Saturday, May 23, 2015

Day 11- Cannes 2015

The last day of the festival as tomorrow the only event is the closing ceremony. Today planes are full with the few cinema journalists that stayed to cover the last film in competition and the closing film.

Now we have the quest to find the people that have been called to return and those that never left, let the award winners guessing game begin!

Just learned the FIPRESCI top award, which went to Son of Saul. Not always FIPRESCI and festival top award coincide, but many times they have been one and the same. One thing is clear for me Song of Saul will collect top awards in Cannes 2015, which is what everyone is expecting (lol). In case you do not recall, FIPRESCI is the international film critics association, so the award speaks about what film critics like.

The Competition

Macbeth by Justin Kurzel

No surprise, I was right, this Macbeth version is bloody and violent; imagine that unless I'm grab by story will have a very-hard-time watching those battles scenes. Of course have to watch film (because of actors) but I'm concern with the amount of violence, as there are some American press not-so-positive critiques BUT those mainstream cinema sites simply LOVED the film! Yes, those sites that praise violence in American cinema, sigh. Well good for them as in a way they're praising Shakespeare, which must be a first for them.

Then not all media praise actors performances; some go all the way to say performances are award winners -not in Cannes but in the American award season-, while others say that not even actor's performances save a thin narrative.

It is my impression that not all press reactions lean to the positive side and won't get into analyzing the reason why; but there is one thing that becomes clear this year in Cannes, there was only one film where ALL media seemed to be in full accord when leaning to the quite positive way: Carol by Todd Haynes. What this means for the jury? Probably not much as press reactions almost never match jury actions and not often, audiences reactions.

Yes, I'm watching all videos. Photocall is a bit boring as you get tired of seeing for so long beautiful people (liar! lol). For director is a story about a couple trying to survive as a couple... well, this is something no press really talks about. Macbeth is suffering PTSD ... now we have a name to what Shakespeare described.  Too many spoilers for me in interview, suspect the press conference will have a lot more, so will see just the beginning.  Watching live the red carpet, lots of photographers. Cute, again Xavier Dolan and Sienna Miller walk together the red carpet, this time they are color coordinated! Fans going crazy for Michael Fassbender.

Press reactions
Whatever viewers think of Kurzow’s Macbeth, they won’t be thinking of Polanski’s Macbeth or Welles’ Macbeth or any other Macbeth when they see it – and that’s a considerable achievement in itself ... a version which may be imperfect, but is also quite unforgettable. Screendaily (UK)
Blockbuster battle scenes, spine-tingling staging, utterly believable performances: is this as good as Shakespeare on film gets? ... Fassbender was born for this. Robbie Collin-The Telegraph (UK)
Fassbender and Cotillard full of sound and fury in significant Shakespeare adaptation ... The Highlands are recast as a glowing outback in this extremely stylish and sometimes inspired new version Peter Bradshaw (UK)
The stunning pros and unfortunate cons in Justin Kurzel's take on the Bard just about balance out. David Jenkins-Little White Lies (UK)
Is a grimly visceral adaptation of "Macbeth, striking in the bleak beauty of its earthy violence. Jake Coyle-AP
Fearsomely visceral and impeccably performed, it’s a brisk, bracing update, even as it remains exquisitely in period ... Marion Cotillard and Michael Fassbender excel in Justin Kurzel's thrillingly savage interpretation of the Scottish Play. Guy Lodge-Variety (US)
A bold, inventive and violent adaptation with two award-worthy lead performances. Leslie Felperin-THR (US)
The trouble is that by having a strong man and grieving, traumatized woman as the principle couple, Kurzel doesn't leave room to explain their coupling. It never seems convincing that Macbeth would do anything for his wife, or that she has the capacity to manipulate him. Once it's clear that their relationship fails to convince, the rest of the narrative wears thin. Kaleem Aftab-indiewire (US)
 ... s'avère mieux que ce qu'on aurait pu craindre, notamment grâce à un Michael Fassbender impressionnant. Pierre Murat-Telerama (France)
Après Welles et Polanski, Justin Kurzel, auteur des Crimes de Snowtown adapte cette oeuvre phare de Shakespeare, portée par deux interprétations majeures. Thierry Chèze-L'Express (France)

Macbeth avec sa magnifique photographie clôt le festival dans les cendres et le sang. Trois Couleurs (France)
Visually inventive and bloody. CineVue (UK)
Macbeth has its moments. Fassbender is committed. Kurzel cannot always escape the theatricality of it all. Gregory Ellwood-HitFix (US)
Great landscapes, great score, great grim tone, but they never stop being Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. C+ Tim Grierson (US)
A fully accomplished film that's not without gimmicks (red filters?) and over-dramatizations. Very impressive nonethls. Screen Comment (US)

Out of Competition

La Glace et le Ciel (Ice and the Sky) by Luc Jaquet

The festival closing film has all the promotion program as tomorrow there will be not much media in Cannes. Done by mega-hit March of the Penguins director, doc has been called a powerful eco doc that fronts up to climate change deniers with a message drawn from the life's work of influential climatologist Claude Lorius.

