Friday, May 15, 2015

Day 3 - Cannes 2015

Today is a special day in Cannes as we will be able to check quite a few animals: a lobster, some rams, a snake or two, and the worst animal of them all, human beings. But the two films in competition have become strong contenders for top awards.

The Competition

The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos

To my dismay seems that Lanthimos film is not that "crazy" as his previous ones as all I have been reading tend to be positive with a few complains about the third closing part of the film. Sigh. Undoubtedly all this positive buzz has to be related to the cast and viewers being kinder when watching movie, as I still believe that Lanthimos is NOT for all audiences and if I believe Thierry Fremaux, The Lobster "is one of those films where you don't understand everything", so there is hope that we will see total Lanthimos style in the screen.

On the positive side, seems that film could have the right balance between auteur and non-auteur, so perhaps could call -in a good way- the attention of the jury. We'll see. For me the most exciting news about the movie is that Lea Sedyoux is in Cannes!!! (lol).

There is no surprise if I say that Lea Seydoux is the high point for me in the photocall video but also it's remarkable to see once again John C. Reilly, who has many films in 2015 Cannes. Also it is a pleasure to see Rachel Weisz and Ariane Labed. Of course also in photocall, Colin Farell that just drives photographers crazy! (lol) Just learned that Ariane Labed and Yorgos Lanthimos are a couple in real life. Cannes is windy today. Still the noisiest are Rachel Weisz and Lea Seydoux solos.

The interview video has only Lanthimos, Weisz and Farrell; interesting is to hear Lanthimos talking relative good English, so now believe he has the weapons to crossover the barrier in a good way. Very nice to see Lea in the press conference video but conference starts to with spoilers; still, learned that Lanthimos now lives in England and that's why he is doing English-language films -makes sense. Gosh Lea has a very beautiful profile. Stopped watching the press conference as became sort of boring.

Waiting for the red carpet. Finally the red carpet is going to start but know that there is a 20 minutes wait as film starts at 10:30pm. French police escorts the cast and let the show begin!  The first one out is Colin Farrell and there are loud female screams. It's really dark, after all is 10pm, makes me think that parties will start in about 2 hours.  Lea looks very nice, beautiful. Will wait for a photo to publish post.

Reactions from the press
What lifts The Lobster beyond such avant-garde theatrical mannerisms, most of the time, is the pathos that seeps through the film’s unsentimental façade and its sheer belief in the dystopian world it delivers. Lee Marshall - Screendaily (UK)
Yorgos Lanthimos's first English-language feature is a wickedly funny, unexpectedly moving satire of couple-fixated society. Guy Lodge-Variety (USA)
The Lobster: Buñuel for a post-Tinder world. Nerve-twingeingly funny, meticulously composed. Colin Farrell is In Bruges-good. Robbie Collin-Telegraph (UK)

Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster - a macabre and often hilarious black comedy which runs out of ideas - review later. Peter Bradshaw -The Guardian (UK)
THE LOBSTER: Premise and first two thirds are deadpan absurdist excellence, then it meanders through a lesser third act. Still pretty swell. Alison Willmore (US)
Yorgos Lanthimos' LOBSTER completes a zany trilogy about the flaws of organized society. Maybe it's time to move on. Eric Kohn-indiewire (US)

Saul Fia (Son of Saul) by László Nemes

Seems Mr. Nemes has fulfilled the expectations his high qualification credentials created, especially the one that talks about being Béla Tarr's assistant. When you think about the Holocaust you believe you have seen it all but according to what I've been reading from reliable critics seems that we have NOT seen it all. No doubt that what we could seen in this film will be very-hard-to-watch but seems like story plus filmmaking style makes movie outstanding and when you add that is Nemes debut feature film, then it becomes remarkable. Film has become must be seen for me, but know have to chose the right mood to see it as this story is NOT for everyday/any day consumption.

Imagine that because so much critics acclaim, the story it tells and the director impeccable credentials film will be top contender for awards and if is not the Palme d'Or then is la Camera d'Or or as a huge surprise: both!  Last, just read that lead role is played by a non-actor; no doubt film has all the right credentials to win big.

Can't find film photocall video but there are some photos around the net.  Film has the problem that all films without "stars" have, not many pay attention to them ... that's it until the win top awards! Gee, finally, found photocall video that has not many photographers but wanted to see director and cast. Skipped interview as was not interesting. Will skip press conference as the video presentation says it all: "discussions with journalists deeply affected by the film".

