Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 3 at Cannes 2014

In the third day Cannes seems to have lost steam again with the first film in competition this morning as the press has not been kind with their comments. Hope things get better with today's second film in competition. Somehow feel that after the disastrous opening film, critics tend to go to extremes either you love film or you hate it and they are vociferous in social media.

The Competition

Captives by Atom Egoyan

This year the inconceivable happened: three Canadians competing for the Palme d'Or! But seems that Egoyan is out of the competition. Somehow suspected that film could be more commercial than the regular fare Cannes shows and seems that maybe I was right. Reactions in several languages to film have been mixed and yes some compare film to Dennis Villeneuve's Prisoners claiming that Egoyan's is better while others say is worst. Seems that after watching film the word that is most associated with film story is pedophile, hmm.

No matter what happens with film I know will watch it for entertainment purposes, expecting not much and maybe by the time I see it will have forgotten that is the end of the film what bothered many critics.

Reactions to film
This ludicrous abduction thriller plays like an ill-advised assembly of tropes and themes from Atom Egoyan's highlights reel. (Justin Chang-Variety)
One-star turkey, this one so misjudged from start to finish it feels like a terrible dream (Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian)
Atom Egoyan's kidnapping drama is arch and ridiculous (Drew McWeeny-HItfix)
Demands a certain leap of faith from viewers willing to enter into the playful and perverse spirit of the game (Jonathan Romney-Screendaily)

Kış Uykusu (Winter Sleep) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Absolutely biased toward this movie, so if you cannot stand passion then suggest you skip everything about this movie here. But be aware that still today betting odds give this movie the Palme d'Or by far so film has high possibilities to win something but not just "because", Nuri Bilge Ceylan fims are stunning, visually breathtaking, engaging and you always want more no matter the runtime.

For this movie will watch everything live, but I realize that photocall has already happen as Getty has the photos. Hope soon they go live with the press conference. No they don't have it why?

Not many photographers, not much noise and a protest for Turkey's mine disaster. No was not my imagination that I was seeing to much black, they are wearing black to mourn the dead miners.

Red Carpet

Was getting concern about the lack of tweets/news about the film but suddenly a few moments ago Twitter went back to work for me and to my surprise there are many tweets with comments. Most are positive, well, at least from those renown film critics that have my attention; obviously there will be others that will not like movie as they didn't liked Once Upon A Time in Anatolia.

Up to this moment what has surprised me is the mention that this is the "chattiest" movie he has done! Oh! Do not know what to think as I love his very long takes with absolute silence but in the film length there has to be time for everything. I hope. Then seems many agree that is too long but that is something expected in film festival where too many events/things are happening at once.

Still, I am not alone when I say that with his movies I want more: Plus c’est long, plus c’est bon avec les films de ce cinéaste turc, souvent primé à Cannes... Celui-ci dure 3h16 et ne devrait pas faire exception… (20minutes France)

Reactions to the film
Winter Sleep is Ceylan's most demanding and literary film. Also his richest, most complex exploration of flawed human beings. Master piece! (Eren Odabasi)
The Chekhov of the Turkish steppes has surpassed himself: @_nbc_'s WINTER SLEEP is an astonishing meditation on forgiveness and frailty. (Scott Foundas)
WINTER SLEEP: the cold embrace of a man's midlife crisis. Gripping, thought-provoking and absolutely stunning (FilmLand Empire)
Justifiable standing o. for WINTER SLEEP, his chattiest film, about a Scrooge who accepts his solitary affluent life. (Eric Kohn)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan nos dá mais um belo filme ... Jane Campion aplaudindo de pé com Sofia Coppola e Gael Garcia Bernal, dentro do cercadinho VIP. (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
Winter Sleep poema da camera turco (gzagato-Corriere della Sera)
Winter Sleep was breathtaking... 10 dakika kesintisiz ayakta alkislandi. Gurur duydum. (Selcen Yimazogl)

... and many more in languages I understand (LOL). Now I feel in peace, movie has great reactions, IF wins the Palme d'Or or not is of no consequence for me as I am absolutely "dying" to see this masterpiece. Sigh.  Well, it is not true, yes I care (lol) and think that he deserves the highest award after winning almost everything possible in Cannes. Right? We will see what happens.

