Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 7 at 2012 Cannes

From today on HUGE Hollywood celebrities and some great actors will grace Cannes with their presence, so be prepared for absurd American media coverage... okay, not only American, worldwide media coverage. Sigh. In the competition two films that I know will watch.

Main Competition

The Angels' Share by Ken Loach

Highly enjoy Ken Loach films, but will I enjoy a comedy? His last comedy, Looking for Eric, was another of those films that I wasn't able to watch until the end. It's truly strange as British humor is dark enough to be my preferred humor of choice, so can't help but to expect me not liking another Ken Loach film. Sigh.

Here is the synopsis.
A bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. When Robbie sneaks into the maternity hospital to visit his young girlfriend Leonie and hold his newborn son Luke for the first time, he is overwhelmed. He swears that Luke will not lead the same stricken life he has led.
On community service Robbie meets Rhino, Albert and Mo for whom, like him, work is little more than a distant dream. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives - not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. What will it be for Robbie? More violence and vendettas or a new future with 'Uisge Beatha,' the 'Water of Life'? Only the angels know...

Photocall is full of people I'm not familiar with, except -of course- for Ken Loach. Oh! light is still too white, meaning not a sunny day in Cannes. Why organizers do not bring artificial warm lights? They should, video/photos will look better. Actors are so new to this kind of attention that can't help but take out their cameras and click them to record their own "crazy-yelling" photographers. Nice not-often seen naive spontaneity.

TVFestival de Cannes interview has director, scriptwriter and the main character (non)actor. Take a serious matter and use humor to put a smile in your face, but unemployment is a serious and universal tragedy, especially youth unemployment. Oh! the ruling class pov vrs ordinary people pov! Fantastic Loach answer. Like accent but need to really pay a lot of attention to follow what they say. Mr. Loach seems you are selling the film directly addressed to me and I'm listening. Suggest to watch interview if just for the excellent answers but also to let Loach seduce you into watching his film. Up-to-today this is THE best interview I have seen in this format.

Press conference with not many people sitting behind the table and more sitting in front. Too much whisky talk that's starting to make feel like drinking one, but has to be a Scotch -which is more a propos to movie story. Smart documented answers are here too. Some with glorious very-dark humor. Politics and movie facts mix most interestingly, but then is expected from Loach and Loach crew. Press is making now-actor talk about the Scarlett Johansson movie he was in, which changes the very intellectual/serious mood that I was highly appreciating. Civilized/decent life... things that have never been reality in so many countries; but yes I get it, if you had it and lost it, surely has to be more hard/evident than for those that never had it. Very intellectual press conference -with elements I really wish to see in films, let's hope this comedy has some of what I saw in press conference and since movie plays with humor, serious important matters have to be clearly shown for audiences to see or humor will wash the intentions away. At the end moderator felt the obligation to remind press that film is a comedy!

Very intellectual stimulating videos that made me think too much and wish I could really have a good scotch, straight no-ice, near me. Of course will watch film but let's hope that I don't have the same experience as I did with Loach's previous film.

Have to honest it wasn't until today that watched clips and one (the kilts and officers) made me laugh, so hopes seem could be reality. Then all these videos generating too much thinking about important world realities, fantastic exercise, but will I be able to see in film "something" remotely similar to those great comments? Don't know.

Loach Cannes history is a long one that started in 1970 and talks about three top awards including winning the Palme d'Or for great 2006 The Wind That Shakes the Barley. Is he going to get a second Palm? Maybe in the future when he goes back to great dramas, but a comedy winning Cannes top award, that's something that I have no idea if happened in the past but definitively can't imagine happening in the present.

Strongly suggest to read brief article about the long relationship between Ken Loach and Paul Laverty, Loach's screenwriter of choice; article is quite interesting and explains why Laverty gives such outstanding comments in today's' videos. Go here.

Killing Them Softly by Andrew Dominik

If you read my spontaneous reaction to Dominik film here then you know that from clips I related movie style to Ken Loach, so seems like today could be a double screening of a similar style, which is all right for me.

To be honest I was highly impressed by movie short clip I saw at the opening ceremony collage, so much that I changed my opinion about Brad Pitt possible performance and the movie in general. What I hoped in my spontaneous reactions became my expectations for this movie. Now I expect a good Brad Pitt performance (hopefully as good as in Moneyball) and definitively a story more interesting than Dominik's previous film.

Photocall is all about Brad celebrity status, so lower your volume as photographers are noisier than usual. But has very funny moment when Le Grand Soir's Gustave Kervern goes to kiss Pitt's hand -so ironically French funny that had to watch twice. Also remarkable is how Dominik (sans chewing gum) resembles Pitt -then maybe is only the long blond hair. Ah! Ray Liotta was also there as well as some other actors that I don't recognize.

