Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 5 at 2012 Cannes

Hard to believe that 5 days have gone by and that we have learned about 9 of the 22 films in competition. Today is another exciting Cannes day for me as the two films screened in competition today are from directors that I highly appreciate their work.

Main Competition

Amour (Love) by Michael Haneke

Today is the day that will learn as little as possible about this movie so if you wish to know about my expectations please go here.

Photocall obviously is must be seen for Isabelle Huppert fans and I'm one of them. Also many actors should watch this photocall to learn how to behave in front of many cameras and people screaming. Suddenly got the non-pleasant "I'm-getting-old" feeling. Ah! movie will not be easy to watch for me as I already imagined. TVFestival de Cannes interview touches my heart especially Jean-Louis Trintignant; but there are interesting answers by Haneke and Huppert, watch it.

Press conference starts by calling Tritignant a "vivant National Treasure" and first question is about his return to cinema after 14 years absence. I'm laughing, very elegant jokes by Tritignant. Haneke repeats what he said in interview that is something like "la souffrance that comes near you when you reach certain age"... oh! learning more than I wish to learn but will continue watching. SO true, actors don't suffer with Haneke, is the audience that suffers! LOVE Tritignant elegant jokes that make me laugh.

Quote from press conference by Michael Haneke on the fact that his film is not an act of disclosure
I never write a movie to prove anything. When you reach a certain age, you are inevitably going to be affected by suffering. I don't want to show anything more than that, there is no more to it. And that's why I shot the film in an apartment. I did not want to go into a hospital room, which is something we have seen and reseen. There was therefore no reason to change anything. At the end of the day, I am very happy to have made a simple film.

Yes Haneke calls his film "simple", still I don't believe it as in my mind is impossible to imagine Haneke being simple and I'm sure film will not be simple as if I believe headlines and spontaneous reaction in twitter, that tells about reliable critics' absolute approval -couldn't expect less-, there has to be nothing simple in this film.

Video shows us a very wet red carpet (stormy rain in Cannes) that starts with competition jury marching once more "the steps" while getting really wet but I believe that they know that they are working. Next Amour entire crew with Isabelle looking impressively great in her bronze dress; yes they also get quite wet.

Haneke will get honors with this movie, a best actor award could go to Tritignant that I'm sure will have a great performance; but I wonder about fest top awards for this film, still you never know how honor-deserving a Haneke film is until you see it, so refuse to play the guessing game with Haneke.

By the time I see movie all that I learned today will be erased from my memory as I like to watch Haneke with an "empty/blank" mind and I strongly recommend you do that. Yes a Must Be Seen movie for me.

Jagten (The Hunt) by Thomas Vinterberg

I like Vinterberg's filmmaking style and his previous film Submarino shook my emotions with its hard-to-watch story, great actors performances and grim reality style. I have similar expectations with this film even when story seems to be quite different, check synopsis.

Following a tough divorce, 40-year-old Lucas has a new girlfriend, a new job and is in the process of reestablishing his relationship with his teenage son, Marcus. But things go awry. Not a lot. Just a passing remark. A random lie. And as the snow falls and the Christmas lights are lit, the lie spreads like an invisible virus. The shock and mistrust gets out of hand, and the small community suddenly finds itself in a collective state of hysteria, while Lucas fights a lonely fight for his life and dignity.

Then Mads Mikkelsen is one of my favorite actors when he's in an European movie and do not speak English, this is one of those films.

In photocall is nice to see so many good-looking people together, enjoy! TVFestival de Cannes video allows us to learn that director sees film as having a love story; Vinterberg says that Mads is "very pretty" and definitively I'm one that agrees. Interview has spoilers but is fun to watch and answers are great. Suggest you watch.

Press conference first question goes right into spoiling the story for me, ugh, but it's done now I really know what movie is all about and know that story will not be easy to watch. Is about child molestation but in this case, adult is innocent. Press conference is full of spoilers but I continue to watch, somehow can't stop watching. Very nice press conference that will absolutely spoil the story but is fascinating to watch especially, Vintenberg great precise answers. Suggest to watch even when you do not like to learn story spoilers.

What follows is a press conference quote where Vinterberg describes the rumor theme.
The film takes place in the microcosm of a village where information spreads quickly, like a virus. Through the Internet, the world's become a small village full of rumors. But what matters most in this film is the love between the characters. They try to get close to one another despite the misunderstandings.

Thomas Vinterberg history with Cannes is not long but he first came with 1998 Festen that went to win the Jury Prize (ex aequo with Claude Miller's Class Trip), so it's a successful story that could mean he could get recognition this time. If there could be a concern is the story theme, but I believe that jury members will not be shocked with story and also could consider Mads for the Best Actor award.

