Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cannes 2016 Day 10

Lais Ribeiro

Alessandra Ambrosio

models on parade

Charlize Theron

Adèle Exarchapoulos

Jury member Vanessa Paradis

Jury member Kristen Dunst

oops, wrong festival, as this is Pyongyang, North Korea, yet somehow the festivities look memorable

A collection of pieces from The Hollywood Reporter:

Red carpet photos from PopSugar:

A French site that lists daily galleries of red carpet photos:

Celebrities arrive for the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, from The NY Daily News:

Daily list of best dressed at Cannes from Blouin Art Info:            

People magazine hits the Cannes red carpet:,,21005726_30489946,00.html

director Shahrbanoo Sadat

Director’s Fortnight Awards

The Director’s Fortnight awarded their top prize, the Art Cinema Award, to writer-director Shahrbanoo Sadat’s Wolf and Sheep, a magical realist exploration of her native Afghanistan.  Sadat is the youngest filmmaker ever selected for Cannes Cinéfondation Residency, just 20 when she was selected in 2010.  Produced by Denmark’s Katja Adomeit of Adomeit Film, the film follows a group of 11 year olds who live divided by the sexes in rural Afghanistan, and who try to understand the world by inventing stories, some of which turn into real belief.

“Filming with a largely female crew in Afghanistan was never going to be easy,” begins Robert Michael Poole at Artinfo. “Especially when the story involves a naked woman roaming around. But even constructing an entire Afghan village in neighboring Tajikistan had its perils—the 38 actors of Wolf and Sheep, had to traverse Taliban controlled territories just to reach the set.”

A film project to support: “Wolf & Sheep”, by young Afghani filmmaker ...  Pamela Pianezza interview of the director from Tess magazine, October 27, 2014

Meet Shahrbanoo Sadat, a (very) young, talented and valiant filmmaker, who decided to give her own version of what’s going on in Afghanistan.

Born in Iran, Shahrbanoo Sadat grew up in a small village Afghanistan and eventually learned documentary filmmaking thanks to a French association in Kabul. Her first short film was selected by Cannes’ Directors Fortnight.  Now she’s working on her first feature, WOLF & SHEEP, a project that has been selected by the Cinefondation, Cannes’ residency program for writers. She’s not even 25…

Meet this young, talented and valiant filmmaker, well decided to give her own version of what’s going on in Afghanistan and if you feel like coproducing a movie, take part to the crowdfunding campain (Payment portal is closed).       

 TESS MAGAZINE : Who are you, Shahrbanoo Sadat?

SHAHRBANOO SADAT : I’m Shahr, I was born in 1990 in Tehran-Iran while my parents lived there as Afghan refugees. After the September 11 events the news spread all around the world that the war in Afghanistan was finished and my parents decided to move back to their village, somewhere in central Afghanistan.

We lived there, in a remote village totally disconnected from the world, with access to almost nothing: no water, no electricity, no road, no phone, nothing! I finished my high school years with a lot of difficulties, then moved to Kabul after 7 years living there.

By chance I was selected for a French documentary workshop, the Atelier Varan Kabul, where I studied the basics of filmmaking. I made my first fiction film there, VICE VERSA ONE, a 10 minutes black and white film that was selected by Director’s fortnight and premiered in Cannes in 2011.

Tell us more about this new project you’re working on and try to finance, WOLF AND SHEEP?

WOLF AND SHEEP is my first feature film project. It was selected by the Cannes Cinefondation for their 2010 script residency. I’m the youngest directed selected ever ! WOLF AND SHEEP tells the story of the community in central Afghanistan where I used to live. We experience that sense of community through a little shepherd girl who has vision problems and can’t see well. Nobody knows about her problem, not even herself. The story is about routines and daily life. It’s about a village where people are busy with their forms and flocks and have no idea of what is going on around them. The only immediate danger is wolves.

Why did you chose this story to become your first feature film?

I’m not interested in showing the dark sides or even the bright sides of Afghanistan. All I want to show is everyday life. I think it’s time to stop making films repeating the clichés about Afghanistan. I know perfectly well that there is a war in Afghanistan but life goes on anyway. I’m interested in making films about real life in my country.