TVFestival de Cannes interview talk about economic crisis in movie and the bigger picture: capitalism real crisis. Think I'm starting to learn what movie is all about and well, yes getting more interesting in watching. Liotta made me laugh, great. But then questions start to get silly, still Brad finds a way to answer smartly - which is different to what less-experienced cast/crew did in the other American movie. So is a dialogue-intense movie. Hoping that more great actors show in other videos. If you know story then you can skip this video without missing much.

Press conference starts again with Liotta being beaten instead of him beating others. Oh! so the association to real capitalism crisis is obvious and not suggested, wait is an American movie. Graphic slow-mo violence, awgh! Dominik: "I like violence ... but here violence is kind of embarrassing to characters, that's why they want to kill them softly". Like Brad answers, even when are not directly delivered. Sorry Dominik don't buy what you say about violence and fairy tales... violence has no real justification, but I know, you're talking about violence in movies ... still, let's hope that violence has a role in this movie and is not like in so many movies, placed for entertainment purposes. Screwball comedy? Hmm, is starting to sound like a movie by Tarantino. Australia is a very different country than America, there is some Australia-ness in (one) character and story. Gosh, if movie is stimulating this kind of questions and answers then I'm curious. Silly, silly questions and is amazing that Pitt answers them, very polite of him. Thank you for stopping the gossip questions. Miss Gandolfini, shame he is not there but wonder if he would be able to speak -as happened with Liotta and the other actors- as most questions were addressed and answered by Pitt and Dominik.

Quotes from press conference.

Andrew Dominik goes back to the subject of the film:
"I found the characters in George V. Higgin's Cogan’s Trade wonderful. This book depicts criminality. When I began to adapt it, I realised that it was also the tale of an economic crisis, that of capitalism. It's a never-ending story."

Dominik talks about the violence in his film:
"I love violence in films. How else can dramatic situations be depicted, if we don't use violence? Grimm's fairy tales are violent but their message is meant for children. This is a bit like what happens in Killing Them Softly. All the characters in the film know how guilty and awkward killing can make you feel, so they try to make violence painless. They want it to be as humane as possible for their victims."

Brad Pitt, on the characters in the film:
"We play characters who have clear-cut opinions in a divided country. I do not necessarily share the points of view shown in the film. I prefer playing a killer rather than a racist. Jackie Cogan tries to kill softly so that it is not too painful for his victim, who has to die no matter what happens. This last point is a reflection on business, which can be merciless."

If you wish to learn more about movie suggest you read this brief article.

Red carpet starts with camera following Brad Pitt signing autographs in sunny beautiful Cannes day (finally!), Dominik follows and learn that is Liotta's first time in Cannes. Oh! great long moment with Sandrine Bonaire while Pitt continues to sign autographs. Camera doesn't leave Pitt and yes is noisy, thousands of photographs plus fans. Pitt takes pictures too. No Gandolfini, no great Richard Jenkins, shame. And NO Angelina, lol! Wasn't going to comment, but yes I'm impress with Brad Pitt professionalism and experience, he is a celebrity, he is a star, he can be a good actor, but he knows he is working, shows respect for the business and "cares" about his fan base. Yes, suggest you watch video.

Okay I get it and got interested in watching movie, just hope is as interesting as how much my expectations got risen by what I learned from these videos and today's readings.

Ouch! quote from one review "Dominik peint une Amerique en pleine decomposition" But then British say, "smart, nasty, gripping.. with a political dimension, too" ... American "important" critics say: "movie not a hit" and one IMDb user says "this is a blah movie". Yes, I'm reading reviews and those are just some samples for you to get an idea. My net take-away is that film is coming quite close to the kind of films I like, but can't avoid hoping that my now high to moderate expectations are fulfilled. Then haven't yet found one review by a woman, so maybe I should start a petition to have women doing reviews fast (I'm kidding).

Will watch film with different eyes, different to what I usually watch what seems mainstream American movies. Film will be released on September 21st, 2012.

Does movie have Cannes top honors chances? Don't think so; but IF movie is as I imagine then maybe after all Cannes loves Tarantino and well, IF Pitt is as good as clip suggests then maybe could be consider for the actor top award.

Un Certain Regard

Le Grand Soir by Benoit Delépine and Gustave Kervern

Can't say that I have enjoyed their filmmaking style in Louise-Michel or Mammuth so my expectations are low for this social comedy that from clips and synopsis does not call my attention.

Two brothers who are complete opposites : one is a salesman in a chain store, while the other fancies himself the oldest punk-with-a-dog in Europe... But the twists of modern life will reunite them, putting them both on the street. Now confederates of the Punk Attitude, the two men put everything on the line to spark off a new revolution...

Making me laugh is not easy and I know that this comedy will not do it, thus will skip this film.