So what do I exactly expect from this movie now that I learned quite too much from story? Exactly the same I said in the opening paragraph before learning so much about story. Yes it is Must Be Seen for me.

Un Certain Regard

La Pirogue by Moussa Touré

Senegalese director presents his fictional account of the clandestine voyages from Africa to Europe and I'm sure story will not be easy to watch as tells about Senegalese people trying to reach the Canary Islands. This is the synopsis.

Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. Like many of his Senegalese compatriots, he sometimes dreams of new horizons, where he can earn a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing full-well the dangers that lie ahead. Leading a group of 30 men who don't all speak the same language, some of whom have never seen the sea, Baye Laye will confront many perils in order to reach the distant coasts of Europe.

Even if film surely will have great visuals, story does not appeal to me. Think will skip it.

La Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle (Confession of a Child of the Century) by Sylvie Verheyde

Spontaneously I've been torn about this movie as from clips I find very famous Pete Doherty character performance quite repelling, still I have hopes that Charlotte Gainsbourg performance plus her Cannes comments could improve my perceptions. Then to my huge surprise Charlotte is not in Cannes! Oh.

Anyway director returns to Cannes after presenting in 1997 Un Frere at a parallel section; but I know her better for her films Princesses and Stella. If I was not familiar with Verheyde style I will think that film will be very classic as is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Alfred de Musset, but even do is a period film I expect that Verheyde's style will be all over film. This is the film synopsis.

Paris, 1830.
Octave, betrayed by his mistress, sinks into despair and debauchery: the "disease of the century". The death of his father takes him to the country where he meets Brigitte, a young widow who is ten years his elder. Octave falls in love passionately, again. But will he have the courage to believe in it ?

Surely will watch as I do see everything with Charlotte Gainsbourg, but my expectations are rather low.

Special Screenings

Les Invisibles by Sébastien Lifshitz

Lifshitz returns to Cannes after 14 years when his doc Les Corps Ouverts was screened at a parallel section; his new documentary tells about men and women born between the wars who have nothing in common except for their homosexuality and their decision to live openly at a time when society rejected them. They've loved, struggled, desired, made love. Today they tell us about their pioneering lives, and how they navigated the desire to remain ordinary with the need to liberate themselves in order to thrive. They were fearless.

Believe this documentary has to be surprising for those that believe that living "out of closet" is a "new/recent" event as no, there are many LGTB people that lived their homosexuality openly in very earlier times, even Americans -but some Americans chose to do so in Europe rather than in America. Anyway this has to be a very interesting documentation of a long gone era and from clips I have seen know that I'll be watching.

A quote from an interview with the director that you can read here.

Why did you choose the title: Les Invisibles?
The media is not interested in old people, let alone old homosexual people, who themselves seem to accept this fate by withdrawing from social life. The word "invisible" seemed to me particularly apt at describing these men and women who are missing from any representation.

Villegas by Gonzalo Tobal

First feature film by Tobal that already has a significant story at Cannes with his short films. These credentials make me interested in watching film and clips that saw today for the first time confirm that has an interesting storytelling style that lately predominates in Argentinean non-commercial films. The following is the synopsis.

After a long time without seeing each other, two cousins, Esteban and Pipa, have to drive together to their grandfather’s funeral in Villegas, small inland town where they grew up together. This coming back soon turns into an intense emotional journey, punctuated by the reunions, the weight of the past and the end of an era.

Surely a film that I'm looking forward to watch.

Out of Competition

Today Une Journée Particulière (A Special Day) by Gilles Jacobs, a film that I don't doubt will be interesting to watch but know will be very hard to find, sigh.

The 60th Cannes Anniversary was honored by the presence of 34 international renowned filmmakers invited to present their collective body of work, To Each His Own Cinema. The line-up included Gus van Sant, The Coen brothers, Aki Kaurismäki, Roman Polanski, Nanni Moretti, Ken Loach, Bille August, Chen Kaige, Abbas Kiarostami, Walter Salles, Wong Kar-Wai, Elia Suleiman,Takeshi Kitano, Claude Lelouch, the Dardenne brothers, Zhang Yimou, Atom Egoyan, Tsai Ming Liang and Jane Campion. On the day their films were to be screened, the directors were followed and filmed from morning to night, becoming a "day in the life" insight of some of the most important directors in the world. Watch clips here.

Obviously is Must Be Seen for me but I know that will take a long time to be able to watch; wish someone could make easier the distribution of Cannes stories films.

Cannes Classics

Today Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis by Gregg Barson a doc that -according to promo clip at Cannes site- seems to belong more in E! TV than in Cannes. Not interested in watching; but probably will watch when available at any Encore or Starz channel only because was in Cannes.

