Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 9 at Cannes 2011

Whatever is happening at the festival, today still is Pedro’s day for me, so let’s hope Almodóvar amuses us and facilitates us to continue enjoying the festival.

Main Competition

Should admit that from all the in competition films the one that I’m REALLY dying to watch is Pedro Almodóvar’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In) even when I didn’t enjoyed much his last movie as was perhaps too mainstream for my taste; so I really hope that with this movie he goes back to be the director we learned to love thanks to his most spectacular oeuvre during several decades. Well, positive comments in several languages, including one that made me laugh loud and I share: “just saw the Almodovar movie, understood half of it, it was incredible! (LOL!) … seems critics were divided (what’s new?) … that’s why I like to read “normal” people comments (lol!). Many are wondering about film genre (lol! who cares?!!), one describes it as “art house camp” … oh gosh, so funny.

Photocall starts with the very informal group and many photographers yelling Antonio, Elena and Maria!!! Lol! Is Marisa! Pedro! Aqui, por aqui! Lots of Spanish… and one woman very loud calling Antonio in English. Wish could hear what Pedro is telling Antonio, but is really noisy. Love it, started to laugh! Pedro and Antonio very close… “la ultima” is with Pedro. Funny and very noisy.

Oh, Pedro speaking French… ha, ha but “gladly” turns to Spanish and to praise Antonio… “a continuation of Matame” hmm… honestly, highly prefer Antonio Baderas in Spanish-speaking films and more with Almodovar… Antonio is analyzing how Pedro has changed “se ha depurado” (??!!!) … too many questions to Antonio and he’s too serious … grrr too much translation (to French)… “no se parece a lo que he hecho antes con Antonio ni con Marisa” (meaning: movie is different to what he has done before with Antonio and Marisa” … gosh is awful when you understand both languages (and know that they understand French) … lol! but interview is too serious, pity… finally, Elena! She’s too sweet… oh! (lol!) No idea who the young actor is… (OMG translator translates everything!) Blanca looks nice. I’m sooo glad that there was no question about film, but wanted more Pedro and less Antonio! Interview is okay, but too serious; hope press conference is juicier…

Press conference with “people” taking photos with their phones (???) strange… “entendido”, see of course he understands French … oh, no! spoilers… but I have to watch! Seems is going to be a serious press conference… Pedro speaking English … gosh learning too much about the story (grr…) “una familia muy salvaje … nothing similar to Spanish families” gee, Pedro helps the translation… wish there was NO translation… patience! Oh! too much info… Pedro is losing his hair… interesting what Pedro says about the genre (thriller)… Fritz Lang, his temptation… he thought about doing movie in black/white and silent but desisted… volume to off while translation (had enough)… lol! they look as bored as me… “after all the end is the old story about survival” … Los Ojos sin Rostro his reference … great no gore… he plays with some genres thriller, fantasy, sort of science fiction but not really as everything shown can be done in real life … even in a Spanish research facility where they’re doing artificial skin … unfortunately is a fact, press conference is too serious, pity … but at least questions go to Pedro. Ha, ha, Pedro you did Frankenstein… lol! let’s wait for the answer… the answer is: yes… “pero el cuerpo ya tiene vida” (but the body is already alive) LOL! Finally one question to Antonio, that have no idea how he will answer as is kind of dumb (about not showing his beautiful smile in this film)… he, he his voice sounds so good in Spanish (is not the same as when he speaks English –obviously) … he chose to give a smart answer to a dumb question… “horror frio” (like the type of horror) … yes getting too much info about the movie but what I’ve heard up-to-this moment makes movie more attractive to me, good! (volume to off in all very long translations, woman talks too much, she’s literal must be a very good simultaneous translator) ah! Brazilian music! Oh! Pelo Amor de Amar … Elena do Lima (?) … to tell my fascination for Brazilian music (mine too) … serious Antonio gets emotional –with words- about going back to Almodovar, to Spanish cinema, to his roots, to his home … (me, I’m glad to be able to watch Antonio in a film that hopefully will enjoy) … gosh Antonio has a very readable body language, you almost know what he’s thinking about question just by watching how he moves and his face expressions … Pedro too much info … but press conference is about to be over… too serious for my expectations but was okay, interesting. Hope that by now red carpet video is there… yes it is.

Red carpet starts with Malcom McDowell as the Clockwork Orange is also screened at the palais; Emmanuel Devos and the cast of Pourquoi tu pleures? also screened at the palais –in a different screen of course. Oh! Rossi de Palma and what I’m sure is a cross dresser, lol! probably her impersonator… fun. Antonio signing autographs with non-crazy or noisy fans. Pedro is interviewed and the translator is there too (very elegant, indeed, lol!). Yes movie is different, but is me and audiences will recognize me. Antonio in English… Elena speaking French (lol!) … oh gosh, Elena and Almodovar has to be great… Elena speaking English (lol!) … then French … then Spanish … so European, love it!! Marisa… no interview. Antonio fooling around. That’s what previous videos lack and I know they can do. Jean Paul Gaultier is there too! He did the costumes ah! I can imagine how costumes will look. Red carpet was short but was okay.

