Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day 1 - Cannes 2015

Today the biggest cinema party in the world begins with the opening ceremony followed by the screening of the out of competition opening film, La Tête Haute (Standing Still) by Emmanuelle Bercot, a film that has the milestone honor of being the second opening film in the history of the festival that is directed by a woman.

But the festival actually has begun with photocalls and press conferences. The main jury was presented at a press conference, they had their moment with the press at the photocall and to say truth, there are some very nice photos of some very photogenic jury members.

Maybe it was only today but there was NO live streaming of the photocalls or the press conferences. IF tomorrow happens the same then will be the first time in recent years that the fest doesn't live stream those events. Sigh. Let's hope tomorrow they go back to what entertains many -specially me. Still, the videos are available to watch, so we can watch the interview, photocall and press conference for the opening film and other activities that happened today.

As some of you know because you have been with me for the last few years, the daily coverage means writing post during the whole day and finally publish when is night in Cannes. This way I'm able to include as much as possible about what happened during the day. Also please remember that this exercise forces me to read about all films in the festival and then I try to share what consider relevant.

Here we go, let's start the daily fun with this year's eclectic jury.

The Jury

Photocall and Interview

Basically fun to watch photocall video for the screaming crazy photographers that go crazy for ... Sophie!!! Still from what I have seen at the photo services, there are some really beautiful photos of Sienna Miller and Xavier Dolan together.

Even do only 4 jurors speak French, interview is in French (?!) but answers are in English, so suggest you watch in English. If you skip interview will not miss much ... the best for me was watching Xavier Dolan and obviously, Jake Gyllenhaal as he is really funny!

Press Conference

The best of the jury introduction is that is in English.  Then as has happened in many press conferences, questions are so silly that there is no way we could hear a smart answer.  Still, the best continues to be Jake Gyllenhaal with very funny answers, just to watch him the video is worth-watching; but if you skip it wont be missing much.

The Host
Worth-watching photocall video as Lambert Wilson goes easy on the eye and video not noisy (lol) and short.

Out of Competition

La Tête Haute (Standing Still)
It took years of work, but at long last, the film is ready to make its debut. Emmanuelle Bercot opens the 68th Festival de Cannes with La Tête Haute, a portrayal of the journey of a young delinquent from the ages of six to eighteen as he moves between rehabilitation centers and juvenile courts.


For me is always a true pleasure to watch Catherine Deneuve live as she has a charisma that not many have in the world of cinema or elsewhere. But this year she is with another great actor Benoît Magimel and during the photo session photographers go crazy for Deneuve and Magimel. Emmanuelle Bercot is very energetic and looks as she's having the time of her life, nice. Suggest you watch video.

Nice interview, suggest you watch in French (if you understand the language) and there are not many spoilers. Unbelievable, it was 15 years ago the last time Magimel was in Cannes. If you watch video you will start to understand why this year opening film is -as Catherine Deneuve says- cinema d'auteur, the kind of French cinema we love. It is social cinema similar to what Maïwenn did with Polisse.

Press Conference

This morning saw the first film and the first press conference. The team of La Tête Haute were all on hand to meet a room packed with journalists. Emmanuelle Bercot was accompanied by her protégé Rod Paradot, the star of the film, as well as Catherine Deneuve, Benoît Magimel and Sara Forestier.

Press conference has too much spoilers for me, so stopped watching but from what I saw enjoyed very much watching Catherine Deneuve and Benoît Magimel. Think is about time for me to say that I will not be surprised if Rod Paradot becomes the next rising star in French cinema.

Press reaction to film
We have to recall that this is NOT the usual festival (Cannes or elsewhere) opening film as this film is good (LOL!), meaning is NOT commercial cinema; so, don't be surprised by some reactions... sigh. Here are some reviews examples.

