Thursday, April 23, 2009

62nd Festival de Cannes News

Cannes is about the only fest that really provokes me to think “things” about great cinema and I decided this year that I will share some of my thoughts –or better, rambling thoughts- with you all.

Some of you know that I started to follow festivals because I needed a source that could feed my insatiable need of enjoying great cinema from allover the world and not only the movies that commercially oriented people in the Industry allowed me to have access to. So, if I wanted to expand my movies universe I had to get out of the tiny circle that include whatever I was exposed from local theaters, local dvd rental stores, and the reduced availability of cinema magazines wherever I was living. I had to go to the wide world web.

But when I started browsing the web, I found a lot about the past, a lot about anglo-saxon films, and some info about the new international “stores” where I could buy dvd’s and get them shipped right to my front door. So yes, I started to buy –and consequently watching- mainly anglo-saxon films; but that was not really what I wanted in my cinema universe that in my mind included films from all over the world, many non-traditional genres and mostly, films that allowed me to have a complete cinematic experience.

A new “need” arose. If I wanted to see current (not only from the past) great cinema I definitively had to know “the names of the films”, to say the least. For the past two years that I’ve been following festivals thoroughly I have learned so many film names, “met” so many excellent young –and not so young- directors, actors, cinematographers, etc. and most important, I have been able to enjoy some great cinema from allover the world. But I also learned quite a lot about the business of festivals and obviously, about the business of making movies.

Lately, I have been reading more and more articles about how “great cinema” is dying -or even dead- in articles from serious and renowned cinema connoisseurs authors. Some attaching their opinions to the world recession and others just because no one watches great cinema anymore –meaning great cinema does not make enough money. At first I didn’t pay much attention, but as the recession becomes deeper I started to question if in 2010 the “great cinema” films were going to be diminished to the smallest possible proportion, as producers will be willing during 2009 to only produce films that could make money. In my head the only reason why great movies could be dying (I don’t even consider they could be dead) is because financial reasons.

I’m rambling about festivals, great cinema and the industry business because today in the Cannes fest site there is an exceptional and thought-provoking article by Gilles Jacob that you know is the President of the fest, and directly or indirectly –as you wish- deals with all my rambling.

I strongly suggest that you read The Festival’s Editorial here.

I really LOVE the past of great cinema, I like the present and if I’m concern at any degree about the future of great cinema, definitively Mr. Jacob’s thoughts make me feel more assured that the future of great cinema will be bright as long as there are film festivals around the world. Which just gives me another reason to continue following fests to lean about what’s coming from fresh –no rules- new directors, screenwriters, cinematographers, etc. that definitively propels this industry to go further and allows it to continue producing great cinema, especially in non-traditional cinema prolific countries.

From the excellent editorial I reproduce an excerpt that tells us another way the Cannes fest will be contributing to the promotion of independent world great cinema and that I know will be one enjoyable peek into the films that fest promotes in any of its multiple sections.

In the meantime, the Festival de Cannes has decided to continue helping independent creators as best it can. Since our new website has greater bandwidth, we would like to offer this platform to any of the films in the Official Selection that would like to make use of it, when comes the time of their theatre release. The idea is to present to the audience, and especially young audiences, the first 5 minutes of the film and not the usual typical trailer that extinguishes all desire.

By the way, I also agree with Mr. Jacob’s last remark as I absolutely believe if something is really dying is the ART of doing trailers! Gosh, there are so many trailers (and posters, dvd covers, etc.) that just kill the movie instead of arousing our desire to watch the movie.

The GREAT and juicy news will come SOON when they post the selections... but, I will be checking the news from those lucky enough to be there at the press conference and perhaps start the posting. The most incredible Film Party of the Year is on. Bravo!!!

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