Ichimei (Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai) by Takashi Miike the 3D remake of Seppuku (Harakiri) by Masaki Kobayashi, which took the Cannes Special Jury prize in 1963. For Cannes history annals the fact that Miike becomes the first director of a 3D film to contest the Palme d’Or. I’m really torn as I didn’t enjoyed much his previous film 13 Assassins, but maybe will give movie a try eventually. Film photocall, Miike’s interview, and press conference are available, I watched a little of each but find it not entertaining and too many translations going on.

Un Certain Regard

Today L’Exercise de l’Etat (The Minister) by Pierre Schoeller; his second movie after Versailles and one that plays with the exercise of power and words as an instrument of power; of course will watch.

Also, The Day He Arrives by Hong Sangsoo who as we know won last year the section Jury prize with Ha Ha Ha that been dubious if I should watch or not. But his new film is in black and white and is not a comedy, so maybe I should start watching his work with this movie.

Cannes Classics

When I saw A Clockwork Orange I was truly shocked by what I saw in the screen, more specifically by how it was presented; but from that moment on Stanley Kubrick became one of my favorite directors. Yes I liked a lot 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove, Lolita, plus other older films; but A Clockwork Orange was the one that really got me into Kubrick. So today the section screens a restored version of this so-famous movie that if you haven’t seen it I suggest you do, but wonder if you ever will be able to experience what many viewers –including me- experienced in the late 60’s or early 70s when movie was released and slowly-very slowly became available all over the world, as in those days movie was “radical” but today I know is not anymore. This is one movie that I have seen once and no one will make me watch it twice as don’t want to spoil my memories and the amazing experience that I had back then. Today screening will be attended by Malcom McDowell and the director’s wife, Christiane Kubrick.

Also today Il Etait une fois… Orange Mecanique (Once Upon a Time… A Clockwork Orange) by Antoine de Gaudemar.

Tonight the screening of 1952 La Macchina Ammazzacattivi by Roberto Rossellini, another of my favorite Italian master filmmakers and undisputed master of neo-realism; film was his first comedy.

Also within the section Egypt, Invited Coutry, 1971 Al Bostagui by Hussein Kamal which is perhaps the lighter film screened in the section as is about a postman who opens people’s mail and learns of a love story.

Cinéma de la Plage

Today a film from the Egypt, Invited Country, Le Cri d’une fourmi (Ant Scream), Sameh Abdel Aziz which closes the section published program as tomorrow there will be a reprise and on Saturday a “surprise film”. Film is described as “a funny, quirky film about the beginnings of the Egyptian revolution that tells the story of Gouda’s difficult return to Egypt and when he’s asked to “live like an ant”.


Two programs today. First Program 2 with the following short films: Ya-Gan-Bi-Hang (Fly by Night) by Son Tae-gyum, Big Muddy by Jefferson Moneo, Befetach Beity (On My Doorstep) by Anat Costi, and Drari by Kamal Lazraq.

Second, Program 3 with the following short films: Duelo Antes Da Noite (Duel Before Nightfall) by Alice Furtado, Bento Monogatari (Lunchbox Story) by Pieter Dirkx, Der Wechselbalg (Changeling) by Maria Steinmetz, and Al Martha Lauf (Marta Must Fly) by Ma’ayan Rypp.


Today three films. First, Atmen (Breathing) by Karl Markovics with a story that doesn’t call my attention but I’m curious about reactions to film, so will be reading them after the screening.

Second, Après le sud (Heat Wave) by Jean-Jacques Jauffret that calls my attention because film “refined and minimalistic mise en scène”, the few visuals I have seen, and film clip has marvelous silence.

Last, a film that I’m very curious as from what I have seen, seems has amazing compositions and visuals, but Sur la planche by Leïla Kilani story seems the kind of story I do enjoy as tells the story of a foursome “four girls on the run, made of love, choices, shattered destinies” the protagonists of a film noir under the conflicting auspices of the dream of globalization.


If you still don’t feel that the festival is coming to end, then consider that today this section closes with the Award Ceremony followed by the closing film: Pouquoi tu pleures? by Katia Lewkowicz, that surely will watch, and tomorrow there will screenings of the awarded films with the Soutien ACID/CCAS award, Prix SACD, Grand Prix, Prix Decouverte, and Grand Prix Canal+. So, later expect the first post with the first awards in this year festival.