Out of Competition

How to Train Your Dragon 2 by Dean Deblois

The most interesting news about this film is Dean Deblois making us recall that Shrek was in Cannes and to see what happen with the character and the many films. Also Cate Blanchett does the voice of Valka and if you are a Game of Thrones fan (I am not) you will recognize Kit Harington voice playing Eret.

Photocall (you can only hear Cate!, Cate!), press conference and interview are nice to watch because Cate Blanchett is there! But also America Ferrara, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington and the dragon! No, Jonah Hill or Kristen Wiig are not here.

The red carpet video is great just to see majestic Cate Blanchett in another spectacular dress but this time also noticed that Jeffrey Katzenberg is also with the film group.

Special Screenings

Eau argentée, Syrie autoportrait by Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Simav Bedirxan

Cannes is not known to have many documentaries in their official selection and been reading articles that ask fest organizers to "open" themselves to documentaries.

Nevertheless each year there are a few of them but I believe that most have something in common: they have very political stories. This one is no exception as deals with director disgust at the Syrian conflict and the lack of reaction from the international community towards his country.

Red Army by Gabe Polsy
A documentary about a sport that surely will transcend the sport into politics. Watch if you like hockey probably will enjoy it more than many of us that don't.

Un Certain Regard

La Chambre Bleue by Mathieu Amalric

Not really a fan of Amalric films but I always see them as like his performances and know that of course will watch this film NO matter what critics say, especially those that are NOT French speaking. With the Cannes exercise I'm doing this year I am learning too much about films which I do not like to do before watching the film. So you will notice that especially with French films will be avoiding learning more about what film is about. Sigh. Obviously must be seen for me.

Reaction to film
Mathieu Amalric's erotic thriller is at its best beneath the bedclothes. (Xan Brooks-The Guardian)
Amalric fait de l'oeuvre de Simenon un trip lynchien (Christophe Narbonne-Premiere)
Mathieu Amalric's adaptation of Georges Simenon's mystery novel honors the text, but misses the atmosphere. (Guy Lodge-Variety)

Amour Fou by Jessica Hausener

Film looks and feels like classic period cinema with Austrian director, Jessica Hausener, exploring the events that lead to the suicide of the German poet Heinrich Von Kleist in 1811. Surely a romantic drama possibly in the very Germanic cold-ish cinematic style. But probably will watch it, especially after learning that film visual classicism is integral part of the story.

Reactions to film
A dryly amusing and ambiguously layered account of the famed double suicide of Heinrich von Kleist and Henriette Vogel. (Justin Chang-Variety)
A complex and exquisitely filmed exploration of a man's desire to find a woman willing to die with him. (Boyd van Hoeij-THR)
Jessica Hausner creates a magnificent film at the heart of the paradoxes of bourgeois romanticism and conformism at the beginning of the 19th century. (Fabien Lemercier-Cineuropa)

Cannes Classics

Below the three films that will be screened today two are feature films and one a documentary about infamous producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. In particular I strongly suggest you watch the classic Carné feature film Le jour se lève, IF you haven't seen it yet.

龍門客棧 Long men kezhan (Dragon Inn) by King Hu
Le jour se lève (Daybreak) by Marcel Carné
The Go-Go Boys; The Inside Story of Cannon Films by HIlla Medalia (documentary)

Cinéma de la Plage

Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (For a Few Dollars More) by Sergio Leone
Of course I watched Spaghetti Westerns a long time ago and had my favorite movies BUT -now- surprisingly movies with Clint Eastwood were NOT my favorites! My favorite actors were Franco Nero and Terence Hill! Strange that Cannes celebrates the 50 years of Italian Westerns and there are no movies with them (lol). Yes have seen this movie and well maybe if I revisit film will see Clint with different eyes. Sigh.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Catch Me Daddy by Daniel Wolfe

Not exactly understand why American press gave that much coverage to this film previous its Cannes release but now British press are soft about film that I know will be hard to watch as "the never-ending misery" prevails in the story of the relentless pursuit of fugitive lovers. Still French press is more kind to film so that means something for me. Not rushing to watch film but know that eventually will see it.

