Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cannes 2013 Day 7


























































Midway through the fest, tired eyes start wandering...

 

















Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Cannes beach during the Film Festival with the girls from the Folies Bergere, 1977














Claudia Cardinale, 1969















British actress Kelly Brook in Cannes promoting her upcoming movie Keith Lemon: The Film






Behind the Candelabria red carpet shots from The Guardian: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/gallery/2013/may/22/cannes-2013-behind-the-candelabra-premiere 

more Candelabria photos from The Guardian: 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/gallery/2013/may/21/cannes-2013-behind-the-candelabra-photocall-in-pictures 

Behind the Candelabria from The Hollywood Reporter: 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/liberace-cannes-behind-candelabra-premiere-526233 

Inside Liberace's opulent world, from The Hollywood Reporter: 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/liberacie-biopic-behind-candelabra-how-518909 

Cannes fashion goes minimal, from The Hollywood Reporter: 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/gallery/top-ten-cannes-goes-minimal-525745 

More red carpet photos from Vanity Fair: 
http://www.vanityfair.com/online/oscars/2013/05/cannes-fashion-sharon-stone-matt-damon 

A French site that lists daily galleries of red carpet photos, by date, offering regular or giant sized photos: 
http://festival-de-cannes.cineday.orange.fr/diaporamas 

Another large gallery of photos:
http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos/cannes-film-festival-2013-fashion-pictures-slideshow/ 

People magazine hits the Cannes red carpet:
http://www.peoplestylewatch.com/people/stylewatch/gallery/0,,20700799,00.html 

Lady Victoria Hervey accused of 'hogging the red carpet' in Cannes, from The Telegraph: 
http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/Article/TMG10071263/840/Lady-Victoria-Hervey-accused-of-hogging-the-red-carpet-in-Cannes.html 

Best beauty looks at Cannes, from The Telegraph: 
http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/hot-topics/galleries/TMG10061438/840/Cannes-Film-Festival-2013-Best-beauty-looks.html 

more from The Telegraph: 
http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/hot-topics/galleries/TMG10070427/840/Cannes-Film-Festival-2013-from-the-catwalk-to-the-croisette.html


 





Scott Thorson on stage with Liberace in Las Vegas in 1979






Guy Lodge on Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabria from Hit Fix:

CANNES - A late, not-entirely-incidental scene in “Behind the Candelabra” finds Swarovski-encrusted pianist Liberace holding forth on the 1981 Academy Awards. The showbiz legend is due to make his long-desired debut appearance as performer and presenter, and you may or may not be surprised to learn that he’s backing “On Golden Pond,” that maudlin, Vaseline-lit ode to comfortable expiration, to take the gold. “I’m so glad Jane Fonda’s dropped all those awful causes and made a nice film with her father,” he coos primly. “Our job is to entertain the world and sell lots of drinks and souvenirs.” 

Steven Soderbergh’s alternately raw and riotous account of the last years of Liberace—if that sounds like a reference to an era rather than an individual, it should—is crammed with delicious asides like this, and they’re not the throwaways they initially seem. Much of the film’s blithest humor is used to expose its subject’s deepest social and personal limitations, though its stance is more bemused than vindictive: as well as a touching and tough-minded love story, “Behind the Candelabra” is a sympathetic study of a man defiantly resisting his own significance. Its own causes, still politically hot a quarter-century after the man’s death, are subtly enfolded into its goggle-eyed celebrity spectacle. It’s entertainment with a capital, fur-lined E, though I suspect Liberace wouldn’t have cared much for it.

For one thing, the musician who yearned for big-screen stardom probably wouldn’t have been amused that his outsized life is being treated as a TV movie – albeit a TV movie that has seen the inside of the Cannes Film Festival’s cavernous Grand Lumiere theater. The good news is that “Behind the Candelabra,” for all its seamy up-close intimacy, feels neither structurally nor formally compromised by the nurturing hand of HBO; it’s a biopic that bristles with life at the edges, luxuriating in the excesses of its personalities and production design alike.

In terms of content, meanwhile, the film’s televisual backing seems to have had an expanding effect. Soderbergh has remarked that he chose the small-screen path only because Richard LaGravenese’s script was “too gay” for theatrical film studios, and it’s certainly hard to think of a more forthright portrait of homosexual domesticity in mainstream cinema: it’s a film that takes sexuality as a given, all the better to magnify what’s genuinely queer about the sixtysomething Liberace’s relationship with gradually disillusioned young buck Scott Thorson.

While Michael Douglas’s shrewd, rude, wickedly funny turn as Liberace (known to his loved ones as Lee) is undeniably the star attraction of a film that, at least for its glitter-strewn first half, doesn’t stint on the seductive properties of camp, the story belongs chiefly to Scott, smartly played by Matt Damon as a stolid yet corruptible soul born of the foster-care system, who suddenly finds in the older man more family than either one can really handle.

