Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 9 at 2012 Cannes

Today our first award ceremony which makes us realize that the end is near. Sigh.

Main Competition

Post Tenebras Lux by Carlos Reygadas

I've been waiting for so long for another Reygadas movie that my expectations were really high, if you wish to read about my spontaneous expectations please go here.

Then saw opening night clip and my expectations went down -still was denying the evident-; when poster and first clip were released I became speechless as no, I didn't like both. It is not until five days ago when teaser 2 was released, when the very-fast expectations crashing-down stopped, as is the only clip that contains images that I can relate to Reygadas. Last, yesterday after first press viewing, reliable critics' started to twit terrible comments about movie. I wasn't surprised, as when a serious filmmaker starts to release movie clips that look more like bad family videos, then something has to be wrong.

Still today serious reviews while not being strongly positive, claim to recognize Reygadas style in many moments; this gives me hope that I will be not that much disappointed. Sigh. Some general samples.

erickohn: "Post Tenebras Lux" is Reygadas' weakest movie, but frequently awe-inspiring nonetheless
Greg Chapman: I'll be the judge of that! Reygadas’ 'Post Tenebras Lux' Is Singularly Strange, But Not Especially Impressive
@Variety's Jay Weissberg on Carlos Reygadas' POST TENEBRAS LUX, which "makes Djuna Barnes feel like Dan Brown"

"No me ha gustado. Está sobre-intelectualizada. No es generosa. No es bella. Yo adoré las dos primeras, pero en esta no hay nada. No soy hostil a este cine pero esta no. Lo siento", declaró el crítico de la televisora privada gala, Canal Plus, Xavier Leherpeur. ... Por el contrario, medios españoles y algunos de otros países como Tailandia expresaron más respeto por la película "que tiene belleza y es diferente y siempre interesante", comentaron a esta agencia.

retweeted several times: "Post tenebras lux" de Carlos Reygadas se proyecto en el Festival de Cannes. Compite x La Palma de Oro. Termino abucheada x periodistas

This chaotic accumulation (aggravated by time distortions in the editing that are difficult to explain) may revolt the director’s critics, but is not a major problem for those who prefer an intuitive approach to his work. That having been said, one cannot however justify all excesses in Post Tenebras Lux because that would be taking one step too far.

The one comment that really makes sense to me after recalling reactions/comments about Batalla en el Cielo is this one:
"According to Twitter, POST TENEBRAS LUX is the greatest/worst thing ever. In other words, it's a Carlos Reygadas film"

Surely is better not to know so much about reactions but when you want to write about Cannes, de-facto you will learn too much. But I know will erase everything from my mind before watching. So let's go to the fun part.

Photocall has the director, his actors plus a producer and is peaceful, quiet. TVFestival de Cannes has Natalia Acevedo and Adolfo Jimenez plus Reygadas. A film "almost autobiographic", "my real son and daughter"; both are non-actors and Natalia speaks really good French. Watch in French as everyone is speaking that language. I already "know" Reygadas and like his personality, but if you're not familiar with him suggest to watch to "meet" him. Obviously there are no spoilers in interview, think is impossible to learn spoilers from this film. Haven't seen the violent images but as Jimenez says, yes happens in reality, I add: not only in Mexico but in other countries. Mexico bleeds, Mexico sangra... so true and in this context whatever is in his film surely will make sense.

Press conference also has Jaime Romendia, the producer. Yes the blur/haze is only in outdoor scenes done for esthetic purposes. As I already started to imagine, some tech specs come from Reygadas short in Revolucion... what he learned/liked. By the way many didn't liked that short, I love it. If I only watched videos and didn't paid attention to news then would have imagined that press actually liked the movie. Interesting. Humor in Reygadas? Well he says is there. Love the answer he gave to one journalist asking for the director to do their job. He blushes, his face gets red after the Spanish-language writers question, hmm... why? Too many answers in my head. But answer comes later and one that I imagined and highly understand "me hice el loco" [para no contestar] (avoided to mention names). Pictorial tradition... interesting... and there is a lot of truth. Smart, very smart press conferences.

Sometimes is better not to read much, this is one of those times. Let see what happens when finally I'm able to see movie.

Does Reygadas has chances with this film? I think that Reygadas will always have opportunities in Cannes, but maybe as it happened with Batalla en el Cielo, his film will not collect honors this year.

The Paperboy by Lee Daniels

I couldn't watch Precious but seems that I have to watch Nicole Kidman playing what today was called "White Trash Slut" and "Oversexed Barbie Doll", I won't miss that no matter if film is not that good. The good news for me is that one of my favorite critics twitted "I loved the lurid, ridiculous, overblown The Paperboy. Bad cinema at its best" and we usually have the same taste for certain kind of movies. Great.

If you wish to read my spontaneous expectation go here.

