Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 11 at 2012 Cannes

For the last day with my daily fest coverage we have two films that are Must Be Seen for me for quite different reasons. Tomorrow is all about the awards. Actually today was also about the many awards that have been already announced. Cheers to the winners!

Main Competition

Mud by Jeff Nichol's

Jeff Nichols is the youngest filmmaker in competition for the Palme d'Or this year and hours ago in Los Angeles, he was finishing his film; obviously is one of the reasons why film is screened so late in the fest, as the great Take Shelter director will screen one of the most-awaited films in the festival. I wonder if what Cannes will see is the final cut as most likely the released film could be different, which is nothing new in the fest history and only gives more possibilities that DVD could have two cuts.

Anyway I should stop my wandering mind and focus on film. From all the American films in competition this is the one that calls more my attention and the one that in my opinion has more possibilities to be honored. If you wish to read my spontaneous expectations before fest began go here.

Photocall has a large cast/crew including Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon. I believe is the first time at Cannes for Oscar-winner Witherspoon, which makes me think that not often you see in Cannes Oscar winners, well American Oscar-winner actors. Nothing special in video to watch only for entertainment purposes.

TVFestival de Cannes has a very nice looking group with director and his main actors. Oops ... some story spoilers trying not to listen. Lots of love in film, hmm plus Mark Twain inspiration... see, spoilers. I can confirm that I believe Matthew talks so monotonously that you stop listening to him, noticed since previous appearance. Kids are cute. The Terrence Malick connection... nothing relevant. The river is a character but also influences style. Video has major story spoilers so watch if you don't mind them. I do but kept on watching.

Press conference has three producers plus actors and director. Oh! true, Sam Shepard is in film, also Michael Shannon, both are not here. Again more major story spoilers that I'm not paying attention, especially when director tells what he hopes audiences will get from film. So now I have in my mind one word I didn't had before: Love, trying not form expectations from word. Again, kids are very cute. The Malick connection again... director starts with the second question not-Malick related... Paul Newman connection seems to be tighter ... indeed answer seems honest and not really established relation. Reese talks about the "home" feeling in movie... the real mccoy unlike Kidman... hmm... then I ask what's the value of acting? of greatly performing a character far away from her real-self? ... my answer: an award-deserving performance by a great actress. Back to video. Again, the river as a character. Nichols gives more info that I'm willing to hear... tech info. Oh! more spoilers... nature, practical answer is great no spoilers but then visual spoilers... I'm not listening. The way you make a movie defines the kind of movie you make (hope to find exact quote)... interesting, actually very interesting and thought-provoking comment, I'm lost in my own thoughts. The way you do something defines the kind of something you do, that's me talking. Mark Twain connection again... Suggest you watch video that I found to be very interesting, beyond what is said about they talk about movie.

As was widely said, this year selection includes five American very different films but all have something in common, stories happen in the south. Not sure what this means, but I think if one film seems to have many south references is Mud. Which could be interesting, especially after thinking hard the only movie that comes to my mind with a very interesting southern set story is a so-so movie, The Prince of Tides.

Not much to add about a film that I'm really looking forward to watch. Yes I do believe that Nichols will have a long relationship with Cannes and have no idea if this film will collect honors tomorrow.

By now I truly believe critics' are tired so no surprise to find tweets that travel the like scale from one end to the other. I'm avoiding reading them as I am more interested in tonight audience reaction.

Do-Nui Mat (The Taste of Money) by Im Sang-Soo

I know many people will wonder why this film is in Cannes, surely they forgot that his previous film The Housemaid was also in competition at 2010 Cannes. If you wish to learn more about my spontaneous reactions to film go here.

Yes, film is Must Be Seen for me because I LOVE The Housemaid and no matter what anyone says, I have to visit again director's vision of Korean upper classes, a vision that I know will be told in an very-close to perfection visual style, just like in his previous movie. Story may be melodrama/melodramatic but is dressed with spectacular performances, sets, framing, editing and other tech specs, that who cares if melodrama predominates as you will be fascinated with everything around it. I don't like melodramas on TV or the big screen, but if they were "dressed" like this movie, then probably would have seen and enjoyed the genre more.

Quotes from press conference

Im Sang-soo on the relation between The Taste of Money and The Housemaid
"Yes, I suppose there are a few nods to my previous film. But The Housemaid was a remake and I felt quite constrained when I was making it. The Taste of Money is more in line with my way of seeing things."

My internet connection has problems. Called the service provider and confirmed that there are problems with their servers, felt relief that is not my machine. Will not be able to watch movie videos today, so will do it when they fix their problems or tomorrow.

Nevertheless I don't need to know more about this movie, but won't skip the fun-to-do exercise that sometimes becomes a great learning experience.

Un Certain Regard

Today awards ceremony. Winners have been announced see post.  A photo with the award winners.

Out of Competition

Festival closing film: Thérèse Desqueyroux, Claude Miller, France

I know film will be screened tomorrow but I'm including my comments and expectations today as there is not much going on today at Cannes.

I've seen almost all films by Claude Miller and of course will not skip his final film that absolutely is Must Be Seen for me. But there is one little problem, for not-clear reasons, I don't really enjoy Audrey Tautou performances. This is the synopsis.

In the Landes region of France, near Bordeaux, marriages are arranged to merge land parcels and unite neighboring families. Thus, young Thérèse Larroque becomes Mrs. Desqueyroux. But her avant-garde ideas clash with local conventions. In order to break free from the fate imposed upon her and live a full life, she will resort to tragically extreme measures.