A Perdre La Raison (Loving Without Reason) by Joachim Lafosse

Very interested in watching fifth feature film by Belgian Lafosse with a surely very-hard-to-watch story that has to be superbly interpreted by fantastic cast that includes Tahar Rahim and Niels Astrup playing opposite to Emile Dequenne. The synopsis.

Murielle and Mounir love each other passionately. Ever since he was a boy, the young man has been living with Doctor Pinget who provides him with a comfortable life. When Mounir and Murielle decide to marry and have children, the couple’s dependence on the doctor becomes excessive. Murielle finds herself caught up in an unhealthy emotional climate that insidiously leads the family towards a tragic outcome.

Story is based on real events that occurred in Belgium when a mother killed her five children before attempting to commit suicide. Yes major story spoiler but I know that this film is not to be watched because story or destination, this is a film to watch because of the voyage.

Yes, this is a Must Be Seen film for me.

Special Screenings

A Musica Segundo Tom Jobin (The Music According to Tom Jobim) by Nelson Pereira Dos Santos

I have a deep love-affair with Antonio Carlos Jobim that will last until my last day in planet Earth, so watching another documentary about Tom is not essential but very-welcomed if is only to watch him and to listen to some of his fantastic music and songs. But trailer also promises that will be seeing great interpreters from the past and the present, so will watch even when yes I have in my music collection famous The Girl from Ipanema with many of those we see in trailer... and more. Read more about documentary here.

Journal de France by Claudine Nougaret and Raymond Depardon

Film follows two strands, the career of photographer-director Raymond Depardon and that of of his photographic journey for the Mission de France. I love photography and I'm more interested in the photographic value of film than anything else; but if I ever see the 300 images project presented at Bibliothèque Nationale in 2010 I'll be more than content. If you wish to learn more about this doc go here.

Trashed by Candida Brady

The second documentary by British journalist Candida Brady that records her travels all over the world to film impact human waste is having on the planet. Jeremy Irons narrates, cinematography is by Sean Bobbitt (Hunger and Shame), and music is by Vangelis. Great tech credentials to tell a very important subject matter that not many pay attention to, hope this and the other doc in fest will raise awareness and more important, personal/individual action. To read more about film go here.  Will watch.

Cannes Classics

Each year, fest selects a country and celebrates its films and customs. This year the honor falls to Brazil. To continue with the celebration today Cannes Classics screens Eduardo Coutinho's 1975 Cabra Marcado Para Morrer (Twenty Years Later). Suggest to read about the appalling yet interesting story in this documentary here.  None other than Walter Salles presented the movie.

Cinéma de la Plage

Today (again?) Le Farceur (The Joker) by Philippe de Broca, if it does not rain I assume.


Fogo by Yulene Olaizola

Very curious about film that from clips appears to be my kind of film thanks to visuals, slow pace and telling a relevant story. The following is the synopsis.

The deterioration of a small community in Fogo Island is forcing its inhabitants to leave and resettle. Places once occupied by humans are now becoming part of the tundra landscape. In spite of a condemn future, there are some residents who decide to remain, holding on to their memories and grieving for the past, when life in Fogo was different.

Director thesis project and opera prima is the documentary Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo which was highly honored in the fest circuit; second work Paraisos Artificiales was premiered at Rotterdam and awarded at Tribeca. Her third work, Fogo, takes her to Cannes and yes not only a very interesting director's trajectory but director has become one that I'll closely follow. Will watch film as soon as comes near me.

Opération Libertad by Nicolas Wadimoff

Obviously VERY interested in story told in rock guitarist turned filmmaker fifth feature; perhaps his visual style -according to what I've seen in clips- is not what I could hope for, but will watch. This is the synopsis.

In 1978, a small Swiss revolutionary group attacked a bank in a Zurich suburb. In order to prove the collusion between the Swiss financial system and dictatorships, they filmed the entire operation. In 2011, the videotapes of Operation Libertad reappeared…

I know film story is fiction, but this faux documentary story essence still seems an interesting exploration/vision on a subject matter that is obliquely (or directly?) related to Swiss context -the big banks secrecy, collusion between financial system and dictatorships-. Then director tells about how he was involved with radical groups around the 80's plus his film Temps Présent tells about the Swiss who had known Carlos. Need to learn no more, will watch movie.

Gangs of Wasseypur by Anurag Kashyap

The five hours twenty minute epic tale of a story of vengeance between two families that spans three generations stimulates my imagination but wonder if I will like movie that surely has an Indian cinema "border" style (near art but still Bollywood) that I haven't enjoyed many times. The synopsis.

Wasseypur, India. The story of vengeance between two families that spans three generations. Shahid Khan loots British trains and rules over the Ramadhir Sing clan. He becomes an outcast and must work in Ramadhir Singh's coal mines. Shahid's son, the philandering Sardar Khan, vows to restore his father's honor, becoming the most feared man in Waasseypur. It is Fazal Khan, the weed-addicted grandson, who wakes up to the vengeance his family has inherited.