Introduced to Liberace toward the end of the 1970s, with disco dying just as the AIDS crisis looms, Thorson’s sexual attraction to the bouffant-wigged showman is never far from a desire for the security of parental care; the rot sets in when Liberace takes this daddy complex to belief-defyingly literal levels. Under the principle-free knife of plastic surgeon Jack Startz (a frightening, hilariously hollow-eyed Rob Lowe), Scott is rebuilt in the less handsome image of his master; by the time formal adoption papers are drawn up, this relationship can bend no further without breaking.

Scott is sufficiently blinded by the lights (and what lights) to miss the obvious fact that his union with Liberace is a practised life cycle rather than a happy ending: when he enters the scene, he either can’t or won’t see the pricelessly bilious reaction shots of Lee’s outgoing boyfriend (Cheyenne Jackson). But he knows on which side his bread is buttered: in one of many ingenious shot choices by Soderbergh’s cinematographer alter ego Peter Andrews, the couple’s first kiss is shown in dignified long shot, framed by row upon row of expensive crystal glassware. It’s these material rewards that prove the sticking point when the couple eventually, inevitably exhaust their affections for each other in the film’s devastatingly exact final act, which bests last year’s “Keep the Lights On” as the most detailed, emotionally acute and sexually specific gay breakup story in recent film memory.

The film is too much fun – and ultimately, as Lee and Scott resort to the ugliest of ways to evict each other from their lives and minds, too raw-nerved – to feel much like social tract, but a cool-headed, universal advocacy of gay marriage prevails amid its flashy indulgence of this particular relationship’s peculiarities. Soderbergh and LaGravenese don’t shy from the tabloid salaciousness of the older man’s adoption of the younger, but the film it’s also posited as an extreme example of how social structures can be subverted, and potentially warped, if gay men are denied the right to conventional legal partnership.

Would the marriage have ended any less disastrously, in a dry hail of paperwork and stern lawyers’ tones, had it been officially sanctioned? Probably not, given Liberace’s vampiric reliance on younger men as a kind of elixir. (“I’ve always had an eye for new and refreshing talent,” he says in one of LaGravenese’s most memorable exchanges, to which Scott’s priceless snapback is, “No, you’ve always had an an eye for new and refreshing dick.”) But as the hard-won tenderness of the film’s final moments suggest, homosexuals also have the right to end their relationships as ceremoniously as they begin.

Soderbergh’s knockout run of recent commercial films – “Side Effects” and “Magic Mike” chief among them – have highlighted his knack for slyly packing dangerous social and sexual politics into conventionally crowd-pleasing forms, so it’s no surprise that “Behind the Candelabra” gets this riskily subtextual within a structure that doesn’t stray far outside the parameters of the well-made Wikipedia biopic. “Well-made” is no veiled knock on its gorgeous craft, either: from Soderbergh alias Mary Ann Bernard’s crisp, witty editing to the tacky period splendour of the film’s extraordinary production and costume design to remarkable prosthetic work on the stars at all stages of the narrative, this is a reminder of just how invisible the line between television and theatrical production is these days.

Most of all, though, it’s Soderbergh’s ever-intuitive instincts over the manipulation of star power that make the film so vibrant. Casting Michael Douglas – established in such films as “Fatal Attraction” and “Disclosure” as a kind of bastion of well-oiled but faintly insecure heterosexuality – as America’s first camp icon (whether America knew it or not), is a stroke of genius. The actor, meanwhile, adds his own inspired touches with a performance that stops short of the all-consuming, transformative impressions that routinely impress awards voters, playing on his own onscreen prissiness. A star turn that’d be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination if it weren’t primed to take every small-screen award from here until next spring, it’s the closest Liberace could ever have come to being a movie star himself.


Excerpt from another article written by Amy Taubin from Film Comment:

All movies about couples privilege one half of the duo above the other. Here it’s Scott (Damon) who gets the first close-up and the last, and it is his point of view that dominates the narrative. A hunky Californian gay kid with a surfer’s dirty-blond bob, Scott is pimped to Liberace (Michael Douglas) whose current live-in boyfriend is on his way out. Scott gets a preview of his own inevitable exit even before his romance with the bewigged, bejeweled, piano-tinkling idol of millions of blue-haired, middle-aged women begins, but it’s only human to believe that one is special, an exception to the routine course of an affair. Especially when someone extremely famous tells you that he wants “to be everything to you: father, brother, lover, best friend.” Liberace—“Call me Lee”—is lavish when in love, and Scott is too smitten and too dumb to get certain things in writing (like the deed to an apartment of his own).

Soderbergh charts the course of this relationship—the ecstatic sex, the plateau of intimacy, the melodramatic fall from grace—with wit, economy, and a dose of irony à la Douglas Sirk. The camera plan is simple: graceful long dolly shots, locked-down close-ups for tête-à-têtes, and a bit of handheld jiggling when Scott loses it to booze, diet pills, and coke. The editing is pointed and often hilarious, as in the outrageously abrupt cut to Scott enthusiastically fucking Lee up the ass, poppers and all.