Photocall is must be seen if only to see Nicole Kidman dressed in a color that absolute makes her look glorious. But also to catch a glimpse of John Cusack -I like him a lot and think he is very handsome- and well, the other actors too. Hope to find a free photo with Nicole and John, have seen it at the not-free site. TVFestival de Cannes has the same cast/crew as photocall. Interviewers says film has a different style (than Precious), I say great. Matthew McConaughey: "the reality not the morality" "everyone is wonderful dysfunctional". Great answer by John ... that finishes with "I listened to Bob Dylan". Watch it is very brief as seems don't want to talk about the "morality" of this film. Let's see what happens in the press conference.

Press conference has the same group. The Almodovar relationship comes first, great as haven't been able to learn story. Oh! gosh having fun, real fun! Laugh hard with reactions to Zac Efron "eroticize" question. Drying my eyes while Matthew talks so seriously... the moment is gone, agwh. True, agree with Daniels when speaking about merging good actors and not-to-easy to finance films. Oh! Matthew plays homosexual. I think I'm enjoying this press conference a lot more than what I imagined and yes is turning around my first impressions. Love the way John looks at Nicole while she's talking. Very interesting comments, suggest you watch.

I should thank someone or something that makes me watch so many movies not caring if I would like them or not, as many times films surprise me. But I'm grateful, like today, when I see a "different" side from directors/actors as definitively change my perceptions, stimulate my imagination and make wish to see their films. If only I could do this press conference "thing" more often. Truly good experience for me to see the press conference video.

Red carpet video starts with Nicole signing autographs, dress is too pale after the one she wore this morning. Oh! Kidman husband, what's his name? Keith Urban. Is okay, watch only for entertainment purposes.

Seems that after tonight premiere at the Grand Theatre reaction from audience was different than from press, as there was a 10-minute standing ovation.

Does Lee Daniels have chances in Cannes? Not sure about movie, but just from what I learned today about Kidman character plus previous buzz, I know she is the other big contender for the actor top award, along with Cotillard. Still there could be surprises, sentimental surprises. But let's hope award goes to Kidman or Cotillard.

Un Certain Regard

Miss Lovely by Ashim Ahluwalia

Admit I'm interested in movie that seems could be interesting for story, about India's C grade films (a blend of horror, gangsters and porn), and great visuals; synopsis is really long so if wish to learn more about film suggest go here where you can also watch a long clip/trailer.

Thierry Fremaux pitched movie by saying "Mean Streets meets Boogie Nights" and after watching clip can tell you that his pitch is very accurate, almost literal. But maybe is the headline "a Baroque fairytale in the Bollywood slums" more accurate. Nevertheless, clip images suggest great visual trip, which is explainable as director videos have been exhibited at the Tate, MoMa and Centre Pompidou.

Will watch as soon as comes near me.

Trois Mondes by Chaterine Corsini

Corsini returns to Cannes after being in competition with amazing 2001 La Repetition (yes THAT movie with Emmanuelle Beart and Pascale Bussieres) now telling a story of three very different characters all being 30-years-old. The synopsis.

Al, a young man from a modest background is about to marry his boss’ daughter, along with succeeding him as the head of a car dealership. One night, while coming back from his bachelor party, he is guilty of a hit-and-run accident, urged by his two childhood friends present in the car. The next day, gnawed with guilt, Al decides to inquire about his victim. What he does not know is that Juliette, a young woman, has witnessed the entire accident from her balcony. She is the one who had called 911 and helped the victim’s wife Vera, a Moldavian illegal-immigrant.
But when Juliette recognizes Al as the reckless driver in the Hospital corridor, she is unable to denounce him…

Don't need to learn much about movie as I know will watch the moment that comes near me, but if you wish to see film clips go here.

Special Screenings

The Central Park Five by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David Mcmahon

Not particularly attracted to film because story, this is the synopsis.

In 1989, five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem were arrested and later convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They spent between 6 and 13 years in prison before a serial rapist confessed that he alone had committed the crime, leading to their convictions being overturned. Set against a backdrop of a decaying city beset by violence and racial tension, the film tells the story of that horrific crime, the rush to judgment by the police, a media clamoring for sensational stories and an outraged public, and the five lives upended by this miscarriage of justice.

To read more about documentary go here.


Short Films Program 2 with the following shorts, Abigail by Matthew James Reilly, Pude Ver un Puma (Could See a Puma) by Eduardo Williams, Slug Invasion by Morten Helgeland and Casper Wermuth, and Les Ravissements (The Raptures) by Arthur Cahn

Cannes Classics

Les Barbouzes (The Great Spy Chase) by Georges Lautner

A 1964 comedy about four secret agents working for four different governments looking for the same top secret document. To read more about movie and watch clips go here.

Around the Selection

Today History Masterclass with Normand Lloyd and to read more go here.