Cinéma de la Plage

Tonight Sean Connery returns in Guy Halminton's Diamonds Are Forever a movie that immediately makes me sing the title song but also makes me think about one of the best Bond villians, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and Jill St. John in her most iconic role.

As we know film is screening to celebrate the 007 Anniversary, a celebration that will last one year and that is just starting in Cannes.


Adieu Berthe, l’enterrement de mémé (Granny’s Funeral) by Bruno Podalydès

Not really a fan of French comedies and from clips film seems like a comedy but maybe is not the regular mainstream fare as after all is in the Quinzaine. Watch clips here and this is the synopsis.

Granny is dead. Berthe is no more. Armand's grandmother had sort of slipped his mind... Armand runs a pharmacy in the Paris suburbs with his wife, Helene. In a medicine cabinet he hides his magical equipment - he's secretly preparing a show for the daughter... of his lover, Alix. And Granny? Should she be buried or cremated? Who was Berthe?

Not sure what to think about this film.

Infancia Clandestina by Benjamín Ávila

Film called my attention since I learned what story was all about, so let's first share the synopsis.

Argentina 1979. After years of exile, 12-year-old Juan and his family come back to Argentina under fake identities. Juan's parents and his uncle Beto are members of the Montoneros Organization, which is fighting against the Military Junta that rules the country. Because of their political activities they are being tracked down relentlessly. His friends at school and the girl he loves, Maria, know him as Ernesto, a name he must not forget, his family's survival being at stake. This is a story about militancy, undercover life and love. The story of a clandestine childhood.

Next I suggest you watch trailer and clips here so you can see that well-known actors are in film. Don't need more, know that will watch debut film (competing for the Camera d'Or) by Avila and the wait will be hard to sustain. Must Be Seen for me.

Yek khanévadéh-e mohtaram (A Respectable Family) by Massoud Bakhshi

Story in films seems interesting and from clips think this Iranian film could be similar to other Iranian films I have seen; check clips here and this is the synopsis.

Arash is an Iranian academic who lives in the West. He returns to Iran to teach in Chiraz, a city far from Tehran where his mother lives. Drawn into a series of domestic and financial dramas, he is reminded of the hardships of his childhood at the start of the Iran-Iraq War in 1981. Following the death of his father and the discovery of what his « respectable family » has become, he is obliged to make choices.

Yes I'm interested in watching Bakhshi debut film.

Semaine de la Critique

Hors Le Murs by David Lambert

Today the film that I believe has more chance to win this year's Queer Palm as not only has gay interest but also is more your usual genre film -even when I know that being film in this section has to have something unusual. This is the synopsis.

Paulo, a young pianist living an ambivalent life with Anka, meets Ilir, a loner bass player. It’s love at first sight and they start living on love alone. The day Paulo promises to love him for life, Ilir leaves town for a concert, and never comes back…

Debut film by Belgian Lambert promises to be a film that could transcend genre audiences and clips here maybe will give you the same impression.

Not dying to watch film, but I know will watch eventually.


Today The End by Moroccan Hicham Lasri with a synopsis that reads as follows

A crazy baroque and political remake of Romeo and Juliet in Casablanca.

The use of black and white plus the "crazy" part in the synopsis stimulate my imagination, so maybe I'll give this movie a try.

Cannes News

Today Asghar Farhadi received the Media Prize given by the European Union. The MEDIA Prize is awarded to the best project, with strong international circulation potential, submitted by an author and his European producer. Is not in the news but I imagine that his next project is the subject of the next paragraph news.

Was announced that Tahir Rahim will co star with Marion Cotillard in the already announced Asghar Farhadi project; fantastic news as I like everyone that's getting attached to this project.

If you wish to know who leads the Screen's Cannes competition poll with the most stars, Mungiu's film with 3.2 stars out of 4, not so close followed by Audiard's film with 2.9 stars.

Today on the Scandinavian Terrace Swedish Malin Buska was presented as the lead in Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s Kristina of Sweden; not many will spontaneously make the relationship but Buska will be stepping into the shoes of Swedish Greta Garbo who played the part in Ruben Mamoulian's 1933 Queen Christina.

Other Activities

Many parties last night but one that has great photos is the Vanity Fair And Gucci Party.

In Cannes today Cheryl Cole, Roman Polanski, OH! Mylene Jampanoi (in a great photo with Xavier Dolan and Suzanne Clement at Amour premiere), Nadine Labaki, Sophie Marceau. No longer in Cannes, Shia Labeouf, Naomi Watts and Paz Vega.

Photo of the Day

Great Isabelle Huppert.

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