barbouzes (The Great Spy Chase) by Georges Lautner

A 1964 comedy about four secret agents working for four different governments looking for the same top secret document. To read more about movie and watch clips go here.

Around the Selection

Today History Masterclass with Normand Lloyd and to read more go here.

Quinzaine

Dae Gi Eui Wang (King of Pigs) by Sang-ho Yeun

Violent story animation is not my kind of movie at all but have to mention that South Korean animation looks and feels with top-animation quality. Still violence in clip and story will not make me watch film. The synopsis.

Kyung-min, a businessman, and Jong-suk, a failed writer, are former schoolmates. During a reunion dinner they look back on their school days, when a particularly cruel group of students, "the dogs", exercised a reign of terror by hazing and bullying part of the other students, the "pigs". One day, Kim Chul, one of their mates, stood up to the "dogs", becoming the only hope of ending their tyranny. Fifteen years on, he remains a hero. But behind this figure, the two men recall the murky story of their bond.

Dangerous Liaisons by Hur Jin-ho

At first asked myself, do I want to see another version of this quite often told story? My spontaneous answer was no. Then saw cast, immediately became MUST BE SEEN for me, as star is Ziyi Zhang. Here is synopsis.

As war looms in Shanghai, glamorous libertine Mo Jieyu runs into womanizer Xie Yifan, an ex boyfriend who's never stopped loving her, and persuades him to play a treacherous game. She must seduce the innocent and naïve Du Fenyu and then dump her. But the game becomes increasingly dangerous as Xie falls in love with Du. Set in 1930s Shanghai the glamorous, tumultuous « Paris of the East » this is an adaptation of the French novel « Les Liaisons dangereuses » by Choderlos de Laclos.

Really enjoy Ziyi's performances and of course will not miss the opportunity to watch a Chinese cinema movie -which I simply love-, so no matter whatever I think about story, was going to watch this Must Be Seen movie.

Short Films Program 2 will screen the following shorts, Portret z pamieci (Drawn From Memory) by Marcin Bortkiewicz, The Curse by Fyzal Boulifa, Tram by Michaela Pavlatova, Os Mortos-vivos (The Living Dead) by Anita Rocha da Silveira, and Wrong Cops by Quentin Dupieux.

Semaine de la Critique

Award Ceremony - check post for award winners.

Two closing short films.
Walker by Tsai Ming-Liang
Mesmerizing and visually stunning 27 minutes no dialogue short film is absolutely MUST BE SEEN for me. Watch trailer here.

Manha de Santo Antonio (Morning of Saint Anthony's Day) by JoãoPedro Rodrigues
Not much info available, just one photo and the following synopsis.
Tradition says that on June 13th, Saint Anthony’s Day – Lisbon’s patron -, lovers must offer small vases of basil with paper carnations and flags with popular quatrains as a token of their love.

Invitation a Nisi Masa Cine-boat: 6 short films
A European network of young cinema, NISI MASA brings together associations from 26 different countries. Strengthened by the diversity of its members, NISI MASA is able to experiment in every direction: script contests, scriptwriting and directing workshops, distribution of short films, publications, conferences etc…

Today the 2012 catalog is up with info about everything that happened in La Semaine; suggest you check the 80 pages catalog here.

L'ACID

Today Noor by Çağla Zencirci & Guillaume Giovanetti film that calls my attention and has gay interest. The synopsis.

Noor wants to be a man. He doesn’t belong anymore to the Khusras, Pakistan’s transgender community. And he is definitely done with the love story he had with one of them, that had drastically changed his life. Now, he is doing a man’s job in a truck decoration center and he’s made up his mind : he will find a girl who will accept him as he is...

Not only story seems interesting but films seems to have outstanding visuals, suggest to look film stills here.

Cannes News

Announced, but not yet at official site, is the winner of the L'Atelier prize for best project. Winner is: In Your name by Dutch Marco van Geffen. Will confirm when news are posted at Official site.

Today two films will have an "exclusive" preview at Cannes. First Nicolas Winding Refn Only God Forgives with Ryan Goslin; second, Must Be Seen for me, The Grandmasters by Wong Kar-wai.

Sarah Gadon and Emily Hampshire win the first Birks Canadian Diamond award in Telefilm Canada's Tribute to Canadian Talent.

Not really Cannes news, but very interesting that Lea Seydoux gets lead role in French version of Beauty and the Beast with Vincent Cassel and Gerard Depardieu.

Cannes market continues in Cinando, where also and ony IF you're a paying member will be able to stream ALL films in La Semaine.

Not-so-serious Comments

Americans continue to play their Oscar game, still with the same movies -different source-; but includes one film, Pablo Larrain's NO as possible Chile submission to Oscar. I say no doubt film has all the right credentials, but country procedure works in "mysterious" ways plus Larrain seems to me, is not that loved in Chile. What do you think?

Love black and white photography and have admit that there are some from last night with Robert Pattinson that are really good photos. Sigh.

In Cannes, Tara Reid, Heidi Klum, Chris Tucker, Ivana Trump, Antonio Banderas.

Photo of the Day

Two great actors.