A period film that surely will have great costumes and cinematography -as we can see both in the few clips available- in a tragic drama of a woman-centered story is more than I can wish for. If it wasn't for the "little problem" film expectations will be for an almost perfect French classical drama.

Midnight Screening

Maniac by Franck Khalfoun

I have tried to watch Cannes horror films in the past and totally failed to watch them completely, so no I don't think I'll be watching this film. But for those horror fans this is the synopsis.

Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt. Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank's obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.

To read more about film and watch trailer go here.  For my newest readers, no I don't like horror films.

Short Films

Today is the screening of all the short films in competition, afterwards jury delivers and winners will be announced tomorrow.

Around the Selection

While checking all films in Cannes I noticed that I skipped unintentionally one film that is Must Be Seen for Me. I'm talking about Cannes Junior -inside Cannes program not the other event- that screened Le Magasin des Suicides (The Suicide Shop) by Patrice Leconte. Is Leconte's first animation film. Have seen clip in French, but today found it English so maybe you'll like to understand what they say besides watching the amazing animation, go here for English or go here for French.The synopsis

Imagine a shop that for generations has sold all the accoutrements of the perfect suicide. This family business prospers in all its bleak misery, until the day it encounters true joie de vivre in the shape of the owners' younger son, Alan. What will become of The Suicide Shop in the face of Alan's relentless good cheer, optimism and determination to make the customers smile?

Can't wait for what I imagine could be a great darkish trip

Cannes Classics

Claude M le cinema (Claude Miller, cineaste de l'intime) by Emmanuel Barnault

Cannes homage to great Claude Miller screens the documentary by Barnault, an homage that also includes the screening of Claude Miller's last film on the closing ceremony.  The synopsis.

Barnault documentary guiding thread is a long interview, made in one sitting at the Miller family home in the Creuse, in 2011 but includes extracts from films and stock archives plus testimonials from five people close to the filmmaker, including Charlotte Gainsbourg, the revelation in Miller's Charlotte and Lulu at the age of 13.

Not really interested in watching documentary as definitively prefer to revisit one of his 17 feature films.

Closing Film: Final Cut - Holgyiem Es Uraim (Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen) by György Pálfi

I believe that this film could be magnificent or a disaster, the extremes and not the middle as recycling materials is not always successful. But spontaneously the idea of watching over 500 cuts from cult films with the "most beautiful love scenes in cinema" is appealing. The key word for me is "cult" but when I see picture my eyes tend to see not many "cult" actors. The synopsis

The real love film tells the story of the "real" man and the "real" woman. What is the real man in life? And the real woman? By recycling the celluloid heroes and heroines of 500 movies (the objects of so many dreams and desires) György Palfi's collage film shows what they are like and also what happens when they meet.

If you wish to learn more about film and as a reference watch trailer of his film Taxidermia go here.  His previous work does not give a positive idea about what this film style could be; but in the end I ask: who can resist the opportunity of watching over 500 love scenes? Not me. If film ever comes near me I'll give it a try.

Cinéma de la Plage

Program closes with a surprise film that actually are eight Banlieuz’Art award-winning short films. If you wish to learn about Banlieuz’Art school and competition go here.  These are the short films.

Allegretto by Fran Viña, Bad Toys II by Nicolas Douste and Daniel Brunet, Delivery by Fabien-Mariano Ortiz, Incidences by David Hadjadj, Le Commencement by Guillaume Tordjman, Le Vase by Mike Zonnenberg, Pandémie by Mathieu Naert, and Résiliation by Justin Blanckaert and Julien Rideau.

Cannes News

Today at Cannes Jury President Laura Morante gave to Cédric Kahn the Prix France Culture Cinéma consécration 2012 and to Pierre Schoeller the Prix France Culture révélation 2012.

I was hoping for a tranquil day having fun in Cannes but when Collateral Awards started to pour, it became chaotic, as every day in the fest has been. Sigh. On top gossip about who has been called back, usually a great thermometer, is starting to appear. For starters Michel Franco, Xavier Dolan, Delepine & Kerven and Joachim Lafosse have been called back, which makes them "possible" award-winners at Un Certain Regard.

Thanks to Twitter today I discovered a Cannes collateral event, Ecrans Junior that screens 8 to 10 films with particular interest to children between 13 and 15 years of age. To check this year selection go here.  This year the Cannes Junior award went to Ombline by Stéphane Cazes. It's a great find, especially for those interested in great films for their children to watch.

Main jury is sequestered at "une villa" up in the Cannes mountains, they are busy deliberating what we will learn tomorrow night.


So, I was going to speculate about winners but with Cannes is a futile exercise as you will never guess what the heterogeneous jury members have inside their heads that helps them to prefer one film over another. Much less to know once each member has their favorites, how they can influence others, as this is a process of selection and talk, talk, and talk to defend your selection. Then not all juries reach unanimous decisions so the President is usually the one that has the power to define a winner. Nanni has been loudly saying that he is a democrat and democracy will prevail, but I know that he also will -gladly- assume his responsibilities as a Jury President.

In about 24 hours we will know all the winners, so there is no real need to burn grey matter guessing something that year after year has been proven to be highly unpredictable.

Nevertheless, if you have read my dailies by now you know my favorites. Cheers!

Not-so-serious comments

Awful news, Pattinson tapped for Hunger Games... no!!!
You confirm that Cannes is fading away when most photos at Getty Images site are with Paris Hilton. (LOL)

Photo of the Day

The best photo I have seen since day one.  Photo has a beautiful composition but also has outstanding tech specs.  Great photo as photo, not because who is in it.  Enjoy!

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