Monday, May 18, 2015

Day 6 - Cannes 2015

After the tumultuous yesterday, today feels like a very tranquil day in Cannes. Still today there are films that are must-be-seen for me. Perhaps what someone say in social media is true, today is the best cinema-day of the year as in one day some of you lucky Cannes people will be able to watch films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Miguel Gomes; me, I add Mizoguchi and Costa Gavras to the mix in an excellent cinema-day.

The Competition

Louder than Bombs by Joachim Trier

Highly disappointed by the absence of Jesse Eisenberg. But talking about film now think that Scandinavians like to talk about women war photographers, as now Joachim Trier brings to life (and death) to Isabelle Reed played by Isabelle Huppert.The other film I'm thinking is Erik Poppe's 1,000 Times Good Night where Juliette Binoche plays Rebecca, the troubled war photographer. I know, I'm doing the association because both directors chose two of my most admired and favorite actresses -and both are French in non-French majority productions.

I'm not very pleased with my favorite actresses doing films in a language that is not their mother tongue, nor with directors working in a language that is not their own; so I'm concern about this movie that got critics/viewers spontaneous reactions that travel the complete good to bad scale. So some like the movie while others don't, even hate it.

No matter what critics/viewers say, this film is must be seen for me as I see everything with Isabelle Huppert, including her incursions in the English-language films and yes is true, I haven't enjoyed all her English-language performances as most characters doesn't have the force, disturbance-intensity and uniqueness of her characters in French films.  Also have to consider that previous Trier films have blown my mind, so expect that this one will do the same and if I believe some positive reviews seems that could happen.

Will watch videos but without Jesse Eisenberg (sigh), will enjoy to watching always elegant Isabelle Huppert, very handsome Joachim Trier and mainly TV actress (Olive Kitteridge, Black Box, The Blacklist, Manhattan, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, etc) Rachel Brosnahan.

Photocall has photographers going crazy for Isabelle Huppert. Why press conference reporters have to ask such stupid questions?  Why? Every year happens, when will stop?  Media outlets PLEASE send professional reporters.  Thanks you very much.

Press Reactions
Muffled English-language debut by Joachim Trier. A few bright scenes involving Jesse Eisenberg as a callow new father can’t redeem this weirdly pointless drama with Isabelle Huppert as a war photographer and Gabriel Byrne her accommodating husband. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian (UK)
In what can only be described as the smoothest of transitions, Norwegian director Joachim Trier’s English-language debut finds him in top form, completely at ease with the language ... Dan Fainaru-Screendaily (UK)
Joachim Trier, who’s certainly gifted enough to have turned in a passive-viewing tearjerker, “Bombs” asks audiences to bring their brains, eschewing grand catharsis in favor of subtle psychological nuance, resulting in a film that runs both slender and cold on the surface, but rewards the arthouse audiences willing to give it a deeper reading. Peter Debruge-Variety (US)
There's complexity and sensitivity here, but genuine feeling is muted. David Rooney-THR (US)
By breaking up the space and time of the narrative, Joachim Trier attempts his greatest work with a film as fascinating as it is unfathomed. Fabien Lemercier-Cineuropa

Joachim Trier tackles the Hollywood dead-family-member melodrama, making it smart, moving, tolerable. B+. Tim Grierson-LA Film Critics (US)
Best Desplechin movie of the year, with Eisenberg as Amalric. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-AVClub (US)
All the shades of grey that make life's emotional colourfulness intriguing and complex yet clear. Vesna Andonovic-Journalist (Luxembourg)
LouderThanBombs Avec Isabelle Huppert est une déception, vu et revu. Le début est ennuyeux; le filmage n'est pas transcendan. Joan à Cannes (France)

La loi du marché (A Simple Man aka The Measure of a Man) by Stéphane Brizé

As I mentioned before I'm not familiar with director and if I watch this film will be my introduction to his work. To be honest, this is the kind of French films I usually skip; but well, truth is that not many alike films premiere In Competition in Cannes. Know that will give film a try, but I'm still wondering if will enjoy it.

Most critics/viewers first reactions to film are related to the outstanding performance by Vincent Lindon, which has made me think that he has become a contender for the Best Actor award. I'm not a Lindon fan as for me most -if not all- of his performances are forgettable, so I'm curious to find if this performance will surpass all his previous ones.

No surprise to find that most French press believe that this is the best film (up-to-today) in the festival, we will see tomorrow what happens in the Film Francais score chart.

Let me be clear, I love social cinema but my experience has taught me that the best social cinema comes from Belgium and is made by outstanding master filmmakers, Dardenne Brothers. Will I like social cinema by Brizé? I still don't know as nothing I read or see makes me think I will or I will not.