I believe in changes and I can see a bright future for my country. I stayed in Afghanistan to make films about this country but almost all my friends and family members have left because they don’t believe in the future I believe in. But I’m staying to tell my stories and my own version of what’s going on in Afghanistan.

Wolf and Sheep : Like a wolf in sheep's clothing - Cineuropa   Bénédicte Prot review from Cineuropa, May 17, 2016

CANNES 2016: Young Shahrbanoo Sadat brings us a contemplative yet verbose film that shows us a secret side of Afghanistan that has yet to be violated

Shahrbanoo Sadat is, in many respects, a one-of-a-kind filmmaker. She is, for starters, an Afghan director and producer who works in Afghanistan – although for her debut feature film, Wolf and Sheep, which has been selected for Directors’ Fortnight at this year’s 69th Cannes Film Festival, she had the support of a Danish producer and other European partners. Her age is also worth mentioning, as this ward of Cannes, who was selected in the same section in 2011 with her short film Vice Versa One, became, in 2010, at the tender age of 20, the youngest participant of Cinéfondation, with the very film that she is presenting this year. Last but not least, the world that she opens a window onto with this pastoral yet verbose film is completely new (to us). Indeed, Wolf and Sheep brings us face to face with a community of poor farmers and shepherds nestled among the bare mountains, in a small town faraway from the fierce country it belongs to, where ancient traditions and legends still live on, intact but fragile in the face of the ever-constant threat that hangs over this hamlet – like a nocturnal she-wolf moving slowly but relentlessly closer to the sheep pen. 

From its contemplative opening to its tragically hasty ending, the film, which is accompanied from start to finish by the jingling of the bells worn by the sheep, is steeped in this mix of protected peacefulness and unrest. The leading role of children in this well-rounded yet (gently) fragmented tale reflects a contradiction of the same kind, adorning the film with innocence but also responsibility. Indeed, whilst having lost nothing of the mischievousness of childhood, the young shepherdesses we meet take their role as guardians of their flocks very seriously, in the same way as the troublemaking young boys arms themselves against the harsh reality of the world by making stinging sling-shots. In total freedom, without the supervision of adults, they rigorously (but not religiously either, or rather, without the violence and intolerance that generally characterise practices of segregation) respect not only the roles assigned to them by tradition, but the tacit rule that girls and boys are not to mix as well.

Although the prevailing atmosphere in this village where everyone calmly goes about their daily business is one of complete peace, at least until night falls, we’re not dealing with a peaceful film here: Wolf and Sheep (which is being sold internationally by Alpha Violet) is a piece with a lot to say. All day, as we pass from one group to another (from the girls to the boys then to the women and sometimes the men, who are a lot less present than the other members of the community here, even though they’re the ones with the most wealth – measured by how many cows they have, as here the notion of money is completely absent), we hear their incessant chattering. In the first half of the film, this consists mainly of a string of legends, all of which are based around animals, explaining the mysteries of the world. Later on, once the viewer is a lot more familiar with the main protagonists of the film, the lively conversations turn to gossip linking the various groups that we follow in turn, and give a sense of unity to this pastoral world. And so, the community comes together in unison before our eyes. Alas, all the while, the carnivorous she-wolf continues her relentless advance.

(Translated from French)

Pedro Almodóvar condemns Hollywood's 'diabolical sexism'  Ben Child on an Almodóvar press conference at Cannes from The Guardian, May 20, 2016 

Spanish director tells Cannes film festival that US film industry is ‘losing an enormous opportunity by not creating good roles for women of all ages’

The Spanish film-maker Pedro Almodóvar has criticised Hollywood for its failure to find stronger roles for women of all ages.

Speaking at the Cannes film festival, where his new film Julieta debuts in competition, the Oscar-winning director of All About My Mother and Talk to Her said female stars were often only included in blockbuster franchises to prove the male leads were not gay.

“We’ve got all of these movies that are about heroes and about arch-enemies, and there’s the sequels and there’s the prequels,” he told Variety. “With those movies, in general – and I’m only generalising – if a woman appears, their function is to prove that the hero is not a homosexual.”

