Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2014 Cannes Check #12 The Last Check

The last 2014 Cannes Check is dedicated to two directors that have their films in Un Certain Regard. Both are well-known to me and have seen all their previous work.

#12.1 Céline Sciamma

Born on November 1980, she went to the very famous La Fémis (16th promotion) to study Scriptwriting! As a matter of fact she used her graduation thesis in her debut feature film, the fantastic Naissance des pieuvres that screened at Un Certain Regard in 2007 Cannes and went to win France's most prestigious award Prix Louis-Delluc for first feature film.

Her second feature film, Tomboy, was screened at the 2011 Berlinale and went to win the most prestigious LGTB cinema award, the Teddy Award. Her third feature film, Bande de Filles (Girlhood) is the opening film of the 2014 Quinzaine des Réalisateurs.

Some are calling her latest film the "last in a trilogy" about childhood, teenagers as film is another youth exploration in France that also applies to many countries around the world, just like her two previous films were, and are predicting that she will probably move on to new themes (sigh). As she said in a March 2014 France Culture interview "we return to adolescence, the end of adolescence" so perhaps is true and this film is the last of her youth trilogy.

Her first feature film (there is a review here) blew my mind beyond whatever I have seen before in LGTB cinema, her second film was unexpected and disconcerted me a bit for style and substance (also has review here) so I am trying not to have expectations for her third film but I know will be controversial as a lesbian interest movie as the film theme has to be not easy to watch. But I also believe that she is one of the very few openly lesbian filmmakers that do lesbian interest cinema, that already crossed over into mainstream world audiences, actually she was never in the LGTB niche! That's how good she is as an outstanding filmmaker. I'm "dying" to see this film.

Basic Info for Bande de Filles (Girlhood)
Director: Céline Sciamma
Scripwriter: Céline Sciamma
Language: French
Runtime: 112 min
Production countries: France
Production companies: Hold Up Films, Arte France Cinéma

Plot Summary
Oppressed by her family setting, dead-end school prospects and the boys law in the neighborhood, Marieme starts a new life after meeting a group of 3 free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her dress code, and quits school to be accepted in the gang, hoping that this will be a way to freedom.

The Trailer

#12.2 Lisandro Alonso

For those that know me this will come as a big surprise: if you ask me about art-house cinema, art-cinema and/or anything related to cinema and art in Latin America my top-of-mind spontaneous answer is Lisandro Alonso and not Carlos Reygadas! Yes, for me, there is no one like Argentinean Lisandro Alonso as he has gone far, very far in those films that join the words cinema and art to make a fusion that absolutely is not for all audiences but for those cinephiles that can appreciate art in moving images, usually very slowly moving images. Sigh.

His debut film, La Libertad, was screened in Un Certain Regard at 2001 Cannes and he has been surprisingly absent until this year when his Jauja is screened also in the same section. So it's a very short history with the fest official selection but I strongly suggest you see his other films, Los Muertos, Fantasma and Liverpool that where screened at La Quinzaine des Réalisateurs to see how good he is.

Nevertheless his latest film, Jauja, has been called his "most accessible to-date" which means that will appeal to more audiences BUT after watching two short film scenes can deduce that it is not for mass-audiences as yes, found scenes absolutely beautiful, breathtaking and hypnotic! This is the first time that Alonso is working with actors as he usually works with non-actors and according to what I read seems that he was surprised on how "easy" could be to work with them.

After finally watching today the film scenes I can say that I'm "dying" to watch this film. Sigh.

Basic Info for Jauja
Director: Lisandro Alonso
Scripwriter: Lisandro Alonso, Fabian Casas
Language: Danish and Spanish
Runtime: 108 min
Production countries: Argentina, USA, Netherlands, France, Mexico, Denmark and Germany
Production companies: 4L, Perceval Pictures, Kamoli Films, Fortuna Films, Mantarraya, Wanka, The Match Factory, Les Films du Worso, Massive
Starring: Vigo Mortensen

Plot Summary
The Ancient Ones said that Jauja was a mythological land of abundance and happiness. Many expeditions tried to find the place to verify this. With time, the legend grew disproportionately. People were undoubtedly exaggerating, as they usually do. The only thing that is known for certain is that all who tried to find this earthly paradise got lost on the way.

Scenes at Cannes Official Site here.

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