Press Reactions
Vincent Lindon gives a powerful lead performance as an unemployed father trying to make ends meet. Jordan Mintzer-THR (US)
Film politique fort avec une rigoureuse approche documentaire à la Dardenne, La loi du marché doit beaucoup au jeu physique et rentré de Vincent Lindon dont le pouvoir d’incarnation de rôles différents ne cesse d’impressionner. Fabien-France
Drame sur fond de processus d’aliénation au travail avec un Vincent Lindon candidat au prix d’interprétation. Didier Peron-Liberation (France)
Vincent Lindon looms large as an unemployed factory worker turned big-box store detective in Stephane Brize's low-key but powerful social drama. Scott Foundas-Variety (US)

Out of Competition

Inside Out by Peter Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen

Critics/viewers reactions suggest that film will be a huge success as a rollercoaster of emotions.  If all this fuzz is true then will be a very refreshing film as lately there hasn't been any great animation film.  This is a movie that will have a great cast in the French version and an acceptable cast in the English version. Check the synopsis.

Based in Headquarters, the control center inside 11-year-old Riley’s mind, five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Fear heads up safety, Anger ensures all is fair and Disgust prevents Riley from getting poisoned—both physically and socially. Sadness (voice of Phyllis Smith) isn’t exactly sure what her role is, and frankly, neither is anyone else. When Riley's family relocates to a scary new city, the Emotions are on the job, eager to help guide her through the difficult transition. But when Joy and Sadness are inadvertently swept into the far reaches of Riley’s mind—taking some of her core memories with them—Fear, Anger and Disgust are left reluctantly in charge. Joy and Sadness must venture through unfamiliar places.

In Cannes from the English version, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling and Phyllis Smith; from the French version Pierre Niney, Mélanie Laurent, Gilles Lelouche, Charlotte Le Bon, and Marilou Berry.

Midnight Screenings
오피스 O Piseu (Office) by Hong Won-chan
Director debut feature film that explores infamous Korean thriller/crime genre this time in a constrained atmosphere where people are being driven crazy by stress. Sounds good but in the end is really about a company employee that's a serial killer.

Un Certain Regard

Rak Ti Khou Kaen (Cementery of Splendour) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Absolutely believe that Weerasethakul films are an acquired taste as he magnificently travels the realm of magic, dreams and fantasy to tell stories that if told with the realism style will become unbearable to watch. The synopsis.

Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including coloured light therapy, to ease the mens’ troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt’s cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen’s tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.

We know that all his films are not for all audiences, you really have to enjoy great cinema to sustain watching this type of films. Of course is must be seen film for me; but yes, have to find the exact mood to watch it.

Las Elegidas (The Chosen Ones) by David Pablos

Perhaps the only thing that pleases me is that is not another Mexican film about drugs and violence; but unfortunately, is another film about teen prostitution, sigh. All right, director says that is about family and abandonment but positive reviews clearly call film as "prostitution in US border". Imagine will watch film to see if director style goes beyond the norm but I'm not rushing to watch film. Sigh.

By-the-way, industry is already talking about a "second wave" of Mexican filmmakers that mix auteur and mainstream in very successful ways. To better understand the concept let me say that Carlos Reygadas belongs to the first wave that prioritize art above anything else with radical or minimalist features. Still will like to read more about the second wave as they include Amat Escalante's Heli as one of the most famous second wave representatives and according to me, Escalante and Reygadas do very similar cinema. Perhaps not many recall Reygadas Batalla en el Cielo that for me clearly shows what industry is trying to describe as the key elements in the second wave.

Cannes Classics

Z, Costa Gavras, France and Algeria - Cannes Jury Prize winner in 1969 (restored film)
A cinema classic now in a restored; a true pleasure to see again film and maginificent performances by Yves Montand, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Irène Papas.
Zangiku Monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum), Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1939
One of my favorite Mizoguchi films now restored, fabulous as surely will love to revisit this film with extreme beauty and constant use of long single shots. Ah!!!
俠女 Xia Nu (A Touch of Zen), King Hu, Taiwan, 1973
The first Taiwanese film ever to come to Cannes. Seems revolutionized the Chinese martial arts action film genre.
Les Ordres (Orderers), Michel Brault, Canada, 1974
Restored print of one of the greatest Canadian cinema classics about the 1970 Quebec crisis. The cinéma-vérité bordering on documentary but actually most footage is a visual record of history. The film won the Mise en Scène Award, at the Festival de Cannes, in 1975. Very interested in watching this film.

Cinéma de la Plage

Enragés (Rabid Dogs), Eric Hannezo

First feature film by French Eric Hannezo with an interesting cast that includes Virginie Ledoyen and Lambert Wilson. Basically is a complex robbery goes wrong movie.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

As Mil e uma noites- volume 2 O desolado (Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One) by Miguel Gomes
What I said about volume 1 applies to volume 2 and 3. In brief: extremely curious about the three films.

Les Cowboys by Thomas Bidegain

First feature film by much celebrated screenwriter Thomas Bidegain, better-known as the co writer of Jacques Audiard flms like A Prophet, Rust and Bone. Those are interesting credentials that make me curious to find how they translate into moving images. Just found the teaser and images are superb, let's hope that story will live to the standard in his credentials. The synopsis.