Which gets me to the meat of the matter. To a certain degree, it is a stunt to have two presumed heterosexual stars guided by a presumed heterosexual director in the depiction of a gay sexual relationship involving Liberace, one of show business’s most flagrant queens, and his protégé Scott, who quickly learns to love his white satin chauffeur’s uniform and rhinestone G-string. Yes, there was Brokeback Mountain, which by comparison barely whispered its forbidden desire. In Behind the Candelabra, two major stars play gay all the way and have a conspicuously good time doing it. And in fact, there is nothing as liberating for actors as flaunting behaviors that they have suppressed all their lives in order to present themselves to the world as properly straight or properly upper-middle-class, or just plain proper. Damon and Douglas take the risk of jumping into the hot tub together. After the first 10 minutes, they vanish as actors, leaving on screen simply Scott and Lee, who, if not for the closet, might have made a marriage as good and bad as that of anyone else.



Two excerpts from David Segal's feature on Scott Thorson, The Boy Toy's Story from The New York Times, May 10, 2013:

a.)  RENO, Nev. — Soon after moving into Liberace’s gaudy Las Vegas mansion in 1977, Scott Thorson, then a teenage hunk in the foster care system, learned that the jewel-smitten showman could love just as extravagantly as he decorated. Touring the premises before their relationship began, Liberace pointed out some decorative highlights, which included 17 pianos, a casino, a quarry’s worth of marble and a canopied bed with an ermine spread. On the ceiling was a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel with Liberace’s face painted among the cherubs.

When the pair became a couple, Liberace, who was 40 years older, was just as excessive. He couldn’t bear to let Mr. Thorson out of his sight.

“We were at a hotel in Florida and Liberace had the manager give us another suite, with windows that faced the beach,” said Mr. Thorson, now 54. “He knew I’d be near the water and he wanted to be able to look at me.”

Liberace even wanted Mr. Thorson nearby when he worked. So for years, Mr. Thorson would don a chauffeur’s costume covered in rhinestones and drive “Mr. Showmanship” on stage in a bejeweled Rolls-Royce. Mr. Thorson would put the car in park, then open the door for Liberace, who would emerge in a fur coat with a 16-foot train.

If you missed this routine, which ran for years at the Vegas Hilton, you can catch a re-enactment in an upcoming HBO movie, “Behind the Candelabra,” which is based on Mr. Thorson’s autobiography of the same name and stars Matt Damon as Mr. Thorson and Michael Douglas as Liberace.

One person who may miss the movie’s debut, on May 26, is Scott Thorson. He currently is an inmate at the Washoe County jail here, and while the place has its share of amenities — including television — HBO isn’t one of them.

Mr. Thorson has been held here since February, when he was charged with burglary and identity theft, after buying about $1,300 worth of computer and cellphone merchandise using a credit card and license that weren’t his. He was arrested at the Ponderosa Hotel, where he and a man he had just met rented a room for $33.90 a night.

“We get a lot of the dregs of Reno, a lot of prostitutes, drug dealers,” said Eric Pyzel, a clerk at the Ponderosa who works next to a bumper sticker that reads
“Welcome to Our Country. Just Do It Legally.” “The cops are by pretty often. So when they got here it was kind of like, O.K., what is it this time?”


b.)  Liberace wanted a boy toy and a son. With sex and fatherhood disturbingly twined, Mr. Thorson wound up with a new chin, a nose job and enhanced cheekbones.

“I was 17 years old,” he said, explaining why he went along with a plan that sounds so lunatic. “Liberace had taken me out of a situation with a father who was very abusive, a mother who was mentally ill. I did everything I possibly could to please this man.”

The two went on shopping sprees, traveled first class and spent a lot of quality time with Liberace’s Shar-Peis. Mr. Thorson was showered with gifts, including mink coats, an assortment of baubles and a Camaro. They entertained celebrities like Debbie Reynolds and Michael Jackson.

But it all ended abruptly in 1982. That year, Liberace had members of his retinue forcibly eject Mr. Thorson from his penthouse in Los Angeles. It was a breakup caused, in part, by Mr. Thorson’s drug habit, which he says he developed trying to slim down, at Liberace’s urging, on what was called the “Hollywood diet,” a cocktail of doctor-prescribed drugs that included pharmaceutical cocaine.

Mr. Thorson later sued for $113 million in palimony, ultimately losing a highly public battle fought both in court and in the tabloids. He settled in 1986 for $95,000, according to reports at the time.

There was a deathbed reconciliation before Liberace died of a disease caused by AIDS in 1987. And that is where the book version of “Behind the Candelabra” ends. But Mr. Thorson’s life went on, and as he explained in a series of interviews, both in person and via a jail-monitored version of Skype, many of the events that followed are as strange as the ones that came before.

The trick is separating the strange from the unbelievable.


David Jenkins on Sorrentino's The Great Beauty, from Little White Lies:

Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino returns to Cannes with a glittering, exhilarating, if entirely oblique existential odyssey.

If Federico Fellini were still alive and with us, you'd suspect he would want to take Italian maverick Paolo Sorrentino aside for a quick word in his ear, especially after viewing his latest opus, The Great Beauty, which played in competition at this year's festival. It's hard to judge whether Fellini would want to thank him for building a lustrous contemporary shrine to the master's grandiloquent, cynical and frenetically abstract mode, or want to slap him about the chops and chide him for borrowing all of his best ideas.

The Grand Beauty plays like an inversion of La Dolce Vita, or perhaps even as an addendum to the phantasmagoric libido odyssey, City Of Women. A typically astounding Toni Sevillo stands in as Sorrentino's louche manqué, a weekend writer, immaculately turned-out, Byron-esque libertine whose 65th birthday triggers a series of angsty recollections about how differently his life may have turned out had he settled down with a woman who secretly worshipped him for afar.

On purely stylistic terms, Sorrentino has produced another film which glides along on tracks and dollies, hopping between the realms of dream, reality and fantasy with gleeful abandon. In the film's ominous opening scene, the director takes us on a breathless little tour of a church and its grounds as a group of nuns sing a chorale from a balcony while a Japanese tourist takes one last panoramic photograph of Rome before expiring. The florid approach to the editing and photography (c/o Luca Bigazzi) lends the film its dramatic propulsion, which is handy given the director's furtive attitude towards theme. He jam-packs episodes with symbols, juxtapositions and even magical realist asides, overloading the viewer with information while never hampering to the clichés of the existential crisis movie.

We then move on to a roof party at which sozzled jet trash gyrate to tawdry Europop. Again, Sorrentino opts for the experiential over the straight narrative approach, his camera capturing a gallery of distorted faces and tangled bodies, refraining from comment on whether this is debauchery at its most grotesque and desperate, or a sincere celebration of the simple pleasures of the party. Jep, too, talks of how he has spent his life attempting to fulfil his every physical whim, but he doesn't appear to regret the decisions he's made, happy to have lived the socialite bachelor dream rather than settling for cosy domesticity.

In one set piece, a crowd gathers around a young girl as she splashes paint on a giant canvas while bawling uncontrollably, producing a colourful abstract-expressionist image that was born purely from primal emotional impulses. Aside from offering an oblique commentary on the nature of visual art (Jep and his girlfriend excuse themselves in order to look at classical sculptures in a church), the scene perfectly embodies the film's structure as a whole – impassioned swashes of bold colour whose organisation is entirely intuitive.

Much like Sorrentino's cubist political biopic, Il Divo, from 2009, The Grand Beauty obfuscates the banal in order to impart a sense of cosmic confusion. Revelations are light because maybe there are no revelations, or at least there aren't any that the hyper-articulate Jep can amply communicate or understand. This works against the film as a whole, as it's pristine emotional implacability makes it difficult – maybe even impossible – to engage with on any satisfying subtextual level.

Like Fellini, Sorrentino can't resist a political jab or two, and here it's the Catholic church who bares the brunt of the director's most acerbic barbs. Priests are too busy reciting their recipes for rabbit stew to want to help Jep with his issues, and a 104-year-old nun becomes the bleak expression of an entire life of enforced penury and sacrifice. She tells Jep that she only eats roots because "roots are important". Is this supposed to be our key to unlock our hero's suppressed repositories of worldly malaise? Who's to say? Sorrentino certainly isn't.

One problem with the film is that its writer-director seems in thrall to every artform except cinema itself. His script is ornate and literary, packed with characters who block-quote D'Annunzio and passages that take human articulation to, frankly, unbelievable new heights where any sense of naturalism is left in the dust. Music slides when ever there's a quite moment, covering an eclectic range of pop, rock, classical and jazz ("I only listen to Ethiopian jazz," one reveller haughtily exclaims). And above all, it's a film interested in art, specifically the impossibilities of amply capturing the disorder, chaos and poetry of life in a single image or object.

Though The Great Beauty is an example of a director continuing his overarching project and making the films he knows how to make, there's a very brief hint of a possible new direction for the future. The film's best and most nakedly moving scene is the one used underneath its closing credits as, in a single take, Sorrentino takes his camera boating down the river and allows it to slowly soak up the overwhelming beauty of the city. It's a naturally poetic moment, filled with insight and emotion, and far more evocative and powerful than some of the highfalutin set pieces (CG giraffes, visions of the sea, vapid performance artists) that Sorrentino has gone to great logistical lengths to manufacture for us.


How Jeremy Saulnier Went From Corporate Videos to Premiering 'Blue Ruin' at Cannes, or how an American indie film shows up at Cannes made by a director you've likely never heard of, great story by Eric Kohn at indieWIRE:

In early April, Brooklyn-based cinematographer and filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier was en route to shooting a corporate video in Cleveland when he learned that his movie had been accepted to the Cannes Film Festival. It was quite the validation: To make the tense, violent crime drama "Blue Ruin," the first feature Saulnier directed since his scrappy horror-satire "Murder Party" in 2007, Saulnier relied on financing from his wife's retirement fund, his own Amex card, and a last-minute Kickstarter campaign. But Sundance had rejected him and he had started to think the movie might not get out there for another year. Instead, Cannes' esteemed Directors Fortnight section catapulted "Blue Ruin" to international attention at the biggest film gathering in the world.
 
Recalling that day, Saulnier said, "it made it a lot easier to go shoot B-roll for IBM, knowing what was in store for me."

A month and a half later, Saulnier sat down on the lawn of the Grand Hotel at Cannes and surveyed the scene. "I feel like a public school kid in private school. Everyone here is wearing blazers and jackets. Where I'm from, it's always hoodies and jeans. But I like this. It's fun to dress up."

Saulnier's wide-eyed reaction belies his serious creative ambition. After "Murder Party" won the top prize at the Slamdance Film Festival and received U.S. distribution with Magnolia Pictures, he grew frustrated with the film's minimal returns and returned to shooting commercials for a living. The wacky hipster comedy, in which a Williamsburg resident attends a macabre costume party and is taken captive by the killer hosts, only opened doors for similarly low-rent opportunities. "I got scripts sent my way, but most of them were garbage," he said.
 
As "Blue Ruin" proves, Saulnier's ambitions were bigger. In 2009, he shot the microbudget romance "You Hurt My Feelings," followed by Matthew Porterfield's widely acclaimed sleeper hit "Putty Hill" and Michael Tully's bizarre Sundance midnight entry "Septien." With newfound faith in his artistry, Saulnier saw another window to make a movie. While he produced "Murder Party" on a whimsical dash to complete a feature before his 30th birthday, "Blue Ruin" came together shortly before the birth of his third daughter. Saulnier figured that if he was going to increase his clout, he needed to act fast. The time had come to tell a more advanced story.

The gamble paid off: A tense, darkly comic and surprisingly esoteric revenge tale in the tradition of the Coen brothers' "Blood Simple," the new movie displays his serious capacity for complex genre cinema. Longtime collaborator Macon Blair, the slapstick figure at the center of "Murder Party," embodies the far more credibly tragic Dwight, a man drawn to concoct a thorny scheme that devolves into an absurd cavalcade of errors.

First seen donning a scraggly beard and living the solitary life of a hermit, the peripatetic loner suddenly learns that the man accused of murdering his parents 20 years ago has been released from prison. Before he's muttered more than a few dazed sentences, Dwight launches on a clumsy warpath that culminates in a superb bathroom showdown that's simultaneously shocking and weirdly awkward. Then he's on the run, with a horde of angry thugs on his tail, leading to several more ill-fated showdowns. Dwight's tribulations include a crossbow-wielding assassin, stalking an old trigger-happy pal in the hopes of strengthening his defenses, and performing a ghastly bit of self-surgery in a wry nod to "No Country For Old Men" -- the movie that Saulnier used to pitch "Blue Ruin" to its eventual producer, Anish Savjani. "I said it was 'No Country' except that the protagonist is a total idiot," Saulnier said.

Originally, he had different plans. His initial screenplay aimed for a more straightforward comedic tone and involved the exploits of a beach bum hired to assassinate someone's dog. Then Blair discovered reports of another production underway with a similar premise. That was Saulnier's wakeup call. "I decided, 'Forget these indie comedies, this milquetoast horseshit,'" he recalled. "We're going to make a revenge movie." But it would be his revenge movie, an off-kilter misadventure littered with irreverent flourishes and technical polish.
 
Though still a minimalist production that makes no effort to conceal the economy of its design -- Saulnier's shooting locations included the homes of Blair's cousin and Saulnier's mother -- "Blue Ruin" shows a degree of sophistication that unquestionably deepens his filmmaking cred. No longer will "Murder Party" have to be his only calling card. "That was basically a gonzo comedy midnight-type film," he said. "I pigeonholed myself there and couldn't get out of it. With 'Blue Ruin,' I tried very deliberately to shift away from it."
 
Indeed, the movie displays an ongoing commitment to a mature visual style and an extreme emotional range. Saulnier conveys the scenario with a combination of pathos and breakneck forward momentum that surprises with each new twist. While fearing for the safety of his equally downbeat sister (Amy Hargreaves), Dwight sets out on a doom-laden mission to face his foes even as he repeatedly stumbles. In any case, the body count steadily rises. "Hopefully, people fall in love with him as he blunders through this process," Saulnier said about Blair's character, whose mournful and blustered expressions take him out of the realm of your average rage-fueled gun nut.
 
Despite its hectic energy, "Blue Ruin" has a plethora of ideas driving its application of violence. That's partly the result of Saulnier's headspace when he was writing the movie last summer and turned on the news to learn of the Aurora shootings. "I was very conflicted," he said. "I didn't mean for the whole guns-in-America thing to come to the forefront."

Yet there's a burgeoning sense that guns, more than any specific individual, serve as the true villain in "Blue Ruin," their presence enabling an ongoing dispute only resolved with their elimination. "I love cinematic violence," Saulnier said. "When bear or lion cubs play, they play kill. When humans play murder in movies, it's totally fine. I think guns are awesome, but for some reason, Americans can't play nice with them." In other words, "Blue Ruin" is a cautionary tale, as Dwight himself acknowledges in a closing monologue.
The premise for the movie pleased enough Kickstarters for Saulnier to reach his $35,000 goal by the end of August, using the contributions of a few hundred people to finance the payroll for his crew. He finished shooting the movie just three weeks before submitting a rough cut to Sundance.

It may have worked out in his favor that the movie still required some work. Saulnier has essentially achieved an indie coup by making exactly the kind of movie he needed to expand his appeal. But while the creative control he maintained on "Blue Ruin" certainly left him satisfied, he expressed an eagerness about facing the challenges involved in bigger projects. "If I can pick and choose, I would love to take a huge step," he said. "No problem."



The Cannes Criterion Forum is up and running:  

While Les Etoiles de la critiques is up and running as well, where The Past (Le Passé) is the highest rated film, followed by the Coens, followed by A Touch of Sin. In Un Certain Regard, it's a tie between Stranger By the Lake and Grand Central.  Without a numerical rating, my quick criteria is counting how many films get 3 or more stars: 

also Ioncinema's Critics' Panel 2013, where the leaders are a tie between The Past and the Coens averaging 3.7, followed by A Touch of Sin at 3.3, and three films tied at 3.1 : 

Screendaily also has their Jury Grid, actual page 24 (Digital page 27) of the Screen Edition for Day 8 dated May 22, 2013, start on the link provided, click on the bottom right of the image, and there are two sets of multiple photos displayed on the bottom, where what you want is the second group, almost all the way to the right, where page 27 does the trick, click on that page until you display the largest viewable image.  Currently only one film rates above a 3 rating, as the Coen brothers averages 3.3, The Past and Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty are at 2.8, while Like Father, Like Son and Behind the Candelabria are at 2.5: 

While Neil Young from Jigsaw Lounge maintains the odds for winners: 
to win the 2013 Palme d’Or
which have been shown to press in Cannes are in bold 

9/2  Kore-eda, Hirokazu – Like Father, Like Son
5/1  Farhadi, Asghar – The Past
11/2  Sorrentino, Paolo — The Great Beauty
13/2  Haroun, Mahamat-Saleh -- Grigris
- – -
8/1  Coen & Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis

9/1  Gray, James – The Immigrant
10/1  Payne, Alexander – Nebraska
- – -
16/1  Jia, Zhangke – A Touch of Sin
16/1  Soderbergh, Steven – Behind the Candelabra
16/1  des Pallières, Arnaud – Michael Kohlhaas
20/1  Desplechin, Arnaud – Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
22/1  Kechiche, Abdellatif -- Blue is the Warmest Colour

- – -
33/1  Ozon, Francois – Young and Beautiful
40/1  Van Warmerdam, Alex – Borgman

40/1  Escalante, Amat – Heli
40/1  Winding Refn, Nicolas – Only God Forgives

40/1  Polanski, Roman — Venus In Fur
66/1  Jarmusch, Jim – Only Lovers Left Alive
66/1  Bruni-Tedeschi, Valeria – A Castle in Italy
 
175/1  Miike, Takashi – Shield of Straw

Best Actor
7-2 Inside Llewyn Davis: Oscar Isaac
9-2 Behind the Candelabra: Michael Douglas
….. (solo, or with Matt Damon)
6-1 The Great Beauty: Toni Servillo
13-2 Grigris: Souleymane Deme

8-1 Nebraska: Bruce Dern
….. (solo, or with Will Forte and/or Stacy Keach)
- – - 
10-1 Like Father, Like Son: Masaharu Fukuyama
10-1 The Immigrant: Joaquin Phoenix (solo, or with Jeremy Renner)
 
12-1 Borgman: Jan Bijvoet 
14-1 Mathieu Amalric and/or Benicio Del Toro*
16-1 Michael Kohlhaas: Mads Mikkelsen
 
20-1 The Past: Ali Mosaffa and/or Tahar Rahim
- – -
35-1 A Touch of Sin: male ensemble
40-1 Only Lovers Left Alive: Tom Hiddleston
 