Jaquet films are visually breathtaking and when he goes back to Antarctica there is no doubt he will have awesome visuals, but now we surely will also have to scientifically confront a "fact" many deny. We will have to face a new call to action in the doc finale: "Now that you know, what are you going to do?" As individuals are we going to go on playing fool and let our sons/daughters deal with it or are we going to do something?

Documentary is must-be-seen for me and should be the same for everyone. Sigh.

Short Films Competition
Today is the screening of the nine films in this year competition.

Cannes Classics
Harold and Lillian : a Hollywood Love Story, Daniel Raim
This doc could be interesting as shines light to a couple that has lived in the shadows as Harold and Lillian Michelson are unknown to the general public and yet they are the architects of Hollywood's greatest masterpieces. The chronicle of storyboard artist Harol Michelseon and film researcher Lillian Michelson.
Dobro Pozhalovat, Ili Postoronnim Vkhod Vospreshchen (Welcome or No Trespassing), Elem Klimov, Soviet Union,1964
The Festival closes out its voyage through world cinema classics with a touch of humor; a comedy that captivated children throughout the Soviet Union upon its release.

Cinéma de la Plage
The Usual Suspects by Bryan Singer, USA and Germany, 1995
More than a classic this is a true cult film with a strong fan following. The restored version will give film a new life with younger audiences. Great!

-Tomorrow is the last chance to see in Cannes any of the 19 films in competition. If there are media people surely will go, but I think these screenings are targeted more for general audiences.

-Tomorrow during the festival closing ceremony, Agnès Varda will  receive an honorary Palme d'Or.  Only Woody Allen (2002), Clint Eastwood (2009) and Bernardo Bertolucci (2011) have been granted this supreme distinction by the Board of Directors of the Festival de Cannes.

-Perhaps a bit of a surprise, no Michael Fassbender did NOT climb the odds chart. #1 is still Vincent Lindong followed by Geza Rohrig. Marion Cotillard went up considerable but couldn't beat Emmanuelle Bercot, Zhao Tao and #1 Cate Blanchett and/or Rooney Mara.

-This is how one odds site closed its predictions today.
Palme d'Or: The Assasin
Grand Prix: Son of Saul
Prix du Jury: The Lobster
Director: Maïwenn for Mon Roi
Actress: Carol
Actor: The Measure of a Man
Screenplay: Louder than Bombs

-Have no idea who gamble with Cannes winners -film critics? film fans? film audiences? plain old gamblers?- but both Paddy Power as Las Vegas sites had The Lobster as their #1 before they suspend Palm d'Or betting. lol So, no more betting, is game over.

Not so-serious News
-Guessing Cannes is not easy as the task is to guess what an eclectic group of people could be discussing. But even among eclectic groups there has to be some similarities and this year we know that jurors are dominated by the acting profession: Rossy de Palma, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Jake Gyllenhaal and actor-director Xavier Dolan. My guess is that this year the acting awards will be fiercely discussed IF there is no consensus.
-Jurors are not like us, exposed to what media says. They're busy watching movie, going to parties, attending protocol events and much less, sleeping. So the most likely influences have to be their spouses or companions and/or fellow jurors, as I wish to assume that when they go to parties no one will talk to them about their films (lol).
-The BEST thermometer to guess who could win something will be checking what happens tonight and tomorrow morning at Nice airport, as photo journalist are always looking for the million dollars photo that never comes. Yes, filmmakers will suddenly reappear in photo services, as well as actors that left La Croisette. Can't forget that in almost 70 years there have been several Palme d'Or that filmmakers did NOT came back to pick up!

-Won't do predictions today but will share my emotions. Think is about time Jacques Audiard, Jia Zhangke or Hou Hsiao-hsien win a Palm d'Or; from those three the one that has more possibility is HHH. Cate Blanchett has a collection of major awards but she has NO Cannes award, wish she could get one today and I'm open to the possibility that this jury did the same as the jury lead by Steven Spielberg and give Palm d'Or (s) to worthy actresses of a worthy film.

-Can you imagine what could happen IF Carol does NOT win the Queer Palm?  Has to be a lot worst than what happened when La vie d'Adele didn't win.

Photos of the Day

Cécile de France at short films jury photocall

Very nice photo

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