“Hollywood is losing an enormous opportunity when it doesn’t actually create good roles for women of all ages,” Almodóvar said. “When it doesn’t actually create good roles to talk about mothers, about girlfriends, about daughters, about sister-in-laws.

Almodovar, who has worked with grande dames of world cinema such as Cecilia Roth, Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura and Rossy de Palma, lamented the fact that older Hollywood stars such as Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon had been pushed increasingly towards roles on the small screen, while European actors such as Isabelle Huppert and Juliette Binoche still found meaty roles in film.

“There’s a kind of diabolical sexism, and I say that it’s diabolical because there’s no one that we can actually accuse of being responsible for this sexism,” he said. “The roles are out there for someone like Meryl Streep, but they’re not out there for the others.”

As Cannes closes, a new breed of female lead emerges: empowered ...  As Cannes closes, a new breed of female lead emerges: empowered, careerist –and ‘gender-neutral,’ by Catherine Shoard from The Guardian, May 20, 2016  

Debate still rages over the scarcity of women directors, but many at the festival have been encouraged by the wealth of competition films featuring female leads – not all of them preoccupied with their love lives

Two weeks ago, the Cannes film festival was preparing to unroll its red carpet beneath a double shadow. First was the threat of terrorism – then deemed strong enough to warrant 500 extra police officers and hugely-tightened security. The second was the persistent criticism levelled at the festival that it discriminates against female directors. Just three of the 21 films in competition this year were made by women (though that’s still a healthier ratio than in Hollywood). 

But as the festival enters its final weekend, both clouds are dispersing. Any terror attacks appear to have been averted, and two of the best-reviewed movies in contention were made by women (Andrea Arnold’s American Honey and Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann).

And, as the credits have rolled, so evidence has mounted to indicate a larger shift – on screen, rather than behind the camera. Twelve of those 21 films feature a female protagonist, most of them with bigger fish to fry than mooning over men. As well as those films by female directors, the festival has premiered Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper, starring Kirsten Stewart as a psychic PA, the Dardenne brothers’ The Unknown Girl, about a female inner-city doctor, Park Chan-Wook’s adaptation of Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith, Ma Rosa, about an impoverished mother fighting crime in Manilla, Aquarius, in which a 65-year-old woman fends off housing developers and Pedro Almodóvar’s Julieta, about a woman seeking to reconnect with her estranged daughter. The final film, screening on Saturday, is Elle, Paul Verhoeven’s drama starring Isabelle Huppert as the CEO of a video games company.

What links most of these women is that their careers, or their causes, are key; romantic attachments largely relegated. Even in the quasi-romances – Loving by Jeff Nichols, Sean Penn’s The Last Face – the women enjoy more airtime, and are at their most keenly-drawn when it comes to their activism, rather than their love lives. 

Friday saw the emergence of perhaps the most formidable of this new breed of female heroines: Jesse, played by Elle Fanning, the teen supermodel at the heart of Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. The director described how the film, his first with a female lead, allowed him to “live out my perverse dream of being a 16-year old girl, which I think every man has inside them”. When he first met Fanning, he said, his first thought was “Oh my God, you’re me”; though he was keen to stress that the actor needed to “take the lead”, given his distance from her age and gender. 

What Refn has done in The Neon Demon, however, is to wholly demote the focus offered to his male characters. “I wanted to make all the men like the girlfriends in other movies. All the women are the focus; everything else is secondary. I wasn’t particularly interested in the men’s world but in order to create a story, we needed the ‘girlfriends’ to toss in here and there.”

Refn’s gender-reversal is taken one stage further by Maren Ade, whose three-hour German comedy Toni Erdmann is the current frontrunner to win the Palme d’Or on Sunday. The film is the story of Ines, a serious, successful businesswoman in her mid 30s whose larky father pays a visit. Ines is, by and large, emotionally, intellectually and sexually self-sufficient. That she is a woman seems an afterthought rather than a mission statement.

“Maybe it’s best to think of Ines,” says the director, “as a contemporary, gender-neutral character – much like a man who cries now and then and has father issues.” 