On a vast prairie somewhere in eastern France, a country and western gathering is in full swing. Alain is one of the stalwarts of this community. He is dancing with his 16 year-old daughter Kelly as his wife and their young son Kid look on.But later that same day Kelly disappears. The family is stricken. From that moment, Alain becomes obsessed with finding his daughter, even to the point of risking everything: the love of his nearest and dearest and all that he owns.He sets off and is catapulted into the big bad world, a world of upheaval and change, with his only ally in this endless search his son Kid, whose own youth he sacrifices, as he continues his relentless quest.

This another film with John C, Reilly, this time with a cameo. I'm interested in watching film.

Semaine de la Critique

Tierra y Sombra (Land and Shade) by César Augusto Acevedo

Film calls my attention for the visual elements that have generated high pre-Cannes buzz and first press/viewers reactions tend to talk about the images and the visual poetry. So no matter what know that film is must-be-seen for me. Still let's check the synopsis.

Alfonso is an old farmer who has returned home to tend to his son, who is gravely ill. He rediscovers his old house, where the woman who was once his wife still lives, with his daughter-in-law and grandson. The landscape that awaits him resembles a wasteland. Vast sugar cane plantations surround the house, producing perpetual clouds of ash. 17 years after abandoning them, Alfonso tries to fit back in and save his family.

Les Deux Amis (Two Friends) by Louis Garrel

Not really care if I repeat my self a thousand times, I really enjoy Louis Garrel performances and watch everything with him. So my expectations for a film directed by him are high, as expect that much of what he does performing will be transfer to his directorial debut. Of course, film is must-be-seen for me and is in my "dying" to see category. (lol)

I know that Son of Saul is the front-runner for the Camera d'Or, but still wish -for purely emotional reasons- Garrel's film could be a strong contender.

Film is co written by Garrel and his regular director, Christophe Honoré; tells about Clément, a film extra, is madly in love with Mona, a salesgirl in a sandwich bar. Mona has a secret that makes her elusive. When Clément is desperate to win her heart, Abel, his best and only friend, comes to the rescue. The two friends set off in the adventure of conquering her.

Most interesting is the cast as includes Garrel and his real life partner, fantastic Goishifteh Farahani (remember The Patience Stone or About Elly?); so in a way this is a "family" affair.

First reactions to film tend to be on the positive side. For example THR's review talks about film adding a twist to the two-guys-and-a-girl scenario, found in such iconic French films like Jules and Jim ... offers up a charming if not entirely convincing romantic dramedy. Still not really concerned as what THR critic found "not entirely convincing" is -not surprisingly- the finale. Well, but having an almost positive review in English is more a novelty and hope helps film to be sold in the US.

Lately there have been some articles talking about nepotism. The first articles were about Vincent Cassel and Jean-Pierre Cassel and now some are talking about Louis Garrel and Philippe Garrel. I don't think is nepotism as both father/son groupings are quite extraordinary in their own fields and among their peers in French Cinema. Enough said.

« Les Deux amis » de Louis Garrel, un buddy movie ultra-romantique. Quentin Grosset-Trois Coleurs (France)

Rencontre avec Louis Garrel et Olivier Père.


La Vanité by Lionel Baier

The most interesting fact about this film is found in the cast as none other than Carmen Maura is playing the lead female role. Still story could be interesting, check synopsis.

David Miller wants to die and chooses assisted euthanasia. He planned everything: the place, the time and the manner. However, nothing goes right. With Esperanza, member of the association, and Tréplev, young prostitute, David embarks on his ultimate night with total strangers.

Film has distribution for France and Switzerland, maybe will spread more to other countries as is a film I could give it a try.

Market News
- Arnaud Desplechin's Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days) sold to Magnolia for US distribution, that's interesting and fast.
-Sony Pictures Classics nabbed US rights to Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett drama Truth by James Vanderbilt
-Great news: Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal gest distributor. Focus Features has landed worldwide rights; with Focus distributing in US and Universal Pictures handling international distribution.

-France Studiocanal has opened a full-time, multi-functional office in Beijing to expand its presence in the fast-moving China market. VERY interesting and surely connected to Cannes Market China Summit. In related news, Luc Besson's EuropaCorp expands deal with China Fundamental for distribution output.

-Last Saturday, Xavier Dolan launched an online film script competition branded #Magnifique is done with cooperation with Unilever and Vice's i-D magazine. The project will see young would-be screenwriters submit short treatments, along with casting ideas, for short films of under 10 minutes. Three finalists will be selected by early September. Dolan, who is serving on the jury at this year's fest, will coach the three finalists, via Skype, in the making of the films, which Vice and ID will produce. The subject of the submissions, according to Magnum, should be "moment of pleasure."

-There have been 2 more Women in Motion Talks but there are NO full talk videos. I'm wondering if the reason why is that THR does not want to be connected with what Salma Hayek said. Hmm. There are clips but watching clips does not have the context of full talk.

Photos of the Day

Francois-Henry Pinault, Jane Fonda and Megan Allison pose with Women in Motion Award

Léa Seydoux at Trophee Chopard ceremony

Isabelle Huppert

Only in Cannes Day 6

Croi­­sette Repor­­ter

Gala Croissette Magazine

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