Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 5 at Cannes 2014

A beautiful day in Cannes, hot, blue sky, and many people inside a movie theater watching movies. Perfect! I will admit that have done exactly that when I'm on vacations in the Caribbean -and love the air conditioning!

The Competition

The Homesman by Tommy Lee Jones

Jones fifth film has an amazing female cast, looks like a western but feels like a strong female driven drama, as far as I can tell from the multiple clips and trailer that have seen, there are some awesome visuals so I am getting more and more interested in watching. Let's see what happens with film reactions.

This is a film that if you wish you can watch the videos as are in English without the annoying voice-over translation. The best of watching the red carpet was seeing Melanie Laurent with all her female cast in Respire. Seems that everyone that is someone, ie the cast of all the movies that have screened in Cannes without a red carpet, are in today's red carpet allowing them to have their red carpet photograph moment, like right now, Mr. Depardiu, the FIFA president plus cast/crew of United Passions.  Announcer keeps reminding everyone that this is a Luc Besson production and in the press conference the American producer said that without Besson there was no The Homesman.

In general seems that reactions tend to be mix but I find that positive reactions speak about what attracts me to this movie.

Reactions to film
Hilary Swank brings steel to Tommy Lee Jones uneven The Homesman (Guy Lodge-Hitfix)
THE HOMESMAN finds new facets in the Western. It's scratchy in places but keeps on asking difficult questions. Helluva movie. (Tom Charity)
Nine years after his directorial debut opened here, the veteran actor and man in black returns to the western – with diminishing results. (Geoff Andrew-Sight&Sound)
Is Tommy Lee Jones' 'The Homesman' the Strangest Movie In Competition at Cannes? (Eric Kohn-Indiewire)
Tommy Lee Jones's western about a woman's lot on the wild frontier refuses to sugar-coat its subject, and is all the more satisfying for it. (Robbie Collin-The Telegraph)
"The Homesman", Tommy Lee Jones dans un Far-West humaniste. (Jacky Bornet-FranceTV)
Tommy Lee Jones transcende le western dans The Homesman. L'acteur signe un deuxième film dingue, dérive existentielle et féministe affolante de beauté. (Premiere)

Le Meraviglie (The Wonders) by Alice Rohrwacher

The only Italian movie in the competition and is directed by a woman; a fact that it is a huge achievement in Italian cinema where everything (especially change) moves at its own pace, very slowly. Bravo!!! Then add that it is her second movie and she made it to the competition, after having her debut film in La Quinzaine, and becomes a huger achievement. Bravo brava!!!

After all the necessary praise to the filmmaker can say that I found magic in the few images we have seen for this movie but I am looking forward to see how critics/viewers react to the film that imagine is going to be more "classic Italian" than contemporary cinema, as was her first film. Then highly enjoy performances by Alba Rohrwacher and many -not all- by Monica Bellucci so cast is another reason to watch film.

Thanks to the press conference video learned that Monica Bellucci is going to be 50 years-old this year. Unimaginable. She still looks good; perhaps now looks more elegant.

Film reactions seem to be positive, perhaps the less positive are found in the Italian language (lol); but wonder if perceptions/reactions to film means that will have possibilities for the top award. Will the fest warm to the idea of another female director winning the Palme d'Or? Can this female majority do the 'miracle'? Or will be too obvious?

Reactions to film
A curiously resonant tale outside the norm affirms the importance and inherent mystery of the natural world. (Deborah Young-THR)
La divine surprise d'Alice Rorhwacher (FilmdeCulte)
Endless standing o for Le Meraviglie right now (Cédric Succivalli)
MERAVIGLIE le génie de Rohrwacher est de créer un onirisme à partir d’une mise en scène naturaliste. On ne croirait pas mais c’est évident. (artfilm)
12 minuti di applausi alla proiezione per il pubblico di "Le Meraviglie". Un trionfo ed Alice Rohrwacher scoppia a piangere! (Radio Monte Carlo)

Special Screenings
Ukkili kamshat (The Owners) by Adilkhan Yerzhanov
Not familiar with the director but believe it is a great achievement to have two films in one Cannes edition as not only has this film in the Official Selection but also has a project in L'Atelier. I am curious about his films, all three he has done, but know will be hard to watch them not because of story but because availability. Sigh.

