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Film Critics: Today, December 13, winners from Dallas ForthWorthFCA, ChicagoFCA and Film Comment Magazine. Nominations from HoustonFCS, PhoenixCC. PhoenixFCS.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 5 at Cannes 2011


As yesterday was Saturday is until today that you can watch if you wish photocall, interview and press conference of Hearat Shulayim (Footnote) by Joseph Cedar. Also available today the same three events for Michael by Markus Schleinzer and the red carpet for the Bollywood documentary that is the only kind of entertainment video of all mentioned.

Main Competition

Since yesterday and thanks to French press have been reading headlines about the first serious -or with very solid credentials if you wish- film that’s screened in the festival as film is by two very accomplished directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. I’m talking about Le Gamin au Vélo (Boy with a Bike) that obviously is a must be seen for me because is the latest oeuvre by the Dardenne Brothers but also because it stars none other than Cécile De France. So, no matter what critics’ say (positive comments) I’m looking forward to watch what has been called since yesterday “a contemporary fairytale”.

After watching several photocalls with women so elegant is kind of strange to watch Cécile so casual, but that’s exactly what “non-vedette” actresses tend to do at events in Europe. Indeed she looks so young, fresh, clean and natural. Quite nice and yes, she looks as she probably is in real life, tomboyish. Obviously all are screaming Cécile and the best moment is when she is with the Dardenne Brothers kissing her; her smile says everything.

Interview is good and the story told about how the script was created is particularly interesting. Really enjoy watching Cécile being herself (well, sort of as she’s in promoting her film mode); but as some of you know, I also highly enjoy the characters she creates. Still, most interesting is to find that in this film she has to play herself as per Dardenne Bros instructions, which she says was a new experience. The kid has a great personality, getting excited about watching the film. Some beautiful Cécile camera takes. Yes, watching in French without translator, great! See, so different, they’re talking about the importance of summer lighting for film. Even the jokes are classy. Great to watch to learn something about the film without learning spoilers; the first interview that I’m really sorry is over.

I was able to read the complete press conference transcript but seems that today won't be able to watch the video as is not up yet at official site. The red carpet continues with a very natural, fresh and casual Cécile even when wearing a long dress and still talking about the lighting in the film. A nice and fast red carpet.

Also today the last film to be announced as part of the Official Selection The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius that as we all know by now is in black and white as well as silent. The film buzz grabbed me and of course I’m looking forward to watch this French movie with some well-known American actors in secondary roles (none came to Cannes). This is my dream come true an art good movie with no words, all beautifully told by visuals, a visual narrative where actors expressions tell all (I hope).

Photocall is fun to watch and they behave like if they’re having a great time; unfortunately was very short. Interview is also about film, not story, with comments about if there was a screenplay with dialogue, how to work, the format (is 33, square), etc. If you wish to learn about film tech specs then the interview is must been seen for you. Press conference starts the same as everyone is interested in asking/talking about the experience of doing today a silent b/w film. The Greek newspaper man did an excellent question that I’m sure is a matter to think about a long time, don’t think anyone can answer it without deep thought. I don’t have the answer and they talk about their particular experience. Question was about something similar to what I ask now: if now when everything changes/moves forward so fast, doing a b/w silent film is a sight to the past, why looking to the past? What is there that could enrich the present? (Wish was there to ask the question.) Interesting press conference with balance between serious and light matters (ok turned off volume when asking story questions). By the way, critics’ and people who have watched film give positive comments.

Out of Competion/Special Screenings

Today is the day of Duch, Le Maître des Forges de l’Enfer (Duch, Master of the Forges Hell) by Rithy Panh, a documentary about Cambodia, Khmer Rouge and Kaing Guek Eave, better known as Duch. Does not call my attention.

Un Certain Regard

Two films. First Halt Auf Freier Strecke (Stopped on Track) by Andreas Dresen a drama about a dying man that has been called an ode to life with dialogues completely improvised by the actors. I know will probably watch as I ended up watching his previous Cannes film, Cloud 9 that maybe didn’t enjoyed story but liked his style.

Second an Amercian film Martha Marcy May Marlene by Sean Durkin that also competes for the Camera d’Or. With a few exceptions I don’t enjoy American indies but when I do, usually film blows my mind; no idea if this film with fit my norm or break it, but know that will watch it.

Cannes Classics

Today 1960’s Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of a Summer) by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin that think haven’t watch it, but somehow does not call my attention watching a (then) “new approach to documentary filmmaking”.

Cinéma de la Plage

Today a reprise of the made exclusively for Cannes, Bollywood – The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by R. Omprakash Mehra and Jeffrey Zimbalist.