In the late morning there will be the screening of the short films in the NISI MASA Istanbul Express with the following 8 films produced in the in the framework of the Istanbul Express project where 50 young filmmakers set off from San Sebastian in Spain crossing Europe by train and making itinerant documentaries during one month. If you wish to learn the films and/or learn more about the project please go here.


Today Goodnight Nobody by Jacqueline Zünd that calls my attention as is the tales of four insomniacs; before feature screening, two short films: Deep Inside by Marc Gibaja and Scenes de Vestiaire by Frédéric Malègue.

Also today and as a Special Screening, Léa by Bruno Rolland another film that calls my attention for Lea’s story.

Serious News

Decided to share the following news with you that are copy/paste from Cannes official site. First is the May 18 press release.

“The Festival de Cannes was disturbed about the statements made by Lars von Trier in his press conference this morning in Cannes. Therefore the Festival asked him to provide an explanation for his comments. The director states that he let himself be egged on by a provocation. He presents his apology. The direction of the Festival acknowledges this and is passing on Lars von Trier’s apology. The Festival is adamant that it would never allow the event to become the forum for such pronouncements on such subjects.”

Second, the Statement from the Board of Directors of the Festival de Cannes released on May 19.

“The Festival de Cannes provides artists from around the world with an exceptional forum to present their works and defend freedom of expression and creation. The Festival’s Board of Directors, which held an extraordinary meeting this Thursday 19 May 2011, profoundly regrets that this forum has been used by Lars Von Trier to express comments that are unacceptable, intolerable, and contrary to the ideals of humanity and generosity that preside over the very existence of the Festival. The Board of Directors firmly condemns these comments and declares Lars Von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately.”

I started to watch Melancholia’s red carpet where von Trier says he was behaving very Danish and was joking but decided to stop watching as really don’t like what’s happening; even if didn’t watch a thing –and now von Triers words are in videos that populate the net, but won’t watch them- I don’t like what Trier said (even if it was a joke) but neither like festival authorities and mass media reactions.

Still one thing is true, when Cannes starts many are predicting, speculating and waiting for the “Festival Scandal” and even if all were wrong in their predictions, now they have the scandal they all wished for so they can rejoice spreading the word for a while, as in a few months everything will be forgotten and some will start the Cannes scandal cycle again. Sigh.


Thanks to my watching Cannes photos pastime discovered a photocall for the film Les Hommes Libres (Free Men) starring none other than Tahar Rahim (remember him from A Prophet?) by Ismael Ferroukhi, will try to find more info about this WWII movie. Okay the film is Cannes in the “School Screenings” a section aimed at secondary pupils but it’s incomprehensible how it ended in that section.

Not-So-Serious News

I’m sure that everyone that’s still in Cannes will attend the screening of Almodovar’s film and first red carpet photos confirm what I suspected. OMG! love Elena’s shoes! Lol! But her dress looks like a blouse I used to have. Pedro’s shoes are colorful. Yes I’m watching photos as the last thing I’ll do today before publishing will be watching everything Almodovar! Think that I haven’t mention before photographer’s fascination with shoes; you have no idea of how many shoes I have been able to see in hundreds of photos, lol! Okay, I’m starting to watch cast photos from red carpet, hope soon video is up at official site. LOL! Photos are funny! Excellent! I’m starting to melt down into my “Almodovar mode”.

Today we can see the photos of amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala Party with attendees like Ivan Trump, Mischa Barton (looking very old but better than in previous photos), Michelle Rodriguez, Kenneth Cole, Fabiola Beracasa (lol!), Rosario Dawson, Brooke Shields, Sarah Ferguson, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, etc.

Tonight the Cinema for Peace event honored Sean Penn career, one of the speeches was by a very smiling Leonardo DiCaprio, photos are all over the net. On other news American press, The Hollywood Reporter, honored Jodie Foster with an exclusive cocktail party where she was recognized for her “multifaceted career”.

My First Guess

As Cannes starts to fade and with –according to me- only two strong contenders not screened yet, here is my first guest for films that will get honors – in no particular order: The Artist and Le Havre seem to be strong contenders to grand prize, but also Almodovar’s La Piel Que Habito. Also could become contenders’ films by Sorrentino and Nuri Bilge Ceylan. My prediction could mean that the Palme d’Or will stay in Europe.

Best actress: Tilda Swinton, Marisa Paredes or Elena Anaya, Cecile de France, someone from Polisse, and maybe a newcomer.
Best actor: Antonio Banderas, Sean Penn, and the rest will be French actors…

Other awards: L’Apollonide (could get cinematography),
FIPRESCI Award could go to Michael

Still too early for crystal ball to be fogless but on Friday things will start to get clearer.

Today Photos

As today is Pedro’s day, here are only Pedro’s film photos… plus Rossi de Palma in La Piel Que Habito red carpet.

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