Dae Gi Eui Wang (King of Pigs) by Sang-ho Yeun

Violent story animation is not my kind of movie at all but have to mention that South Korean animation looks and feels with top-animation quality. Still violence in clip and story will not make me watch film. The synopsis.

Kyung-min, a businessman, and Jong-suk, a failed writer, are former schoolmates. During a reunion dinner they look back on their school days, when a particularly cruel group of students, "the dogs", exercised a reign of terror by hazing and bullying part of the other students, the "pigs". One day, Kim Chul, one of their mates, stood up to the "dogs", becoming the only hope of ending their tyranny. Fifteen years on, he remains a hero. But behind this figure, the two men recall the murky story of their bond.

Dangerous Liaisons by Hur Jin-ho

At first asked myself, do I want to see another version of this quite often told story? My spontaneous answer was no. Then saw cast, immediately became MUST BE SEEN for me, as star is Ziyi Zhang. Here is synopsis.

As war looms in Shanghai, glamorous libertine Mo Jieyu runs into womanizer Xie Yifan, an ex boyfriend who's never stopped loving her, and persuades him to play a treacherous game. She must seduce the innocent and naïve Du Fenyu and then dump her. But the game becomes increasingly dangerous as Xie falls in love with Du. Set in 1930s Shanghai the glamorous, tumultuous « Paris of the East » this is an adaptation of the French novel « Les Liaisons dangereuses » by Choderlos de Laclos.

Really enjoy Ziyi's performances and of course will not miss the opportunity to watch a Chinese cinema movie -which I simply love-, so no matter whatever I think about story, was going to watch this Must Be Seen movie.

Short Films Program 2 will screen the following shorts, Portret z pamieci (Drawn From Memory) by Marcin Bortkiewicz, The Curse by Fyzal Boulifa, Tram by Michaela Pavlatova, Os Mortos-vivos (The Living Dead) by Anita Rocha da Silveira, and Wrong Cops by Quentin Dupieux.

Semaine de la Critique

Award Ceremony - check post for award winners.

Two closing short films.
Walker by Tsai Ming-Liang
Mesmerizing and visually stunning 27 minutes no dialogue short film is absolutely MUST BE SEEN for me. Watch trailer here.

Manha de Santo Antonio (Morning of Saint Anthony's Day) by JoãoPedro Rodrigues
Not much info available, just one photo and the following synopsis.
Tradition says that on June 13th, Saint Anthony’s Day – Lisbon’s patron -, lovers must offer small vases of basil with paper carnations and flags with popular quatrains as a token of their love.

Invitation a Nisi Masa Cine-boat: 6 short films
A European network of young cinema, NISI MASA brings together associations from 26 different countries. Strengthened by the diversity of its members, NISI MASA is able to experiment in every direction: script contests, scriptwriting and directing workshops, distribution of short films, publications, conferences etc…

Today the 2012 catalog is up with info about everything that happened in La Semaine; suggest you check the 80 pages catalog here.


Today Noor by Çağla Zencirci & Guillaume Giovanetti film that calls my attention and has gay interest. The synopsis.

Noor wants to be a man. He doesn’t belong anymore to the Khusras, Pakistan’s transgender community. And he is definitely done with the love story he had with one of them, that had drastically changed his life. Now, he is doing a man’s job in a truck decoration center and he’s made up his mind : he will find a girl who will accept him as he is...

Not only story seems interesting but films seems to have outstanding visuals, suggest to look film stills here.

Cannes News

Announced, but not yet at official site, is the winner of the L'Atelier prize for best project. Winner is: In Your name by Dutch Marco van Geffen. Will confirm when news are posted at Official site.

Today two films will have an "exclusive" preview at Cannes. First Nicolas Winding Refn Only God Forgives with Ryan Goslin; second, Must Be Seen for me, The Grandmasters by Wong Kar-wai.

Sarah Gadon and Emily Hampshire win the first Birks Canadian Diamond award in Telefilm Canada's Tribute to Canadian Talent.

Not really Cannes news, but very interesting that Lea Seydoux gets lead role in French version of Beauty and the Beast with Vincent Cassel and Gerard Depardieu.

Cannes market continues in Cinando, where also and ony IF you're a paying member will be able to stream ALL films in La Semaine.

Not-so-serious Comments

Americans continue to play their Oscar game, still with the same movies -different source-; but includes one film, Pablo Larrain's NO as possible Chile submission to Oscar. I say no doubt film has all the right credentials, but country procedure works in "mysterious" ways plus Larrain seems to me, is not that loved in Chile. What do you think?

Love black and white photography and have admit that there are some from last night with Robert Pattinson that are really good photos. Sigh.

In Cannes, Tara Reid, Heidi Klum, Chris Tucker, Ivana Trump, Antonio Banderas.

Photo of the Day

Two great actors.

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