Quinzaine

Today a film that’s must be seen for me simply because is an Urzula Antoniak film and definitively enjoy very much her style, her visual narrative, and her storytelling technique. Code Blue is a blue movie, according to a few scenes I watched; yes some scenes are tainted with color blue, but also is a cold movie and has absence of light with a female character centered story… just perfect for my taste.

Second film is also must be seen for me as I really enjoyed Involuntary, I’m talking about Play by Ruben Östlund that will watch even when story is about children and verbal bullying or if you wish “gang rhetoric rather than physical violence”.

Last En Ville (Iris in Bloom) by Bertrand Schefer and Valérie Mréjen that also competes for the Camera d’Or and yes of course I’m interested just because is French cinema but also because story, plus one of the secondary roles is played by Adèle Haenel (she’s also in L’Apollonide – remember Water Lilies?).

Semaine

Actually this film premiered yesterday but was so tired that skip it; nevertheless 17 Filles by Delphine and Muriel Coulin is also screened today and you guessed is must be seen for me as who could resist a film with 17 young actresses even if story is about getting pregnant at the same time. Besides yes is a French film.

Today Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, another American film but because images and story this one calls my attention and probably will watch; my only concern is that’s screened in this section that always has very strange films.

Five short films will be screened today, Blue by Stephen Kang, La Inviolabilidad… by Alex Piperno, In Front of the House by Lee Tae-ho, Finis Operis by Moon Byoung-gon, and Permanencias by Ricardo Alves Jr.

ACID

Today is the parallel section exhibits the film that made pay attention to this independent cinema activity in Cannes, Gatos Viejos (Old Cats) by Pedro Peirano and Sebastian Silva that want to see because I enjoyed Silva’s fantastic The Maid, film has same lead actresses and is a lesbian interest film even when story is not centered about the relationship between the two women. As we know film is being considered for the Queer Palm award.

News

Seems that the French Culture Minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, has lots of work at Cannes; yesterday was Emir Kusturica, today is Faye Dunaway who gets the Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters medal.

So Angelina Jolie has been busy in Cannes, she sold her directing debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey” about Bosnian War to Film District, a subsidiary of GK Films. GK Films founder Graham King announced today the acquisition and described Jolie’s debut as “signals the arrival of a visceral and compelling storyteller”. Who am I kidding, of course I’m curious.

The Not-So-Serious

There you have American media speculating if Harvey Weinstein can take a silent movie to the Oscars, gosh … walk don’t run! Article goes on with Weinstein’s The King’s Speech success story, which is true, but come on, is too early to start talking Oscar, stay in Cannes.

I had no idea who Cheryl Cole was when I posted her classic photo two days ago (the post that doesn’t appear yet) but by now I now she’s a British singer (never heard her) but most intriguing she’s one of the judges in the upcoming X Factor TV show. Oh.

Most interesting is the “Cannes fait le mur” photography exhibition by Marcel Hartman, which is a glamorous, larger than life installation spread throughout the town of Cannes with a selection of Hartmann photos. Browse the net to watch many of the gigantic boards in buildings with photos of Fanny Ardant, Diane Kruger, Emmanuelle Devos, Audrey Tautou; Lars von Trier, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte together; Tim Burton, Virginie Ledoyen and more.

Since is too early for red carpets, lets talk a bit about nonsense like for example, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt were at the fifth installment of the Variety Studio @ Stella Artoirs Lounge stationed at the Carlton Beach and whatever happens at the lounge could be watched by American audiences in the Entertainment Tonight show or online at Variety site. On May 14 Quincy Jones was there.

Naomi Campbell and model Tao Okamoto joined other personalities in a great cause that’s being promoted in Cannes, Fashion for Relief: Japan Appeal, which is raising money to help Japan.

Last night the Chopard Trophy was given to Astrid Berges-Frisbey and Niels Schneider winners of the emerging talent award. Robert de Niro handed the awards. At the reception none other that the divine Ludivine Sagnier and there is an incredible photo with Uma and Ludivine together, but is rights protected so will not publish here. If you wish to see it go here.

Also in Cannes Meredith Viera that we have to remember that she’s (or her company) the producer of Return; she was the Return party and there are many photos that show only women, seems like there were no men at the party.

Red Granite Party was last night with performances by Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, read so many tweets of serious cinema journalist –and no so young- behaving like kids because their excitement to watch perform Kanye (lol!). Lots of celebrities there.

Mick Jagger was at the 3rd Annual Finch’s Quarterly Review Filmmakers Dinner, as well as(honchos) Harvey Weinstein and Jerry Weintraub.

The Photos

The Artist Red Carpet

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