40-1 Only God Forgives: Ryan Gosling and/or Vithaya Pansringarm 
50-1 Heli: Armando Espitia
50-1 Blue is the Warmest Colour:
….. Jérémie Lahuerte and/or Aurélien Recoing
 
50-1 Shield of Straw: Takao Osawa and/or Tatsuya Fujiwara
—–
* any combination of Amalric and/or Del Toro in Jimmy P. and/or Amalric in Venus In Fur

Best Actress
6-4 The Past: Bérénice Bejo

5-2 The Immigrant: Marion Cotillard
8-1 Venus In Fur: Emmanuelle Seigner
 
8-1 Only God Forgives: Kristin Scott Thomas 
10-1 Young and Beautiful: Marina Vacth 
12-1 Blue is the Warmest Colour:
….. Adèle Exarchopoulos and/or Léa Seydoux
 
14-1 Borgman: Hadewych Minis
16-1 Only Lovers Left Alive: Tilda Swinton and/or Mia Wasikowska
 
28-1 A Touch of Sin: female ensemble
33-1 Heli: Andrea Vergara
 
33-1 A Castle in Italy:  Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
40-1 Grigris: Anaïs Monory
 

The round-up of various links covering Cannes, while another one has been added:

Richard Porton and others from The Daily Beast:

Screendaily still has paywalls, but if you click on the reviews, they are open to the public:
http://www.screendaily.com/, also:  http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/cannes/reviews 
 
The Hollywood Reporter at Cannes:  http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/cannes/2013 
 
David Hudson does all the links for each review at Fandor:  http://www.fandor.com/blog/?s=Cannes+2013 
 
 The Film Center's Barbara Scharres and Michał Oleszczyk from the Roger Ebert blog:  http://www.rogerebert.com/festivals-and-awards 
 
Cannes Diary from Film Comment:  http://www.filmlinc.com/blog/cannes 
 
Kevin Jagernauth and Jessica Kiang the indieWIRE Playlist:  http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/tag/cannes-film-festival 
 
Drew McSweeny and Guy Lodge & others from HitFix:  http://www.hitfix.com/movies/cannes-film-festival 
 
a round-up of indieWIRE reviews:  http://www.indiewire.com/reviews/ 

Andrew O'Hehir from Salon: http://www.salon.com/topic/cannes_film_festival/ 
 
Daniel Kasman, Adam Cook, and likely others at Mubi:  http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/tag/Cannes%202013 
 
Mike D'Angelo at The Onion AV Club:  http://www.avclub.com/features/cannes-film-festival/ 
 
Keith Uhlich offering rival reviews from Time Out New York (Mike D'Angelo's former employer):  http://www.timeout.com/newyork/film/cannes-film-festival 
 
Cannes Fest at Time Out London:  http://www.timeout.com/london/film/cannes-film-festival 
 
The Guardian collection of reviews:

The Guardian Cannes commentary:  

 David Jenkins from Little White Lies:  http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/features/festivals 
 
Eric Lavallee and Nicholas Bell from Ion Cinema:  http://www.ioncinema.com/tag/2013-cannes-film-festival 
 
Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa:  http://cineuropa.org/id.aspx?t=event&l=en&did=237992 
 
Various writers at Twitch:  http://twitchfilm.com/festivals/cannes/ 

Sukhdev Sandhu and Robbie Collins from The Daily Telegraph:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/cannes-film-festival/ 

Julie Miller at Vanity Fair:  http://www.vanityfair.com/archive/cannes-film-festival 
 
And, of course, George is back at Cannes this year, where he finds off the beaten track film fare:  http://georgethecyclist.blogspot.com  

Rather than thinning out, the crowds are only thickening, or at least descending upon the higher profile films that are also on my agenda. It was another three-reject day, two Competition films and the Claire Denis film in Un Certain Regard. At no other festival have I had such continuing bad luck. Not getting in is a bummer and a let-down, but that isn't what is so taxing, just the uncertainty of it. If I were willing to show up at a screening more than thirty minutes before its start, I could have gotten into any of them, but since none were bike-related I had no desire to sacrifice that much waiting time, although it allows me to read the various daily trade papers while trying to stay out of the waft of the smokers.
 
Among the hundred of us turned away from the ten p.m. Denis film was an American who let everyone around know, "I hate this country." He could well have been in the "Last Minute Access" line for people without an Invitation at the Palais earlier that morning for the Soderbergh Competition film. The guardians of the gate left us all hanging and never did tell us that we couldn't get in. A new policy this year gives people in that line priority for the screening at the nearby 60th Anniversary theater that starts thirty minutes after the screening in the Palais. If Ralph, my friend from Telluride who joined me the past two years but is taking this year off to hone his photographic skills at a school in Santa Barbara, were here this unannounced new policy would have had his blood boiling, as he made the effort to be among the first in line at the 60th so no one could budge in front of him. Now those people have to stand and wait while a hoard of similar pass holders are allowed to mix with the press who have priority at those screenings. I was quite surprised the first time I saw it happen and it caused a mini-riot. Once I knew about the new policy I just joined that special line at the Palais. Well today it didn't matter and for one of the few times ever (other than for "Inglorious Basterds" and "Melancholia") I did not get into the nine a.m. screening at the 60th Anniversary Theatre.
 
