Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 4 at Cannes 2011

So I rescued everything I had written before getting into my “Johnny mode”; I’m exhausted but have to admit that highly enjoyed all the time I spent reading, watching, etc Johnny … but most of all, had lots of laughs! That’s nice, clean and harmless entertainment. Now back to my Cannes mode. Let’s review what’s going on at the festival and should remind you –in case you’re a new reader- that more than a schedule these daily summaries tell about what I think about the movies that are screened each day.

Main Competition

Section first screening is Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) by Joseph Cedar that from what I have learned from film, plus trailers can’t say that I’m interested in watching; still I always end up watching all the Israeli movies I have access to, so I’ll watch if comes near me. But when I check reactions, interest grows as some are saying that is the best so far, which is alright as a reaction and tells that some people liked film, but remember that we haven’t seen yet so many movies that’s too early to start to guess. Seems is funny, a comedy around the Talmud… it’s becoming more interesting as is being called: an intellectual comedy and an academic thriller.

Watched the movie red carpet but there weren’t that many photographers or people, plus the group came walking not by car and there was no interview as is Saturday (Sabbath), so has been postponed to Sunday. As probably many in Cannes, I’m not familiar with the actors but women are quite attractive. Watch only if you have to watch all videos as not really interesting.

Next a film that seems could be controversial and now I understand why the silence about the film plus the inconsequential clips, as story surely will be hard-to-digest. Michael by Markus Schleinzer is a film about a pedophile in an uneasy situation, as many are saying in English, but when you read other languages some talk more about the film quality without forgetting the story, like for example: “La mise en scène précise et sobre de Markus Schleinzer et l'absence d'analyse psychologisante permettent au récit de déployer toute son horreur”. To be honest film quality seems exactly what I like: great silences, great framing and compositions, etc. but wonder if I will dare to watch it. There is only a video for the red carpet that couldn’t watch (probably is still uploading) so don’t know how was it.

Definitively -and until this moment- Cannes movies have controversial themes that will make films not really easy to watch for stories; still hope that the magic of cinema can bring those themes in more digestible ways. Only after watching films will know if Julia Leigh, Lynne Ramsay and Markus Schleinzer did visual magic to make film more accessible to viewers or if they didn’t; Maiwenn’s film also has a child-abuse related story, but I still wonder if she was able to do magic and story probably is more about the police group.

Out of Competition/Special Screenings

Today Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides by Rob Marshall a movie that made me do a special post. (lol!)

Early afternoon the screening of Tous Au Larzac (Leader Sheep) by Christian Rouaud a documentary that tells an interesting story of what I call “abuse of power” but honestly, is very low in my viewing priorities.

Next a documentary that surely will not be easy to watch about Michel Petrucciani, one of my favorite Jazz musicians, a film by Michael Radford; think that prefer to listen to some of his outstanding music to honor him and his hard life.

Last today is the day of a film that I hope will not disappear after Cannes, as was done exclusively for the festival; but who knows as I’m still waiting to be able to watch so many other Cannes exclusive films. I’m talking about Bollywood – The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by R. Omprakash Mehra and Jeffrey Zimbalist.

Midnight Screenings

Is until today that Wu Xia photocall, interview and press conference are up at official site. I’m not watching them but I’m surprised that they don’t have the red carpet as last night was watching photos and to my surprise Jessica Sarah Parker plus the Weinstein’s walked the marches. Also, before Wu Xia’s was screened Harvey Weinstein introduced the trailer of My Week With Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams as Monroe. Not only that but the night before Wenstein had a party with the previewing of I Don’t Know How She Does It starring Jessica. So by now we know that Wu Xia has USA distributor and a name in English: Dragon.

Un Certain Regard

Three films. The first is Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro (The Snows of Kilimanjaro) by Robert Guédiguian that yes will watch this drama mainly because I love French Cinema and no other particular reason. French press seems to like it and call it “hyper touchant, subtil, pas du tout manichéen” “the first festival tears”.

The second film is Bonsái by Cristián Jiménez that probably will watch after watching his first film Ilusiones Opticas (Optical Illusions) that haven’t seen yet, but will as soon as soon as Cannes is over. People and press that have seen it tend to give positive comments with words like “gentle, deadpan, droll and sarcastic” (ok, got my total interest). In the red carpet crew and cast protest against a hydroelectric that want to build in the Patagonia, NO Hidro Aysen. Hmm, good cause, but is this the forum?

Last, one of the two latest additions to the lineup, Bé Omid é Didar (Good Bye) by Mohammad Rasoulof that wonder if besides Cannes audience, who will be able to watch it as imagine that because of the “discreet” conditions it reached the festival an international buyer could be not easy to find even when there are world audiences for this film. Yes I would like to watch film not because of story but because as Gilles Jacob and Thierry say: film is beautiful.