Reactions from the press
This is the first film that most -if not all- critics/viewers have positive buzz, very high positive buzz. Now I'm curious how the film will appear in all charts that are keeping scores as well in the odds scale. Let's see if there is another film in festival that can get so much positive buzz

This astonishing debut film, about a prisoner in the concentration camp employed in the industrial processes of body disposal, is a horror movie of extraordinary focus and courage. Peter Bradshaw -The Guardian (UK)
Terrifying 'Son of Saul' is Unlike Any Other Holocaust Thriller You've Seen Before. Eric Kohn-indiewire (USA)
The Hungarian “Son of Saul” is a hell ready for the Palme d’Or. Leda Galanou (Greece)
The first feature film by Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes is stunning in its visceral approach to the Shoah. The first blow of the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Domenico La Porta-Cineuropa

Il a vu 1750 bouses pour que vous puissiez critiquer sa sélection. Le fils de Saul est la vengeance de @THIERRYFREMAUX
"I loved the film but broke my heart"

Out of Competition

Irrational Man by Woody Allen

The latest Woody Allen has a cast that makes movie must be seen for me, as if I needed the cast (!) I see everything with and by Woody Allen. Lately have enjoyed some of his light comedies while others have not moved me. Will this one move me? Don't know but seems to have the right ingredients Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, Parker Posey, and philosophy. Will film be funny, I don't know; imagine that could be similar to Magic in the Moonlight, which is ok with me as I'm one of the few that enjoyed film.

I'm very disappointed by the absence of Joaquin Phoenix, sigh. So all videos have Woody, Emma and Parker. As every year Allen is in Cannes, his videos are very funny and yes, this year is no exception. Photocall is windy which means Emma Stone has trouble with her hair while practical Parker Posey has a hat and no troubles.  As expected most trashy newspapers have lots of photos with Emma wind troubles but I refuse to include them here, so if you're interested browse the net you will easily find the photos. The interview is really awkward for the "poor" interviewer as Allen's answers are just like his dialogs, silly -very silly.  Sometimes we tend to forget that his movies are comedies, dark comedies - mostly funny/silly. I'm crying, from laughing.

Kant?! Had to watch live the press conference and gee, am I laughing hard! Allen is so direct that becomes SOOO funny, dark funny -of course. Gosh, have tears in my eyes from laughing! Thank you Mr. Allen for making me laugh! Watch press conference video, hideous reporters ask about everything except the movie (LOL), so not many spoilers. Allen does light cinema... the light cinema of Woody Allen . Amazing that still today Allen overshadows his actors, including Emma Stone!!!

Watching live the red carpet and just now the full cast of The Anarchistes is walking the red carpet, that means Tahar Rahim, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Guillaume Gouix.  Woody has arrived as well as Emma and Parker (by now we are in first name basis -lol) still Joaquin is no-show -had hope he suddenly appeared.  Beautiful and charming Emma Stone surely will generate many great photos, hope they are released soon. Lots of fans in the theater orchestra gave Allen a very long loud ovation.

Special Screenings

Hayored Lema'Ala (Afterthought) by Elad Keidan
Debut feature film by 2008 Cinéfondation First Prizer winner. An existential comedy about Moshe and Uri, two different men walking up/down the Carmel Mountain with its endless stairs.Seems film is not that much universal and more local as seems will help how much you know about typical Israeli elements. Still film has no structured narrative, slow pace and more elements that I highly enjoy, so it is a maybe for me.

Un Certain Regard

Hrútar (Rams) by Grímur Hákonarson
Icelandic cinema is a puzzle for me, with the exception of one director (Kormakur) films, all films that have seen lately leave with a not pleasant sensation. So I do not know if this film that surely has beautiful cinematography could change the trend or will re-affirm it. Still most press reactions tend to be on the positive side as a good portrait of rural Iceland.

Chauthi Koot (The Fourth Direction) by Gurvinder Singh
Period drama set after the assassination of Indira Ghandi in the 1980s. Based on Pujabi short stories with mostly non-actors film could be interesting if you enjoy Indian art house cinema.

무뢰한 Mu-roe-han (The Shameless) by Oh Seung-Uk
The story of a detective who falls in love with the wife of a criminal. To me film looks/feel as another Korean drama from the many that have been done before and seem will be done after. Not particularly attracted by film.

Cannes Classics
By Sidney Lumet by Nancy Buirski.  Could be interesting as enjoyed the films by Sidney Lumet.
La Noire de… (Black Girl) by Ousmane Sembène, France and Senegal, 1966.  Film by the father of African cinema preceded by a documentary-homage to the director:  Sembene! by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman.  Not familiar with director.
La Historia Oficial (The Official Story) by Luis Puenzo, Argentina, 1984  IF you haven't seen this film then you probably do not like good cinema.  One of the greatest masterpieces of Argentinean cinema.

Cinéma de la Plage
Ran by Akira Kurosawa, Japan and France, 1985.  One of my deepest fantasies: Kurosawaka toys with Shakespeare in the BEACH! More seriously, I simply love master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa films and I'm so thankful to the cinema gods for allowing me to have seen ALL his movies. Suggest you do the same, watch ALL Akira Kurosawa films.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

El Abrazo de la Serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent) by Ciro Guerra

Believe Ciro Guerra's films are not easy to watch mainly because director style, so imagine that while this film has to be visually extraordinary (is in black and white) the story it tells plus director's style will make film beautiful but not-easy-to-sustain-watching.  Film is about men, nature and the destructive powers of colonialism.  Check the synopsis.

Synopsis: Embrace of the Serpent tells the epic story of the first contact, encounter, approach, betrayal and, eventually, life-transcending friendship, between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, last survivor of his people, and two scientists that, over the course of 40 years, travel through the Amazon in search of a sacred plant that can heal them. Inspired by the journals of the first explorers of the Colombian Amazon, Theodor Koch-Grunberg and Richard Evans Schultes.

Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days) by Arnaud Desplechin

Today one of the most controversial films in was screened in la Quinzaine. Controversial because everyone was expecting this film to be in the Official Selection and when was out, many complained loudly. Still today via twitter many have complained perhaps more subtly as mentioned that what was the Official Selection loss became la Quinzaine coup!

It is not a surprise that almost 100% of comments, tweets, reviews in French are positive and I have no doubt that films is a must be seen for me and many that have seen Desplechin's 1996 Comment je me suis disputé... (ma vie sexuelle) where we were introduced to Paul Dédalus character.

Semaine de la Critique

Paulina (aka La Patota) by Santiago Mitre

Like Santiago Mitre's previous films and his recent film calls my attention even do is screened in the most crazy section of the festival. Let's check the synopsis as to be honest, the story is what attracts me to the film even do I know will not be easy to watch as rape never is and never will be.

Synopsis: Paulina, 28, gives up a brilliant lawyer’s carrier, in order to dedicate herself to teaching in a depressed region in Argentina. In a rough environment, she sticks to her teaching mission and to her political engagement, accepting to sacrifice her boyfriend and the trust of her father, a powerful local judge. Upon her arrival, she is violently assaulted by a gang of young people, some of them being her own students. Despite the trauma and the inability to understand, Paulina will strive to stand for her convictions.

Film is a contemporary remake of a 1960 classic movie. Believe that film absolutely is NOT for all audiences.


Pauline s'arrache by Emilie Brisavoine
A documentary about 15-years-old Pauline directed by her half-sister Emile Brisavoine.

Synopsis: It starts out like a fairy tale: there's a queen, a king and their beautiful children, Pauline, Anaïs and Guillaume. But it's a bit more complicated, a little more funky than that. The king wears high heels, the queen's trying to make up for lost time and their heirs have become rebellious. It's all gone haywire, Pauline makes her get away.

Market News
-Mars acquires the new film by Jeff Nichols
-Celluloid Dreams sells Dheepan to more than 20 territories. Sundance Selects has rights for USA, StudioCanal for UK and UGC for France.
Curzon Artificial Eye acquired Valley of Love, Mia Madre and Love, only for UK
- Marine Vacth and Gael Garcia Bernal to star in Joan Chemla film noir Si Tu Voyais Son Coeur (If You See His Heart)
-BEST news of the day:  Kristen Stewart will work again with Olivier Assayas!!! Film will be a Paris-set English-language ghost story taking place in the fashion underworld. The Name: Personal Shopper.

-Today was the Netfilx Ted Sarados talk. He talked about controversial stuff like the infamous "windows" (the ones that say that many of us can't see the films until have been shown elsewhere) plus other interesting themes. Have to find the complete talk.

-First Cannes Award: France Culture announced today the 2 France Culture awards recipients, Prix France Culture Consécration to Abderrahmane Sissako and Prix France Culture Cinéma des Etudiants to Jean-Charles Hue. Award ceremony will be tomorrow, Saturday 16 at 12:30 hrs.

-Today French Culture minister Fleur Pellerin awarded to Abderrahmane Sissako the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

-Last night TWC presented its upcoming slate with Harvey Weinstein acting as host along with Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller and Alicia Vikander. Most interesting news from even: a FULL TRAILER for Carol by Todd Haynes was presented!!! (not in the net-yet); also new movie with Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, Jake Gyllenhaal boxing drama and the first look to Quentin Tarrantino new western.

-Will talk about it tomorrow but Sea of Trees got "booed pretty aggressively".

Not-so-serious News
-Last night was the uniFrance Films party at the Martinez; also the Swarovski, THR and Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dinner party;
-Just saw a photo of Colin Firth with his wife and the cast of the film she produced. Most impressed by how thin Firth is and wonder why? Maybe is the role in his latest movie still in production about a sail man.

Photos of the Day

Emma Stone (yes, that is Pierre Lescure in the back, the new festival President)

Léa Seydoux

Rachel Weisz

Léa Seydoux and Colin Farrell

Only in Cannes Day 3

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