That was disheartening, but it allowed me to attend the 9:30 screening of "A Touch of Sin," the Chinese Competition film that played three days ago and has the second highest rating from "Screen" magazine's panel of critics. Moments before it was about to start I felt a tap on my should and looked up to see Milos of Facets wishing to slip into the seat beside me. He had walked out of the Soderbergh film after an hour saying it was getting tedious. He had missed the earlier screening of "A Touch of Sin" as it was playing when he had to file one of his reports for WBEZ back in Chicago, though he said he had attended the press conference of the film's director, who acknowledged the film would have to be edited to be able to play in China.
 
That was very understandable. When I spent a couple of months bicycling around China three years ago, the country made a point of how gunless it was compared to the US. Even the mafia gangs did not have guns, and had to resort to knifes and meat cleavers and crow bars for weapons. This movie puts that generalization to rest. Citizens with guns taking matters into their own hands, defending themselves or seeking revenge or committing a crime, is the dominant theme of the several stories of this film. One disgruntled guy uses a shotgun to kill the accountant and owner of the mine in his town for becoming greedy bastards. He also blasts a guy who is beating his horse. Each of the film's stories show someone unraveling, emphasizing that these are not the best of times in China. Each was powerful and quite well done, but I preferred the single narrative of the Mexican Competition film "Heli," even tho its average score from the critics was a 1.6 compared to the three on a scale of four for this. Any of the episodes of "Sin" could have made a worthy feature.
 
I would have also given the emotionally-involving "Like Father, Like Son," a Japanese film in Competition, a slightly higher rating than "Sin." A hospital discovers five years after the fact that it switched babies of two sets of parents. There is no easy resolution to the problem, though the hospital officials say that 100 per cent of parents prefer their blood child. It takes several months for the families to come to an agreement. None of the complications seem like the contrivance of a Hollywood scriptwriter as did all the plot twists in "The Past" and "Jimmy P." also vying for the Palm d'Or. One of the fathers is an over-achieving workaholic salaryman while the other is a happy-go-lucky small shop owner who baths with his children, something the workaholic couldn't imagine doing. This riveting story unravels naturally and effortlessly.
 
My efforts to see something in every time slot every day also rewarded me with two small but telling films from Mozambique and Tunisia. I was drawn to "Virgin Margarida" as it was about prostitutes in Maputo. My most googled blog entry is "prostitutes of Maputo," my tale of a night in a whorehouse in the capital city of Mozambique when I could find no place cheaper to stay. The prostitutes in this movie have been rounded up by the military in 1975 after Mozambique gains its independence from Portugal and are taken out into the countryside to be reeducated. They are overseen by a tough young woman. None of them had the glamour of the prostitutes of the whorehouse I stayed at adjoining a night club, but that did not detract from the realism of the film.
 
Women too are the focus of "Hidden Beauties," but in contemporary times as Tunisia is experiencing its Arab Spring upheaval. This could well have been titled "To Veil or Not To Veil," as that is the continual debate throughout the movie. It focuses on two young women who are good friends. One has taken to the veil and the other resists despite the demands of her fanatic brother and the rest of her family. Every argument imaginable for and against the veil is raised in one debate or confrontation after another. There are those who try to get the veiled woman to give hers up as well. This was most disturbing and poignant.
 
All these movies were realistic enough to have been documentaries of the issues they raised, complementing the three documentaries I did see during my seventh consecutive day-long movie marathon. Russell Crowe narrates "Red Obession." This could have been a companion piece to the Chinese movie, as it describes how the wine of Bordeaux has become maniacally popular in China, driving the price of a bottle to unheard of levels, over 500 dollars a bottle. Wine is a form of investment for people around the world. Since 1982 it has out-performed all other markets including gold.
 
The homeless of Paris are the subject of the very polished and artful "The Edge of the World." They are all interviewed at night by their makeshift encampments under bridges and in assorted nooks and crannies about the city, often with magnificently shot Parisian landmarks nearby. There were more shots of the Eiffel Tower than any other film in the festival so far, even "Girl on a Bike."
 
The Director Fortnight selection "Stop Over" was a grittier film shot in Athens mostly at an apartment that serves as an underground refuge for immigrants, many from Iran, and elsewhere in Asia, trying to infiltrate Europe. Then "refugees" are a most run-down and weary lot with a full catalogue of hard luck stories. It has taken each considerable risk and effort to get this far and none seem too eager to go further. One forty-year man is brought to tears recounting the hardships of his life.

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