Cannes Classics

Three films. First the 1966 film Hudutlarin Kanunu (The Law of the Border) by Lufti O. Akad and none other than Fatih Akin will present the film in behalf of the World Cinema Foundation. No, haven’t seen the film and wonder if I ever will, maybe when film becomes available in DVD.

Second, 1983’s Rue Cases-Négres (Sugar Cane Alley) by Euzhan Palcy preceded by a short film Moly directed by Moly Kane from Senegal and produced by Palcy. No, haven’t seen this highly honored (17 international prizes) film by Palcy who is better known as the first black female director of a Hollywood film.

Last, the screening of 1993 A Bronx Tale by Robert DeNiro that’s a tribute to the Tribeca Film Festival and to De Niro (he’ll be presenting the film) as a director; this was De Niro first time behind the camera. I have seen the movie as well as many of you for sure.

Cinéma de la Plage

Today one of my ALWAYS favorite directors, Federico Fellini and the screening of the restored version of E la nave va (And the Ship Sails On) that obviously have seen a long-long time ago. If you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? By the way to my Opera lovers friends, this has to be must be seen for you.


Three films. First Porfirio by Alejandro Landes that when I read the synopsis got interested but when I watched clips/trailer started to wonder if should watch or not. Spanish-speaking press news report an audience standing ovation and yes, I imagine will be funny and maybe darkly entertaining, even agree that has to be hyper-realistic but hard to imagine being “poetic” as Fréderic Boyer says.

Second, La Fin du Silence by Roland Edzard that has a too violent for me story but seems that visually could be very interesting. First film in competition for the Camera d’Or. Lol! First reactions by French press are not positive.

Last, Return by Liza Johnson this American indie movie has a story that I know will appeal to many, a woman returning from a tour of duty only to find that she has changed; I’m not sure if I wish to watch it and clips doesn’t help me to get interested. Not so positive reviews by some American critics. Ah! film is with Linda Cardellini better known by playing perhaps the most famous nurse in ER.


Today two films from the special screenings. Walk Away Renee by Jonathan Caouette a documentary that follows the director and his mentally ill mother while travelling across America. Doesn’t call my attention. Surprisingly seems America press haven’t seen the film, while French press tends to give some positive and not-so-positve coments. Still what you can watch if interested are many photos from the film party.

Second the collaboration between Spike Jonze and Simon Cahn Mourir auprès de toi, an animated short film where at night books characters come to life with Dracula's girlfriend Mina and Macbeth's skeleton falling in love. Seems interesting and animation looks different, will watch. Positive comments by French press and people who have seen the film.


Yesterday I forgot to post about this parallel section but film was a documentary that I’m not interested in it called Palazzo delle Aquile by Stefano Savona. Today another documentary that no one will make watch called Bobines (Cattle) by Emmanuel Gras, as not interested in watching cows. Also today a short film, Dancing Odeon by Kathy Sebbah that seems more interesting to watch.


Emir Kusturica was today invested with the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of the Légion d’honneur an honor that Kusturica thanked the Festival “for being the only world class forum that allows small countries to acquire international visibility, and for its deference of cultural diversity”. Kusturica is not only this year the president of the Un Certain Regard jury but also is one of the rare directors to have received the Palme d’Or twice.

The Not-So Serious

Was reading a tweet that really made me wonder so many things; it says something like “drinking pink champagne, relaxing before writing my reviews”. LOL! I will NEVER read reviews from someone that drinks pink champagne, sacrilege! (LOL!) Oh! gosh, if you want to laugh hard, you have to search #Cannes2011 to find the most hilarious comments and other comments that tell so much about the person who wrote them. Really in twitter you lose your privacy and become public … some without really knowing that they’re in the eyes of the world. LOL!

All right, I will admit that I’m tired as Johnny took all my energies and enthusiasm. So no more talking about parties (even do Duran Duran performed yesterday), buyers buying films (Weinstein got USA right for The Artist- IFC, Assayas Something in the Air – Hanover House bought 3 movies: Mexican much buzz film by Ira Gomez Asalto al Cine, a Russian thriller by an Irish director: The Weather Station, and an animated film: Toys in the Attic), and who else is there doing something or nothing.

Today Photos

I think Uma looks tired and is just day 4, but last night was honored along with Rosario Dawson, Jane Campion and others for their contributions to independent moviemaking; gosh hope she makes it until the end. So I chose a happy photo for today, here is a happy Uma in haute couture, yes is Chanel.

Next South African model Candice Boucher in the Hearat Shulayim premiere, she’s in Cannes promoting the Hindi film Aazaan by Prashant Chadha where she stars and she looks quite good in the film photocall but at the premiere her dress made her the talk of the net, so here is she at day and at night.

Last, have to post Jane Fonda as she looks so good and very elegant.

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