Though solid, this low-key drama seems unlikely to cause much of a stir outside of France, tracking 10 years in the life of a troubled child, beginning the moment his birth mother gives up and sticking close as a juvenile judge (Catherine Deneuve, whose matronly turn provides some export appeal) and her team refuse to throw in the towel. Variety (USA)
Gritty and compassionate look at an adolescence riddled by violence, punishment and the idea that rehabilitation is a long way off, but not entirely out of the question. Electric lead performance from newcomer Rod Paradot -THR (USA)
An unglamorous social realist drama about a juvenile deliquent makes for an unlikely Cannes opener, but its young star – discovered smoking outside a technical college in the Paris suburbs – gives a performance that's worth getting excited about. The Telegraph (UK)
The most down-to-earth Cannes opening film in living memory, Standing Tall (La Tete Haute) shows the festival flying the flag for the grand tradition of French social realism. Screendaily (UK)
Discreto film d’apertura, grande Deneuve. Luigi Locatelli (Italy)
Brillant dans son coté presque documentaire, un peu moins dans sa façon de céder à la symbolique et au surlignage. Mais qu'importe. La tête haute est littéralement volé par son jeune acteur, Rod Paradot, diamant brut (dans tous les sens du terme), un talent saisissant. L'Express (France)

Made me laugh hard tweet by FilmLand Empire: So I really enjoyed LA TETE HAUTE, and if you fancy being told off by Catherine Deneuve for 2 hours you'll be in heaven
Un ton à la #Polisse centré sur le cas difficile d'1 ado délinquant violent personnage cousin de celui de #Mommy !Cinéma social. Stefan V (France)

The Red Carpet

Finally TV Festival de Cannes is LIVE!!! The red carpet is on and walking are French actors/actresses like Emmanuelle Devos, Guillaume Gallienne, Isabella Rossellini, Marie Gillian, Xavier Beauvois, Frederique Bel, Emmanuelle Béart, Leila Bekhti, and more. Also Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, Naomi Watts, Jane Seymour, John Legend, and more.

Then you had all the jury members but the most notorious absence was Cécile de France. Followed by the opening film group. Unfortunately my machine decided to go to a blue screen so had to change to watch on my TV, so missed a few minutes with people walking the carpet.  Nevertheless checked photo services and think I didn't skip much. Will be looking for the best photos and will post them below.

The Opening Ceremony

Seems that not many liked the too long Lambert Wilson monologue -I did not liked much- but when finally was over and the ballet began with Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock in the background the ceremony became beautiful and very European, which is truly refreshing as in previous years was more ceremonial than entertaining.

No doubt that the best part was the 9 minutes with clips from films in the Official Selection. As my most expected clip was from Carol can share that the too-short clip was breathtaking, a true beauty-shot of a flirtatious Cate Blanchett! Fantastic! The second clip that caught my attention was for Love that now can say undoubtedly will be controversial besides now already being call porn.

In an unexpected moment, Julianne Moore was called to the stage as she was not able to collect her Palm d'Or last year, so she got it this year (???).  Nevertheless she was the one responsible for declaring the festival open.

In the end the ceremony was short, quite elegant, long where it mattered (film clips) and PLEASE next year no Lambert Wilson.  Thanks.

As soon as the opening ceremony video becomes available will include it at post bottom.

-Most interesting news about Noomi Rapace plalying Maria Callas in biopic. Not sure what I feel about it even when Rapace as Callas photo looks quite similar.
-Well Go has the US and Canada rights to The Assasin by Hsiao-Hsien Hou, so yes will be screen in US soon.
- Pablo Larrain next movie is Neruda with his regulars Gael Garcia Bernal and Alfredo Castro. Will tell Pablo Neruda's life between 1946 and 1948
- Gus van Sant Sea of Trees has US distribution.
- Alright, just a bit of buzz. Tweets are starting to appear with not so positive comments about tomorrow's first film in competition. Still there are those that approve (lol!).

Not-so-serious News
-Best (malicious) news today: Sean Penn is in Cannes after riding the Presidential plane along with France's president François Hollande; both were in Haiti and flew together back to France, via Cannes for Penn. Hollande continued to Paris as is Fleur Pellerin, Culture Minister, who will attend today's protocol activities.
-No doubt that the best light news is that Frances McDormand -finally- married Joel Coen, just days before coming to Cannes.
-Tonight there is the first major Cannes Party but starts after the opening film is over, so seems will do the coverage tomorrow. Will be at Palm Beach and VIP's go later to Gotha Club.

Photos of the Day

Very elegant Natalie Portman and husband.

Naomi Watts and Julianne Moore

2 Jury Members


The Best of the Red Carpet

Opening Ceremony

Only in Cannes (English version)

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