Midnight Screenings
The Rover by David Michôd
Since yesterday have been reading reactions to the film and most are not positive, except for those that come from America who find movie story similar to what Hollywood likes to do with commercial success. Sigh. Will not spend too much words on this film as I did not enjoy much his previous film, Animal Kingdom and with the cast he selected I am sure that will not enjoy this film. Sigh.

Un Certain Regard

Turist by Ruben Östlund

Did not enjoy much Play but loved Involuntary so I am hoping that his latest will be more like the second and if I trust my first impression after seeing film clips then seems that will be! Great! Yes the avalanche scene blew my mind as well as the mind of many trailer viewers according to what I read as comments. So there is no surprise when reactions to the film start to praise it and some wonder why film was not in the main competition.

Reaction to film
Una familia, una avalancha... y un drama perverso. (Cine Maldito)
Fantastiskt kul med Cannes mottagande av Ruben Östlunds "Turist"! (Calle Nathanson)
An avalanche of an applause for Ruben Ostlund (Ioncinema)

Hermosa Juventud (Beautiful Youth) by Jaime Rosales
Not familiar with director and haven't seen any of his four previous feature films and from story summary, a young couple in crisis-ridden Spain, seems that will not be watching his fifth film. Sigh.
Reactions to film
Beautiful Youth: when poverty creeps in at the door... (Alfonso Rivera-Cineuropa)
Pain for Spain's lost generation. An intelligent, bracing study of Spanish twentysomethings doomed to unemployment and disillusion, told through the story of a couple with a newborn child. (Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian)

Jauja by Lisandro Alonso

Absolutely "dying" to see this film for all the right reasons: the director, the cast, the story, the style, the visual poetry, the poetic narrative and the fusion of all of the above.

Believe that we will not learn why this film was not chosen to be in competition, as if we compare side by side the reactions to Relatos Salvajes and to Jauja, well, there is NO comparison, Jauja is superior. Punto.

Reactions to film
Alonso. Masterpiece. Punto (Diego Lerer-Otroscines)
JAUJA es una película cuyos lazos con la filmografía previa de Alonso están en primer plano. (Micropsia)
JAUJA is very Alonso (existential/symbolic quest arc) but also feels completely new. Seriously racking by brains for a more beautiful movie. (David Jenkins)
Lisandro Alonso's Jauja is my film of #Cannes2014 so far. Sublime. Mesmerising. Peerless. (Adam Woodward)
JAUJA is a tremendous cinematic achievement. How is it not competing for Palme? Tarkovsky fans will fall in love. Speechless. (Nik Grozdanović)
Il sogno della verita': JAUJA di Lisandro Alonso. Splendido.(Filmcritica)
Le festival s'est trompé d'Argentin. C'est Lisandro Alonso et son puissant Jauja qu'il fallait mettre en compet, pas l'autre nul (Romain Blondeau)
Strangest film here yet: Lisandro Alonso's JAUJA. Lots of walking in the desert (very Alonso). But then... Not your average Viggo vehicle. (Jonathan Romney)
"Jauja" confirma a Lisandro Alonso como el más importante de los cineastas latinoamericanos del siglo XXI. No deja de crecer. Arranca como una relectura modernista de "The Searchers" de Ford. Después se mistifica y fractura de forma especular.(Manu Yáñez)

Cannes Classics
Today one of the first talkies in French cinema and a classic by Jean Renoir with a well-deserved restoration; but all four films have something to make us wish to revisit them and hope that younger audiences will discover them.
Tsisperi mtebi anu daujerebeli ambavi (Blue Mountains, or Unbelievable Story) by Eldar Shengelaya
Les Violons du Bal by Michel Drach
La Vie de Château (A Matter of Resistance) by Jean-Paul Rappenaeau
La Chienne (The Bitch) by Jean Renoir

Cinéma de la Plage
United Passions by Frederic Auburtin
A month before the World Cup in Brazil, Cannes warms fanatics with the premiere of the movie about the creation of the FIFA. Believe it or not I am a football fan -only once every four-years-; so why not learn about perhaps the most famous sport federation in the world? I will.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da (A Hard Day) by Kim Seong-Hun

Film seems to have the typical twisted story so popular in Korean cinema, a detective covering up his crime hides body inside his mother's coffin and now his partner is in charge of investigation.  These films are great for a special mood, when you do not mind to follow the sometimes fast/sometimes slow silly narrative development.  One thing have these films in common and this one seems is no exception, awesome cinematography.