I'll give movie a try when comes near me.

Semaine de la Critique

Aquí y Allá by Antonio Méndez Esparza

Debut feature film by Spain born director that has lived in New York and Mexico with a story that I expected more from a Mexican director than from a Columbia University graduate. Nevertheless story and storytelling style could be interesting, my only concern is wondering if suggested melodrama is handled adequately (realistic yet poetic), like many young-generation Mexican directors do. The long synopsis.

Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero, Mexico after years of working in the US. He finds his daughters older, and more distant than he imagined. His wife still has the same smile. Having saved some earnings from two trips to the US, he hopes to now finally make a better life with his family, and even to pursue his dreams on the side by starting a band: Copa Kings. He cherishes the everyday moments with his family.
The villagers think this year’s crop will be bountiful. There is also good work in a growing city an hour away. But the locals are wise to a life of insecurity, and their thoughts are often of family members or opportunities far away, north of the border. While working in the fields, Pedro meets and begins to mentor a teenager who dreams of the US. That place somehow always feels very present, practically knocking at the door.
Aquí y Allá is a story about hope, and the memories and loss of what we leave behind.

Will watch if ever comes near me and probably is good that I have low expectations so there are chances that movie will surprise me. Not many movies in this parallel section surprise me but last year winner was an unexpected big surprise, could this film be like Las Acacias? Let's hope it is.


Today a Sharon Bar-Ziv's Room 514, a film from Israel that from synopsis: A confrontation between Anna, an investigator from the Israeli army and an outstanding commander- seems to be a very interesting woman-centered powerful story.

As with almost all films in this section, information is truly scarce (have done google searches and for some, search gave a blank page!) but if I believe the opinion written at the site, then I think that this film by Sharon Bar-Ziv is one that I have to see for the story and Anna the lead character that believes "Israel is a free country" belief that maybe has an answer according to what reviewer comments: "No, Anna. The World is at war." Yes I know, might be a bit confusing what I wrote but from all the rambling my conclusion is that will watch film if ever comes near me.

Cannes News

There are not may news today as probably the market side of the fest is starting to fade away.

Buyers had an early screening of Daniels' The Paperboy and seems Nicole Kidman performance was highly praised, not so much the movie; Daniels next project is The Butler which has Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda ad Forrest Whitaker attached to star. Strange cast choice for American presidents: Matthew McConaughey as JFK, John Cusack as Nixon, and Alan Rickman as Reagan.

Tim Roth will go back to his more traditional roles in Jennifer Lynch's A Fall From Grace.

Natalie Portman to star in a western Jane Got a Gun by Lynne Ramsay. Great news, isn't?

Press have already seen Holy Motors by Carax and twitter get wild with crazy good comments; we'll see what happens tomorrow.

Not-so-serious Comments

Prada (??!!) reveal Roman Polanski (very) short film, A Therapy, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Ben Kingsley, so no Lagerfeld short film this year and then Prada presents Polanski? Check preview at Movie On facebook page but be ready to see Prada coat and shoes.

Simply put, LOVE to read Screen magazine daily. Yudu is a great platform that I'm starting to think I should use it... already subscribed but haven't figure out what should I do there. Maybe an Art Magazine.

Today best headline: "Les mafieux d'Andrew Dominik e les anges de Ken Koach" (between gangsters and angels) that's exactly how I felt today while thinking about both movies.

After one week and 14 films in main competition screened, French press favorite is still Jacques Audiard film, close by Haneke film. There are no changes in Screen magazine, Mungiu and Haneke are still the favorites.

Just learned a Cannes milestone, never before there was a father and a son with films in the Official Selection; so it is a FIRST for David and Brandon Cronenberg.

Gossip sites went wild today with news that Brad and Angelina have no wedding date. That's all they got from the press conference.

Many journalist from all over the world are complaining about the 2,500 euros fee to interview Brad Pitt; maybe that is one reason why Pitt suspended all interviews, except for one with Canal+. But the news are out and not all consider it a negative procedure, still has become another Cannes scandal.

Been seeing many Berenice Marlohe photos and is today that I realize who she is, the newest "Bond Girl" in Skyfall. Watched again trailer, but she is not there, funny isn't?

Haven't seen Pitt in red carpet but I'm reading about the paparazzi frenzy... On other news, today is not fun to look for photos as there are too many Pitt photos...

Oh there was a Festival Jury Deliberation Lunch, so they're are working after all ... just saying as most photos are from them partying.

In Cannes Jeremy Irons, Lee Daniels, Kim Kardashian (?!), Kanye West (lol), Adrien Brody.

Photo of the Day

From a while back, perhaps the nicest dress in the red carpet.

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