Saturday, April 21, 2007

Comments on 60th Cannes Festival

Now that I have seen information about most movies –some are still missing, but I will find more information- I feel like sharing with you some thoughts about this festival.

Lets start with the festival poster that is an incredible photocomposition, can you recognize them? Well, here is a description of the photo from the official press release:

“During the 2006 Festival, photographer Alex Majoli, from the Magnum Agency, created a series of portraits of jumping artists. From these photos, graphic designer Christophe Renard composed a true choreography in celebration of the creative energy of cinema, composed of Pedro Almodovar, Juliette Binoche, Jane Campion, Souleymane Cissé, Penelope Cruz, Gérard Depardieu, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis and Wong Kar Wai. The 60th Anniversary poster is the manifesto of a Festival ever turned towards the future.”

Since I am sharing the official festival poster, let’s take a look at the poster for the Un Certain Regard chapter. This poster is an original work by Italian artist Enrico Marini and he says “Comic strips and cinema speak the same language. That of images. My storyboard alternately transforms me intro screenwriter, decorator, costume designer, actor or filmmaker.”

Animation is becoming more and more important in worldwide cinema, mainly Anime/Manga oriented, do you agree? Well, there are no nominations for this type of animation, but there is one for a French animation movie Persepolis.

As always there is a wide selection of movies from allover the world with some directors being nominated for the first time. There are 13 directors that will make their debuts in competition for the festival’s top prize, la Palme d’Or.

Something called my attention and is the absence of UK movies as there is only one movie (A Mighty Heart) and is out of competition… Hmmm! This is bad news, as British directors can do nice festival movies! Also there is a wide range of genres, which I find outstanding especially when they include comedies and even one musical!

By the way, the opening film is Norah Jones screen debut (??!!)… Leonardo DiCaprio co wrote the script and performs as himself in the environmentalist documentary 11th Hour and I’ll stop or this will become a trivia/gossip post!

Now lets get some data that stimulates my daydreaming… and maybe could motivate me to just jump into a plane and go there!

Because the Festival’s anniversary is a homage to artists, it will be celebrated by a film, To Each His Own Cinema, both a personal and collective work. 35 renowned directors had carte blanche to come up with a 3-minute film focused on that institution known as the “movie theatre”.

These are the directors: Theo Angelopoulos, Olivier Assayas, Bille August, Jane Campion, Youssef Chahine, Chen Kaige, Michael Cimino, Ethan & Joel Coen, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Manoel De Oliveira, Raymond, Depardon, Atom Egoyan, Amos Gitai, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, Aki Kaurismaki, Abbas Kiarostami, Takeshi Kitano, Andrei Konchalovsky, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, Nanni Moretti, Roman Polanski, Raoul Ruiz, Walter Salles, Elia Suleiman, Tsai Ming Liang, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, Wong Kar Wai, Zhang Yimou.

Hope we will be able to watch this film!

There will be a tribute to Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda will be there. There will be some Master Classes by Martin Scorsese (The Cinema), Sergio Castellito (The Actors) and Howard Shore (The Music).

If you feel like shopping for a movie there will be 3,000 companies from 80 different countries that confirmed their participation … how about opening a distribution company and go shopping at Cannes?? I wish… then, why not? Someone interested?

Speaking of going to Cannes those who will be there could enjoy a six day special program “Tous Les Cinemas du Monde” where they will be showing movies from India, Lebanon, Poland, Colombia, Slovenia and some African countries.

And if that’s not enough of “non-traditional” movie watching opportunities, then you may be able to attend L’Atelier where you can learn about 15 filmmaker projects from Argentina, Austria, China, Colombia, France, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey and USA/Korea. Tired? There is still more!

The 60th Anniversary Tributes include showings of Boxes by Jane Birkin, Roman de Gare by Claude Lelouch, Centochiodi by Ermanno Olmi, and Ulzhan by Volker Schlondorff. Sharing my ignorance with you readers, I had no idea Jane Birkin directed movies and she has four!! Boxes (Drama in French & English) is her last 2007 project after a directing hiatus since 1994 … but, she did several movies as an actress during those years.

Many things to do in this festival, isn’t? And I skipped shorts and documentaries!!! Well, probably I will never attend the Cannes Film Festival, but there is the other one the Cannes Lions (the advertising festival) that is more likely for me to go.

I promise I will not write any more about this festival and concentrate on the movies… but, with so many things happening here it could be impossible to honor the promise!

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