As expected film reactions tend to be positive by those that traditionally love Korean cinema and the genre.

Reactions to film
A Hard Day is Easy-to-Love Genre Cinema (Pierre Conran-Twitch)
Twisty, Inventive, Hilarious Korean Cop Thriller ‘A Hard Day’ Is A Total Blast. (Jessica Kian-The Playlist)

Refugiado by Diego Lerman

Diego Lerman films have traveled a wide scale in themes and styles, starting with the quite strange and unusual lesbian interest debut feature film Tan de Repente (Suddenly) up to his latest before this one, the quite traditional cinema storytelling and style, La Mirada Invisible (The Invisible eye). So the past does not assure what we will see in Refugiado, a running from family violence mother and child drama. Let's hope that reactions to film gives us an idea.

Reactions to film
Plangent without being cloying, this is a solid issue-driven drama straight out of the Dardennes Brothers/Ken Loach/Andrea Arnold school of handheld social realism. (Leslie Felperin-THR)
Diego Lerman's Refugiado. For someone *sans accreditation* I think that's pretty good going. (Ed Frankl-MEGFilmworks)

La Semaine de la Critique

Gente de Bien by Franco Lolli

Not sure what to think about this film. Film plays with something that is both true in French as in Spanish, the meaning of Gente de Bien, which could mean good people as well as wealthy people, so is about the quintessential Latin American theme, social classes.
The synopsis. Eric, 10, finds himself almost overnight living with Gabriel, his father, who he barely knows. The man has trouble keeping their heads above water and building a relationship with his son. Maria Isabel, the woman Gabriel works for as a carpenter, decides to take the child under her wing.

Reactions to film
Applaudissements nourris pour les acteurs de Gente de Bien à la projection de 17h de la @semainecannes (Julien Lada)


Brooklyn by Pascal Tessaud
Another film without distribution and film info hard to find.  Still here is the synopsis in French.
Coralie s’évade de sa Suisse natale et débarque à Paris pour tenter sa chance dans le rap. En attendant, elle trouve une place de cuisinière dans une association musicale à Saint-Denis. Elle y rencontre Issa, l’étoile montante de la ville…


-Today is the press screening of Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars and press is already announcing that they will publish "reactions" right after seeing the film. Seems that we will not have to wait until tomorrow.

-It is official, Godard will not attend the festival and as in the past, everyone laments his absence.

Not-so-serious News

-Was checking the odds as of today and Winter Sleep still is the favorite to win the Palme d'Or with 3/1 odds; at the bottom The Captive with 150/1. Best Actress still is Marion Cotillard (5/4) followed by Maria Alexandra Lungu in La Meraviglie (6/1). Best Actor still is Timothy Spall (3/1) followed by Haluk Bilginer in Winter Sleep (9/2).

-Late last night had a good laugh with a tweet that said something like this: "Great that Justin Bieber is here, can't wait to learn what he thinks about Godard latest film". LOL!!!

-Oops! My Expendables 3 yesterday list had a few omissions, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mel Gibson! Today was the press conference, photocall and show.

-This afternoon Variety co-hosted a lunch for Relativity Media celebrating the studio's 10th anniversary at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Among guests, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Jason Statham. 

-Last night was the Vanity Fair Armani Cannes Party at Hotel du Cap with almost everyone that is someone who are in Cannes got to assist, including those that first went to the other party, the Mockingjay party.

-Somewhere else near the beach, in a beach club, the WTNY party also last night.  The Welcome to New York party to celebrate the "graphic and barely fictionalized case involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn". Whips included.

-Not in Cannes but very close at Monaco, The Louis Vuitton cruise 2015 show yesterdat with many that were/are/will be in Cannes like Charlotte Gainsbourg, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Jennifer Connelly, Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi, Rinko Kikuchi.

Photos of the Day

Adèle Exarchopoulos, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Jennifer Connelly

Gong Li

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