The current debate can be frustrating, adds Ade, “especially when it’s given so much weight. As a woman I’m used to identifying with male characters. When I watch a James Bond movie, I’m not just the Bond Girl, I’m James Bond too.”

Yet for Melissa Silverstein, founder and publisher of campaigning website Women and Hollywood, Toni Erdmann was the exception, rather than the figurehead for a new wave of empowered, evolved, gender-irrelevant characters. “Ines is the best of a working woman,” she says. “The compromises for success, what you have to leave behind, the different kind of choices you have to make compared to men.”

The glut of male-directed, female-led movies may have “forced the conversation on gender into this festival,” thinks Silverstein, but that is scant compensation for the increase in women’s stories which more women behind the camera would likely bring.

Her sentiments find an echo in the words of one of the male directors who has been bucking the trend for decades: Pedro Almodóvar, whose back catalogue features scores of leading ladies. Speaking at the festival on Thursday, the Spaniard denounced what he saw as the US industry’s continuing “diabolical sexism”. “With those movies ... if a woman appears, their function is to prove that the hero is not a homosexual,” he said. “Hollywood is losing an enormous opportunity when it doesn’t actually create these good roles for women of all ages.”

The general mood as the sun sets on this year’s Cannes is that few films have emerged which are set to be future classics. Yet the lessons the festival may hold for wider cinema could have a far longer legacy.

*          *          *          *

Cannes Film Festival 2016: Who Will the Palme D'Or? Here's the Final Predictions  Francisco Salazar from The Latin Post, May 20, 2016

The Cannes Film Festival is coming to an end with 21 competing for the big prize, the Palme D'Or. The award is the equivalent to the Oscar for film. The winner of the Palme D'Or usually goes on to be internationally recognized and also gets a lot of buzz and awards at the end of the year.

The winner will join such prestigious films as "Taxi Driver," "The Pianist," "Blue is the Warmest Color," "Rosetta" and most recently "Deephan."


So which film will win this year? Competition is tough but one film has fascinated critics and audiences alike. The film is Marien Ade's "Toni Erdmann." The comedy is one of the few laugh-out-loud films to premiere at the festival and one that is also among the longest in competition. If the film is to win, it would be the second time a women's feature wins the Palme D'Or and would also represent one of the few German films to win the award. However, the jury may not give the film the award because Ade is young and the film is her third. In the past few years, the jury has been awarding veteran filmmakers.

For example, last year most of the critics believed "Son of Saul" would go home with the Palme D'Or. However, the film lost to "Deephan," which was received with mixed reception and which also screened late in the festival.

This is where Andrea Arnold or Jim Jarmusch have better shots at the Palme D'Or. Arnold has competed before with "Fish Tank" and walked away with second prize. Her film "American Honey" was praised by most critics and was hailed as a favorite.

Jarmusch received praise for his intimate drama "Paterson." However, generally Palme D'Or winners have big messages and big themes and this film could be seen as too small. However, don't count Adam Driver out of the Best Actor race.

Jeff Nichols' film "Loving" received unanimous praise but most critics pinned it as an Oscar contender. Nichols, like Arnold and Jarmusch, has competed at the festival so this could very well be an opportunity for the jury to award him.

Asghar Farhadi's "The Salesman" had the honors of closing the competition slate. The director is beloved internationally and his film "The Past" received an award a few years back. Perhaps Farhadi, who was a late competition entry, can surprise and win.

Repeat Winners

However, it is important not forget about previous winner Cristian Mungiu and Ken Loach. Both filmmakers have gotten praise for their latest efforts. Mungiu's "Graduation" was hailed for its intensity and many state that he could be up for his second Palme D'or. Meanwhile Loach's "I, Daniel Blake" was called his most poignant in years.


There is also room for underdogs particularly in a competition that is always unpredictable and subjective to the tastes of a select few. Cristi Puiu's "Sieranevada" or Kleber Mendonca Filho's "Aquarius" were beloved but have not received the same buzz other films have obtained.
Films that will likely go home empty-handed include Pedro Almdovar's 'Julieta," Xavier Dolan's "It's only the End of the World" and Nicole Garcia's "Mal de Pierres."

