Sunday, May 17, 2015

Day 5 - Cannes 2015

Today is the day Cannes screens my 2015 Cannes Check #1 film, the one that have more than 2 years waiting for, the one Todd Haynes says took 15 years from project to film, the second film to drive English-speaking critics/viewers "crazy" since yesterday. Carol by Todd Haynes. Ah!

Keep forgetting to invite you all to return each day to the previous day post as usually add more things to post, like photos and videos. So now you know.

The Competition

Carol by Todd Haynes

Yesterday stayed very late when the twittersphere went crazy with the first reactions to Carol and my surprise that film was praised even by the top/hard movie critics was too much for me. To be honest, had so much fun last night that had to have a tequila to celebrate, LOL.

But today my head is very clear and after digesting all the fuzz I have started to recall all the fuzz and buzz another lesbian interest film with two major actress got and when finally was able to watch became a major disappointment. I'm talking about awful The Kids Are All Right. Sigh. Still, there is hope as this time I know Carol story (loved page turner The Price of Salt) and believe is great, Todd Hayes is a better filmmaker, and there has to be chemistry between two great actresses like Oscar winner Cate Blanchett and Oscar nominated Rooney Mara. Mention all the Oscar stuff because some are claiming that Carol is Mara's breakthrough (!) and seems they forgot about her outstanding and breakthrough performance in the US version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

As one smart twitter user said and I reproduce: "Dear Twitter- We have a very long awards season ahead. Let's not refer to CAROL as "the lesbian movie". Thanks". Oh yes, film got very early Oscar buzz and no doubt we will hear about film during the 2015-2016 awards season. Not only because film is good or actresses give extraordinary performances but because The Weinstein Company is behind the film and we know that Harvey Weinstein knows what to do to make films great award winners. Think is hopeless to think press will stop calling Carol "the lesbian movie" but maybe, maybe they will come to their senses, sigh.

Then some compared Carol to Brokeback Mountain, which by-the-way press did NOT called then "the gay movie" during the award season. A comparison that I hope means good, that means a LGBT film that was able to crossover and appeal to general audiences. If in the US market Carol is able to crossover and general audiences watch and like film, then we know that film will do very good in the award season, in the box office, and winning major awards. But there are too many months until October when film will be released in the US, so we have to wait and see.

Yes, have a lot to say about the movie but let's stop here and start to enjoy all the videos with Cate and Rooney. Will not repeat myself so will get this out-of-the-way, all videos are must be seen!!! Oh! the producers are in the photocall!!! Has to be the most LGBT moment of the 2015 festival -well, maybe not as the Queer Palm events surely have more LGBT out-people. Beautiful. We know Cate Blanchett is beautiful but Rooney Mara really looks beautiful. There are a few minutes of film scenes at the end of the photocall video, enjoy!!! Watched the French version, but here is the English version.

The interview starts with interviewer reminding us that Todd Haynes and Cate Blanchett already work together in fabulous I'm Not There, where Blanchett plays one of the Bob Dylan's. Of course there are major spoilers in video but well, this is the exception to my rule. Like the words they use: "tsunami", "tornado" to describe what happens and the inability to control emotions when you fall in love. Love, romance and thriller... they're capitalizing on the style of Patricia Highsmith crime thrillers, hmm.  Great Cate Blanchett answers, including the Vivian Maier reference ... so Therese is in movie an aspiring photographer.

In the press conference we have all the producers again, its kind of special to see them with Cate and Rooney. Also the cinematographer Ed Lachman is here; Stephen Woolley and Christine Vachon, producers; Elizabeth Karlsen, producer and scriptwriter Phyllis Nagy. Haven't talk about the magnificent tech specs of this period movie, maybe should do it. Cate really overtakes all moments, she has such a (great) strong personality. Women in film question, but Cate gives such a smart answer, smart and sarcastic ... Will mention that Mildred Pierce comes out quite often, seems Carol was made by well-known and family-like collaborators. Oh!!! poor Bangladesh reporter!!! LOL!!!  Fantastic moment. Very nice and can't say was a surprise, this was Cate Blanchett press conference!!!

This is the first Cannes 2015 press conference that I wish was a LOT longer...

Here some press conference quotes.
Rooney Mara on the 'Carol' sex scene: "I'm nude quite often, so it wasn't a big deal for me."
Cate Blanchett: "There are 70 countries in the world where homosexuality is still illegal ... We're living in deeply conservative times ... if we think otherwise, we are foolish."
Cate Blanchett: "it's wonderful to work with female producers who want to make great, intelligent films."
Cate Blanchett asked about sex relations with other women: "In 2015, the point should be: who cares!"

Watching the red carpet live. Xavier Dolan with new haido! Kind of like Xavier Dolan and Sienna Miller duo, surely there will be some interesting photos of the pair. Isabelle Huppert is around, where?? Oh! She's in the red carpet with the Asphalte cast and director. The first of three films Isabelle Huppert has in Cannes this year.  Todd Haynes has arrived so cast has to follow soon. Rooney is here as well as Cate.  Have to say that's still bright in Cannes -even when is almost 7pm- so with all this light Cate dress look fabulous, believe is different to what she usually wears but still is very nice.  Okay, will say it:  must be very difficult for Rooney Mara to be in these events with Cate Blanchett; Blanchett's projected personality is so strong that easily becomes the center of attention.  But can't help to share that I was expecting a more equal balance like, for example, what happened last year with Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart.  Maybe Juliette was nicer/kinder to Kristen, at least more than Cate to Rooney ... hmm.  Can't deny that I'm a bit disappointed.

Check red carpet video as it has more than just red carpet.

Press Reactions
Since today broke the Day in Cannes post format for Carol, if you wish to read some press reactions please go to my tumblr post here.

Have to close the way I started, let's hope that Carol lives to the high expectations and the positive reactions last during the complete American awards season.

Mon Roi by Maïwenn

Just yesterday was answering a question about English-language press not liking French movies and today we have a live example with Mon Roi. Most English-language reactions tend to be not positive while reactions in other languages tend to go to the positive side. So we can say that in general, film has reactions that travel all over the good-bad scale. But with this panorama, of course there are good reactions in any language as well as bad reactions in all languages.

Before going into more of the press/viewers reactions let me share that now that I know more about the film and especially about the story, will say that if Vincent Cassell was not the "connard of all connards" probably film could become unbearable; BUT he's a great actor that usually does extremely well this kind of characters. Then can't forget that I see everything with Louis Garrel, so just for that fact, film is must be seen for me. Truth is that now I expect a very wild emotional ride, which only increases in a positive way my expectations.

Not sure what it means but among the film viewers was France Prime Minister, Manuel Valls and when interviewed about the film he said something that I find relevant: "Difficile de ne pas sortir bouleversé après ce moment plein d’émotion". Great to have the Prime Minister endorsement, isn't? (LOL)

Above photo makes me think a lot about the particularities of French cinema. First you can see Emmanuelle Bercot the lead actress in Mon Roi that also had the honor to be the second female director to open the festival in 68 years. Next Louis Garrel, absolutely out-of-the-ordinary actor with many breathtaking performances that is in Cannes as an actor in Maïwenn's film but also with his directorial debut film. Then Vincent Cassell that is in Cannes as the lead actor in Mon Roi but also in Tale of Tales. Last, Maïwenn, an actress that no one imagined will reach the heights of great cinema as she has done. French cinema is dynamic, allows evolution, where actors become directors but still can go back to great performances. Great.

Let's be realistic for me videos are must be seen as really enjoy seeing the easy-on-the-eyes people around this film. Photocall has lots of people but soon is down to four. Imagine a lot of French photographers as can't hear accents when they scream their names. Watch interview -is short-, believe could give you a different perspective on the story; as Maïwenn said "will depend if you want to be an optimist or a pessimist". Press conference is funny until an English-speaking reporter asks about what she saw in film, female addiction, which Maïwenn clearly states that is not what films is about... see! Just for this moment in video, suggest you watch.

Reactions from Press
Will avoid including too many English-language reactions as they truly become repetitive. But if you wish to see the divisive comments from French speaking critics check here.

Dimostrando un’abile sapienza cinematografica, Maïwenn convince il pubblico con una pellicola solida e incalzante. Simone Soranna (Italy)
Despite a well-deserved track record in Cannes, Maiwenn remains under-appreciated by the critical community, but that will change after the world experiences “Mon roi,” a movie that may sound anti-romantic, but is just the opposite: boldly ultra-romantic, of the sort that has turned French pics into worldwide hits before. Peter Debruge-Variety (US)
A bloated but vivid — and quintessentially French — romantic drama. Leslie Felperin-THR (US)
Shallow, narcissistic, histrionic and fake - Maïwenn's Mon Roi just trumped Sea Of Trees as the worst film at Cannes. Peter Bradshaw-The Guardian (UK)

Mon Roi éprouvant et hystérique, à l'image de la passion dévorante que vit cette femme amoureuse d'un pervers narcissique. Trois Couleurs (France)
Nouveau coup de coeur de la Sélection, #MonRoi a subjugué. Filmosaure (France)
Mon Roi de Maiwenn, un téléfilm qui ressemble à son personnage : un histrion nouveau riche et tête à claques. Cahiers du Cinéma (France)
Mon Roi Acteurs formidables,1 #couple disséqué froidement et un dominant étrangement plus sympathique que le dominé. Intéressant. Thierry Wetzel-Journaliste (France)

Special Screenings

Asphalte by Samuel Benchetrit

No matter what happens in Cannes this film is must be seen for me because I see everything with Isabelle Huppert; but film could be interesting because the story, this is the synopsis.

A tower block on an inner city estate. An elevator that's not up to the job. Three chance meetings. Six peculiar characters with stories to tell. Can Sternkowitz give up his wheelchair and find love with the night nurse? Will Charly, a neglected teenager, succeed in helping Jeanne Meyer a once well-known actress from the 1980s get a part in a film? And what will become of John McKenzie, the astronaut who just fell out of the sky and has been taking in by the trusting Mrs Hamida?

Then we learn that film is based on the Asphalt Chronicles (Les Chroniques de l’Asphalte) which are the daily life of Charly, a Parisian teenager, in five books. Line after line, a city is sketched out, with its blocks and its inhabitants. Between the lines lies Samuel Benchetrit's adolescence, taking shape. Ten years after the first volume was published, the writer and director is immersed in childhood memories once again, with his film Asphalte.  I'm curious for the story and for what has been called great chemistry between Isabelle Huppert and the director son Jules that plays Charly.

Un Certain Regard

Zvizdan (The High Sun) by Dalibor Matanić

Seems like today Cannes program was all about love, very different types of love and with this film we enter a forbidden love in the realm of the intricate mix, race and religion do.  The synopsis follows.

Three different love stories, set in three consecutive decades, in two neighboring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred: this is a film about the dangers – and the enduring strength – of forbidden love.

If story seems interesting, film tech specs surely could make story into a very interesting cinema experience as first same actors play different roles and second, seems that films has powerful images. Became very curious about film.

岸辺の旅 Kishibe no tabi (Journey to the Shore) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Highly enjoyed the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize winner Tokyo Sonata by Kiyoshi Kurosawa so expect that his latest movie has to be a similar experience. Story could be interesting (another very different love story) and imagine has to be very Japanese, like only oriental cultures can deal with coming back from the dead. This is the synopsis.

Mizuki’s husband (Yusuke) drowned at sea three years ago. When he suddenly comes back home, she is not that surprised. Instead, Mizuki is wondering what took him so long. She agrees to let Yusuke take her on a journey.

Can't say I'm surprised with the many non-positive reactions as most relate to how boring/dull/long/zzzz film is and I deduce has to do with film pace and storytelling style; but there are some that call film "sweet and strange" which gives me hope that film will be highly enjoyable for me.

Cannes Classics
Lumière! by Louis Lumière.
A selection of 114 restored films, directed by Louis Lumière and its cameramen between 1895 and 1905. In 1895, the Lumière brothers invented the Cinématographe and shot among the very first films of the history of cinema: Sortie d'usine, L’Arroseur arrosé...

La Marseillaise by Jean Renoir
Rocco e i suoi fratelli by Luchino Visconti
Come on, who hasn't seen these two films?  Renoir and Visconti, classics of world cinema. Well if you haven't then you can now with restored versions.

Cinéma de la Plage
Ivan Le Terrible 1 and Ivan Le Terrible 2 by Sergei Eisenstein
Together in one night! What an amazing opportunity. Just imagine the dark night, watching the screen, and then color experiments appear, must be something a very special experience.

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Allende mi Abuelo Allende (Beyond my Grandfather Allende) by Marcia Tambutti Allende

Yes I'm curious about this Chilean documentary that I suspect could be a top contender for this year's new documentary award. Check the synopsis.

Marcia wishes to change the family costume of not speaking about their tragic past. 35 years after the coup d’État that overthrew her grandfather, Salvador Allende, the first democratically elected socialist president, she believes that it’s time to recover the family memories and images of their daily life, snatched away during the coup. An intimate past unknown to her, buried under Allende’s political transcendence, exile and family pain. Using a warm yet sharp view, Marcia tries to decipher silence sustained during decades. An honest family portrait without grandiloquence that addresses the complexities of irreparable losses and the role of memory in three generations of a wounded family.

Le Tout Nouveau Testament (The Brand New Testament) by Jaco Van Dormael

This is the other movie that everyone imagined will be in the Official Selection and were surprised when was relegated to a parallel section. What I saw in social media, reactions to film were on the positive side but this is a very ... what? Belgian cinema... yes is a Belgian production with Belgian actors but the best way I describe film is like very French cinema! (lol). Especially when you have Yolande Moreau and Benoit Poelvoorde in the lead role and the story ... well, take a look at the synopsis:

"God exists. He lives in Brussels. He is horrible to his wife and daughter. We’ve heard a lot about his son but precious little about his daughter. I’m his daughter. My name is Ea and I’m ten. To get even, I’ve sent everyone in the world an SMS with their date of death...."

Surely film is not for all audiences.

Green Room by Jeremy Saulnier
Ultraviolent movie. Nothing more to say from me.

Semaine de la Critique

Dégradé by Arab et Tarazan Nasser

You have no idea of how curious I am about this movie and after watching the too-short clips became even more curious.

Truth is that I watch everything with Hiam Abbass but after seeing clips and learning what story is all about, the film overtook my Hiam Abbass loyalty. Check the synopsis, somehow makes me think about Nadine Labaki beautiful Caramel.

Gaza Strip, nowadays. Christine’s beauty salon is heaving with female clients: a bitter divorcée, a religious woman, a lunatic addicted to prescription drugs and a young bride-to-be among others. But their day of leisure is disrupted when gunfire breaks out across the street. A gangland family has stolen the lion from Gaza’s zoo, and Hamas has decided it’s time to settle old scores. Stuck in the salon, the women start to unravel...


Gaz de France by Benoît Forgeard

The futuristic element in weird story plus the gorgeous film still makes film quite attractive for me, but first has to have distribution.

France, 2020. President Bird's éminence grise Michel Battement must urgently get the head of state's popularity ratings up to avert the looming fall of the regime. Deep in the cluttered basement of the Elysée Palace, he organizes a secret consultation with the greatest minds in the land.

Volta a Terra by João Pedro Plácido

As imagined with film stills, Placido's directorial debut documentary seems to have awesome visuals of rural Portugal; more than a nostalgic voyage is a very visual, hypnotic voyage into the realm of what only eyes can understand. Magnifique!  Take a look at the synopsis.

In a mountainous village of northern Portugal, deserted because of immigration, a community of farmers subsists. Its 49 inhabitants lead us through four seasons. Among them, Daniel, young shepherd who dreams of love at dusk...

Market News
-Canal+ and Haut et Court TV will co produce a new Nanni Moretti TV series
-With all the fuzz and buzz Sony Pictures rushes to acquire Son of Saul for US and Canada.
-Swedish director Daniel Espinosa to helm a new adaptation of Vilhem Moberg's The Emigrants. Will be remake of multi (5) Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winner 1971 The Emigrants by Jan Troell.
-Alchemy acquired Love for US, that's kind of odd considering the amount of nudity, the story et all film will be porn in US (lol).

-For Screendaily Son of Saul is still the leader for winning the Palme d'Or, but not far away is Mia Madre by Nanni Moretti.
-French press has a new learder with seven (7) palmes, Nanni Moretti's Mia Madre vrs three (3) palmes for Son of Saul.
-European FIPRESCI critics still have Son of Saul as #1.
-Gambling odds still have as #1 The Assassin, #2 Son of Saul and #3 Carol; with 6-5 Cate Blanchett and/or Rooney Mara for Best Actress. No changes on Best Actor, Son of Saul Geza Rohrig is #1.

Photos of the Day

Rooney Mara, Todd Haynes and Cate Blanchett

Noomi Rapace in Callas photocall

Isabelle Huppert

Sienna Miller and Xavier Dolan

Emmanuelle Bercot, Vincent Cassel, Maiwenn and Louis Garrel

A great photo

Only in Cannes - Day 5

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