Reactions to film
The neverending misery is wearying and some of the tough guy dialogue hard to catch. (Allan Hunter-Screendaily)
Très beau thriller, très noir, perturbant et dramatique. (Culturebox)

Gett - Le procès de Viviane Amsalem (Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem) by Ronit and Shlomi Elkabetz

I highly enjoy Ronit Elkabetz performing so I could not skip this film but having her directing (her fourth film) along with her brother is a plus.  The story seems like a strong drama as is about a woman that has been applying for divorce for three years with no positive result.  She is determined to fight for her freedom; but in Israel there is no civil marriage nor civil divorce, only rabbis can legitimate a marriage or its dissolution.  But dissolution is only possible with full consent from the husband, who has more power than the rabbis.  While writing the summary in my head had the picture of her acting and was superb! Know that she will not disappoint me. This is the third film in a their trilogy following To Take a Wife and 7 Days.

Reactions to film
le formidable film de Ronit Elkabetz et de son frère cadet Shlomi, montre pour la première fois les tribunaux israéliens au cinéma. (Sophie Grassin-Le Observateur)

La Semaine de la Critique

Boreg (Self Made) by Shira Geffen

I enjoyed her Meduzot (Jellyfish) so probably will enjoy her Boreg (Self Made) especially because is a story of two women trapped in their own worlds; after a mix-up at a checkpoint, they find themselves living the life of the other on the opposite side of the border. Ah! one is Israeli and the other Palestinian.

Reactions to film
Étrange, drôle, poétique ce SelfMade de Shira Geffen! Vraiment pas mal! (TheCreatacha)
A charming and cerebral film about the tribulations of women's lives in Israel. (Clarence Tsui-THR)


Qui Vive by Marianne Tardieu

Today Tardieu's debut feature film that has had wide press coverage before being screened as Adèle Exarchopoulos starts in film. Not surprisingly film already has distribution by Rezo Films. Nevertheless as all films in this "ultra-indie" (sic) section they are very hard to watch for the film itself as for they hardly get distribution outside France, sigh.

Reaction to film
A low-key, rather generic thriller salvaged by a strong message and solid lead performance. (Jordan Mintzer-THR)


-Today will share the Cannes 2014 Odds as of May 16 for film and actors.
Film- Best Odd: 11/4 Winter Sleep Worst Odd: 100/1 The Captive
Actress- Best Odd: 6/4 Marion Cotillard Worst Odd: 25/1 Dorothy Atkinson (Mr. Turner)
Actor: Best Odd: 11/4 Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) Worst Odd: (tie) 28/1 Tommy Lee Jones and Sam Louwyck (The Wonders)

-Today was the TWC (yes, Weinstein) event and according to what I was able to see, the room was pack. Immediately buzz came to possible Oscar nominees: Marion Cotillard in Macbeth and Amy Adams in Big Eyes. Late addition: Michelle Williams in Suite Francaise.  Also The Giver with Meryl Streep trailer was premiered, please notice that is a scifi film.

-Penelope Cruz was yesterday in Cannes to present Ma Ma, which is her first time as a producer and is her first time acting with Julio Medem.

Not-so-serious News

-Last night there was the Calvin Klein Celebrates Women In Film event with many Hollywood actresses attending, like Julianne Moore, Naoimi Watts, Rooney Mara and Lupita Nyong'o.
-Today is the Art of Elysium 6th Annual PARADIS presented by BidKind.
-This afternoon was the Fenix Film Awards, attended by Maria de Medeiros, Ana de la Reguera, Alice Braga and Paz Vega. (No idea what these awards do and not easy to find in the net)

Photos of the Day

Calvin Klein IFP event last night.

Cate and the dragon

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