*          *          *          *

Cannes critics ratings, a composite of 7 different critic scores: 

The Cannes Criterion Forum is up and running:  

Screendaily Jury Grid

Ioncinema Critics Panel:

Les Etoiles de la critiques is up and running as well (click on image to obtain a full screen):

While Neil Young from Jigsaw Lounge maintains the odds for winners:                 

6-4 Ade / Toni Erdmann
9-2 Loach / I, Daniel Blake
8-1 Farhadi / The Salesman
9-1 Mendonça Filho / Aquarius
10-1 Almodóvar / Julieta
14-1 Jarmusch / Paterson
16-1 Mendoza / Ma’Rosa
16-1 Arnold / American Honey
– – – – –
25-1 Verhoeven / Elle
25-1 Nichols / Loving
25-1 Puiu / Sieranevada
33-1 Mungiu / Graduation
40-1 Dardenne & Dardenne / The Unknown Girl
40-1 Dumont / Slack Bay
50-1 Guiraudie / Staying Vertical
50-1 Assayas / Personal Shopper
66-1 Dolan / It’s Only the End of the World
– – – – –
100-1 Park / The Handmaiden
200-1 Garcia / From the Land of the Moon
200-1 Refn / The Neon Demon
1000-1 Penn / The Last Face

6-4 Aquarius (Sônia Braga)
– – – – –
5-1 The Unknown Girl (Adèle Haenel)
6-1 Toni Erdmann (Sandra Hüller)
8-1 Elle (Isabelle Huppert)
9-1 Julieta (A.Ugarte, E.Suarez, Palma)
12-1 Ruth Negga (Loving)
14-1 Personal Shopper (Kristen Stewart)
16-1 American Honey (Sasha Lane)
– – – – –
20-1 I, Daniel Blake (Hayley Squires)
22-1 From the Land of the Moon (Marion Cotillard)
25-1 The Handmaiden (KIM Min-Hee)
33-1 The Salesman (Taraneh Alidootsi)
– – – – –
40-1 Paterson (Golshifteh Farahani)
40-1 Slack Bay (J.Binoche, V.Bruni Tedeschi, etc)
40-1 Sieranevada
40-1 Ma’Rosa (Jaclyn Jose)
66-1 The Neon Demon (Elle Fanning)
66-1 It’s Only the End of the World (N.Baye, M.Cotillard, L.Seydoux)-1
66-1 Graduation (M.Dragus, LBugnar)
100-1 The Last Face (Charlize Theron)
150-1 Staying Vertical (India Hair)

7-2 Toni Erdmann (Peter Simonischek)
7-2 I, Daniel Blake (Dave Johns)
9-2 The Salesman (Shobeib Hosseini)
7-1 Paterson (Adam Driver)
10-1 Graduation (Adrian Titieni)
– – – – – – – –
22-1 Staying Vertical (Damien Bonnard)
28-1 Slack Bay (Fabrice Luchini, etc)
28-1 Sieranevada
33-1 Loving (Joel Edgerton)
– – – – – –
50-1 Its Only the End of the World
66-1 The Unknown Girl
80-1 American Honey (Shia LaBeouf)
80-1 The Handmaiden (HA Jung-Woo)
100-1 Personal Shopper (Lars Eidinger)
100-1 From the Land of the Moon
100-1 Ma’Rosa
150-1 Elle (Laurent Lafitte)
– – – – –
250-1 The Neon Demon
250-1 Aquarius
300-1 The Last Face
500-1 Julieta

*          *          *          *

The round-up of various links covering Cannes:

Screendaily still has paywalls, but if you click on the reviews, they are at least temporarily open to the public: 

The Hollywood Reporter at Cannes: 

David Hudson does all the links for each review at Fandor: 

The Film Center’s Barbara Scharres, Ben Kenigsberg and Chaz Ebert at Cannes from the Roger Ebert blog: 
a round-up of Cannes news and reviews from indieWIRE: 

The Guardian collection of reviews: 

Mike D’Angelo back at The Onion A.V. Club:

Sophie Monks Kaufman and David Jenkins from Little White Lies: 

Daniel Kasman, Adam Cook, and likely others at Mubi Notebook: 

Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa: 

Sukhdev Sandhu and Robbie Collins from The Daily Telegraph: 

Slant magazine at Cannes: 

Eric Lavallee and Nicholas Bell from Ioncinema: 

Various writers at Twitch: 

And, of course, George is back at Cannes this year, where he finds off the beaten track film fare:

This had to be a day Sean Penn was dreading.  He had to face the music for his absolutely dreadful “The Last Face”  He could have hardly expected mercy from the vulturous Cannes press corps for the sappy, simple-minded dialogue that he oversaw as director despite the noble subject matter of relief-aid doctors working in war-torn African played by Charlize Thoren and Javier Bardem and their love affair. The audience was in titters through the entire movie.  One had to pity Thoren and Bardem for the lines they were forced to speak and some of the antics asked of them, the most egregious a toothbrush ballet before they have sex for the first time.  Penn had to have had an iron fist on the set for no one to stand up to what lines they were forced to utter.  This film will go down in history as one of the most embarrassing to have played in Competition.

Nicolas Winding Rehn’s “The Neon Demon,” a commentary on the beauty of young actresses and their rivalry in Hollywood, will have harsh critics as well, but it will at least have some defenders who will applaud its innovative slick style. Dozens of scantily clad young actresses with the “look” parade through this movie competing to be discovered.  One newly-arrived, fresh-faced hopeful has that inexplicable special appeal that separates her from the rest, but is she strong enough to survive? The sinister, dark overtones of the movie forbade the worst.

Critics Week was the first competitive category to announce its winners and screen them this evening. I was able to dash up to its distant theater to see the winner “Mimosas” when I was turned away from Jim Jarmusch’s documentary on Iggy Pop.  I had been particularly curious to see the two of them introduce the film at this special screening, but Ralph said neither were in attendance.  He reported it was a simple, straightforward documentary with no hint of Jarmusch trying to do anything out of the ordinary.

The harsh Atlas Mountains in Morocco are the star of “Mimosas” the tale of a caravan transporting the dying body of a sheik to be buried.  It was a surprising choice from the jury, as the winner of this category is more often psychological studies of someone in torment.  The scenery and the rugged authentic characters with all manner of beards won out over the films that focused on human nature. 

The Israeli “One Week and a Day,” another Critics Week winner, was wholely occupied with the unraveling of a couple over the death of their twenty-two year old son.  They have just finished their week of mourning with neighbors and friends coming by their home with food.  A neighbor they have a feud with arrives after the visitation has ended. They throw them out of their home, the first glimpse at how volatile they are.  The husband steals a bag of medicinal marijuana from a friend in hospice, leading to a succession of wacky and off-the-wall behavior that would have fit in with “Toni Erdmann.”  It alternates between comedy and deep pathos.

“Divines” from Director’s Fortnight offered up more anger and  desperation, this time from two young women, one Arabic and the other African, in a Parisian ghetto rife with violence and drugs. The print had no subtitles, except some occasional French when the characters spoke in their native tongues, but the action was self-explanatory enough that my limited French was enough to follow the story.  Andrea Arnold might have cast these women had she been making a French version of “American Honey.”  They bounded with energy fully capturing their characters.  They are untamed and uninhibited.  One becomes infatuated with a dancer and watches him rehearse from high in the rafters of the theater adding an extra element of intrigue to the movie.

As the festival winds down speculation on the award winners heightens.  I’ll be rooting for the two Romanian films, “Graduation” for the Palme d’Or and “Sieranevada” for the Grand Prix, despite the tendency of juries to distribute awards among different nationalities.  Those are the two films I’m most interested in watching again on Sunday when all the Competition films are rescreened and there is nothing else to watch.  Andrea Arnold would be a bold choice for best director for her handling of her cast of mostly non-actors traveling around the western US selling magazine subscriptions.  “Toni Erdman” will no doubt win something.  Arguments can be made for most of the films to be acknowledged in some manner.  There is always a surprise, depending on who has a strong voice on the nine-person jury, so there is no predicting.  Maybe the final film, by the director of the award-winning “Separation,” will be the heads-above-all-others masterpiece that we have been awaiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment