Friday, May 17, 2013

Cannes 2013 Day 2

Agnès Varda under the umbrellas

Jeune et Jolie director François Ozon between two of his actors: Marine Vacth, left, and Géraldine Pailhas

Emma Watson, star of The Bling Ring

Emma Watson on the red carpet for Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, from The Guardian:

More here: 

The Hollywood Reporter: 

Vanity Fair: 

Fashionable Cannes beauty looks from The Telegraph:

British model Cara Delevingne decked out in Chopard diamonds at the opening ceremony of the 66th Cannes Film Festival

And if there’s not enough celebrity news at Cannes, how about a news item pulled straight out of the headlines that seems like a publicity stunt to heighten the interest in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, with $1million of Chopard diamonds stolen in Cannes:

Jewellery intended to be loaned out to celebrities for red carpet appearances at the Cannes Film Festival has been stolen from an employee's hotel room.

$1 million worth (approx £656,000) of diamonds were thought to have been stolen during the night of Thursday, May 16.

The gems were taken from a Chopard employee's room in the Novotel Hotel on the city's boulevard Carnot. According to a source, a safe containing the jewellery was unsealed and taken by the robbers.

2013 marks the 15th consecutive year that the privately held Swiss-based jewellery house is the official partner to the annual film festival. The house loans out its dazzling jewels to dozens of celebrity guests in attendance. On the opening night of the festival alone its creations were sported by Julianne Moore, Cara Delevingne, Lana Del Rey, Freida Pinto and Cindy Crawford.

In 2009, the Cartier boutique in Cannes was robbed of over $21 million worth of jewels in a heist led by robbers wearing Hawaiian shirts.

When contacted this afternoon, a Chopard spokesperson had no comment to make.

Chopard is one of the official sponsors of the festival, which opened on Wednesday.

The theft happened on the same day that the festival was shown The Bling Ring, a new film by director Sofia Coppola about some high-school students who find out when celebrities are attending red carpet events in order to break into their homes and steal their designer clothes, bags, and shoes.

Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, a perennial on the Cannes red carpet 

Chinese actress and jury member Zhang Ziyi

Chinese Companies Conspicuously Absent From Croisette, by Clarence Tsui from the Hollywood Reporter:

With domestic fare taking 70 percent of local box office, the country’s buyers and sellers just say non to Cannes.

With a recent Motion Picture Association report confirming that Chinese filmgoers generate the second-highest box-office revenue in the world and Hollywood producers rushing to court China’s financiers, one would expect an explosion of China-related activities at Cannes this year.

Indeed, China Film Group will continue to host its annual China Night party while the Shanghai Film Group will revel in events celebrating its Palme d’Or entrant, Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin. But the country’s privately owned companies have been comparatively low-profile this year — a sign that the country’s entrepreneurs consider whipping up a domestic media frenzy to be more useful than staging a costly event abroad.

Huayi Brothers, for example, has shelved plans for a big bash in Cannes, and will now unveil its slate in a lavish party at the Shanghai Film Market next month; Enlight Media, meanwhile, announced its lineup in Beijing last month. Now the proud co-owner of Digital Domain, Beijing Galloping Horse will not unleash new projects on the Croisette; another shingle, Le Vision Pictures, will not be at the market at all.

“The companies now know whatever events they do abroad are only to serve the domestic market — this is what they should aim for,” says Albert Lee, CEO of Hong Kong-based Emperor Motion Pictures, who will be at Cannes with his Filmart slate plus one announcement to be made during the market.

Beijing Galloping Horse’s head of international sales, Ronan Wong, points to changing box-office trends as an explanation for Chinese companies’ reticence when it comes to spending big at Cannes this year. “This time last year we were looking at the Chinese market being dominated by Hollywood films such as Titanic 3D, The Avengers and Battleship,” Wong says. He notes that by December the situation had changed, with domestic films taking nearly 70 percent of ticket earnings in China in the past four months.

With local productions such as Lost in Thailand, Finding Mr Right and So Young generating more than 3 billion yuan ($488 million) at the box office, film companies have become “more rational” in evaluating how a presence at festivals and markets will affect distribution in the market at home, says Shen Yang, Shanghai Film Market’s deputy program director.

“That’s why many of them have moved their usual emphasis of promotional activities from Cannes to Shanghai,” she says. “With Chinese blockbusters hardly attaining the proportion of the international market as [they do] at home … domestic film festivals are naturally becoming more valuable platforms for promotion.”

Touch of Sin a corrosive depiction of Chinese society, by Kenneth Turan from The LA Times: 

CANNES, France -- Films dealing with societal corruption may be nothing new for Western audiences. But in China, where the government keeps a tight grip on what appears on movie screens, that is hardly the case.

Which is why “A Touch of Sin,” written and directed by the veteran Jia Zhang-Ke, created a major stir when it appeared here in the competition.

Officially debuting Friday but screened for the media Thursday, “A Touch of Sin” is a corrosive depiction of the New China, an everything-for-sale society still figuring out how to cope with the dehumanizing effects of unbridled capitalism.

In order to best portray an entire country growing faster than its socio-political structures can handle, a place where nothing speaks louder than money, filmmaker Jia has put together an omnibus film of four separate but linked stories, including one about a sex worker in a ultra-high-end brothel.

The kicker is that all of them are based on real events that the filmmaker says in the press notes “are well-known to people throughout China.”

The stories involve a miner who takes things into his own hands after a village leader keeps for himself profits from a state-owned coal mine; a migrant worker who comes to understand the power of owning a gun in a might-makes-right society; a receptionist at a sauna who snaps in an especially bloody way when a client assaults her; and a young worker whose despair at not finding a life leads to suicide.

Though some China watchers at the festival doubted that the film would be cleared for showing on the mainland, filmmaker Jia is clearly passionate about what he has done.

“Many people face personal crises because of the uneven spread of wealth across the country and the vast disparities between the rich and the poor,” he writes. “Individual people can be stripped of their dignity at any time.” 

How about films Booed at cannes, though this is a slender list, by Melissa Anderson at ArtForum:

BAMCINÉMATEK’S INGENIOUS PROGRAM “Booed at Cannes,” which kicks off a week before the year’s most prestigious cine-orgy commences in the Côte d’Azur and ends three days before it, presents fifteen films, spanning 1953 to 2004, that share a particular badge of ignominy: They were all received hostilely at the festival. Paradoxically, this initial disgrace seems only to have ensured the films’ later placement in the cinema canon; many titles in the BAM lineup, such as Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Gertrud (1964) and Robert Bresson’s L’Argent (1983), have long been regarded as masterworks. But has the true era of the succès de scandale at Cannes ended? Is it a greater insult today if a film isn’t booed?

During my time as a regular festival attendee, from 2005 to 2012, I’d estimate that nearly 70 percent of the titles that screened in Competition—those vying for the Palme d’Or—were booed (or worse). By now, the excessive booing at Cannes, at least at the press screenings, reflects neither a diminishing quality of films selected nor an increase in the lack of decorum (well, not entirely) but something far more banal: tautological ritual. One boos a film at Cannes because one is at Cannes and booing is what happens there. Wanting to participate in this tetchy convention often reveals behavior more masochistic than sadistic: Two years ago, a colleague, rather than leave a film he despised very early on, stayed through all 127 minutes of it just so he could join the chorus of boos at the end. Sometimes, though, the vicious responses are genuine manifestations of near-pathological rage at the filmmaker, as I witnessed in 2009, when Lars von Trier, whose Antichrist had screened the night before to a din of jeers, was booed—at his own press conference.
But perhaps no form of Cannes booing is more aggressive than that used to express displeasure with the choice of Palme d’Or during the closing-night awards ceremony. On rare occasions, heckled directors will return the insult: Infamously, Maurice Pialat had this to say to those who jeered when his Under the Sun of Satan was announced as the festival’s top-prize winner in 1987: “If you don’t like me, I don’t like you, either.” David Lynch, who has the distinction of being the only auteur with two films in the BAM series, simply smiled goofily as the Grand Théâtre Lumière erupted in boos after he mounted the stage to accept the Palme d’Or in 1990 for Wild at Heart—the director’s fifth film and his first to premiere at Cannes. Two years later, Lynch’s next movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, would debut at the festival, receiving no prizes but plenty of hisses.

The latter film, even more maligned by US critics (who by and large despised it for not being exactly like the short-lived Lynch TV show for which it was a prequel) when it opened in August 1992, stands as the title in the BAM showcase that benefits the most from revisiting. Recounting the last week in the life of troubled high-school homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), Fire Walk with Me bears many of Lynch’s trademarks: the sinister qualities of small-town life, blonde and brunette protagonists, the porous boundary between dream and waking. But Lynch had never before created—or extended such empathy toward—a heroine as haunting or haunted as teenage Laura, tormented by years of unspeakable abuse. She is the blueprint of abjection and bifurcation for Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn, the fractured lead character in Lynch’s supreme achievement, Mulholland Drive—for which he would be awarded best director at Cannes in 2001.

The program can be see here:

More choices from indieWIRE:

Can you feel le buzz? Big names bomb and unknowns prosper – nobody knows anything on the Croisette. But Jonathan Romney knows which films he's excited about, from The Independent:       

So why do people make such a fuss about the Cannes Film Festival? Because Cannes is a dazzling, intricate, sometimes laborious, but always unpredictable machine for generating fuss – and for proving that cinema is worth making a fuss about. The commercial film universe has its blockbusters, its tentpoles, its event movies. But in these artificially hallowed 12 days on the Croisette, movies are seen as something more exalted – manifestations of whatever ineffable substance le cinéma is made of.

Whether a given year turns out good or bad, Cannes always tells us which films we'll be talking about for the next 12 months – but they're not always the ones we expect. I've been making my annual pilgrimage since 1993, and have learnt that it doesn't pay to try to predict how good a particular edition will be. I've seen all-star line-ups yield their share of duds, and drab-seeming ones go on to glitter.

But it's not just the competition – with a jury chaired by Steven Spielberg – that counts. The selected titles may hog the limelight and the prestige, but some of the best films often turn up in other sections. This year, official sidebar Un Certain Regard boasts the latest by admired French auteur Claire Denis (see overleaf) and a glamorous opener in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson. Cognoscenti will always make a few sorties up the Croisette to investigate Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week, guaranteed hotbeds of discovery with the occasional big name thrown in.

All that's sure about this year's competition line-up – high on Americans, low on women directors, Brits, and intriguing outsiders – is that it promises to be extremely entertaining. How could it not be, with Michael Douglas playing Liberace (in Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra) and two French directors both named Arnaud going head to head? Never say Cannes selectors don't have a sense of humour ....

The Great Gatsby

The talent: Baz Luhrmann directs; Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan star; Jay-Z masterminds the soundtrack.

The pitch: Forget your grandad's Jazz Age – this is the 1920s when bling was king.

Croisette quotient: This opening night extravaganza will be big, loud and lavish, and may horrify those who cherish their slim, dog-eared Penguin of F Scott Fitzgerald's novel. With a glitzy R&B-themed score, it's just the sort of event movie – whatever the so-so reviews thus far – that continues to justify the Croisette's reputation for world-class razzle-dazzle.

Le buzz (out of 5): ****

Only God Forgives

The talent: Danish genre maverick Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, Drive) directs; Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas star.

The pitch: Refn's hot, Gosling's hot, the Thai underworld is hot …. What's not hot about it?

Croisette quotient: Refn's 2011 competition entry Drive gave him a mainstream crossover hit, and if this thriller pulls it off, his international hipster cachet will be unbeatable. The neon-devil poster looks great – and you don't often get to see the fragrant Ms Scott Thomas playing "a merciless mafia godmother". Le véritable hot ticket du festival.

Le buzz: *****

Michael Kohlhaas

The talent: Danish star Mads Mikkelsen; French director Arnaud des Pallières

The pitch: You liked Mikkelsen as the TV Hannibal; now try him as a 16th-century merchant turned bandit.

Croisette quotient: The competition loves a dark horse. Hitherto obscure French director Des Pallières has made little-seen such as Parc, a bizarre John Cheever adaptation. Michael Kohlhaas, from the 19th-century German novella, could be a straight costume number – but seems likely to be something richer and stranger. A sleeper hit in the making.

Le buzz: **

The Past

The talent: Iranian director Asghar Farhadi; stars Bérénice Bejo and Tahar Rahim

The pitch: You liked A Separation – here's another separation, this time with a European touch.

Croisette quotient: Farhadi put Iranian cinema back in the spotlight with A Separation. This story of a French-Iranian couple breaking up stars Bejo, from The Artist, and Rahim, from Jacques Audiard's A Prophet. Probably the most solid auteur package in competition, tipped for the Palme d'Or.

Le buzz: ****

Venus in Fur

The talent: Roman Polanski directs Madame P – aka Emmanuelle Seigner – and Mathieu Amalric.

The pitch: Polanski gets perverse again, in a two-hander from the play by David Ives – about a director trying to adapt the novel that gave masochism its name.
Croisette quotient: Given his chequered past, Polanski's friendly reception in Europe rests on his ability to show that he's still a heavyweight. This competition contender could restore Polanski's former reputation as a provocateur.

Le buzz: ***

The Selfish Giant

The talent: Brit director Clio Barnard (The Arbor), and some Northern kids you haven't heard of – yet.

The pitch: A troubled 13-year-old falls into the underworld of scrap-metal dealing.

Croisette quotient: Cannes loves British cinema in its gritty realist mode, and that's possibly what we can expect from Barnard's Directors' Fortnight entry. She made a brilliant debut with her docu-drama about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. The connection with the Oscar Wilde fairy tale may or may not be tenuous.

Le buzz: ***

The Dance of Reality

The talent: Alejandro Jodorowsky behind the camera, several other Jodorowskys in front.

The pitch: The education of a South American surrealist, by a man who knows.

Croisette quotient: The barmier the better, as far as the fans of this cultest of cult auteurs are concerned. Jodorowsky made the legendarily demented 1970 El Topo but has been missing in action since 1990. This autobiographical fantasia in Directors' Fortnight could be the craziest film in Cannes. Fans will also throng to see a documentary about how Jodorowsky nearly directed a version of sci-fi bible Dune.

Le buzz: **


The talent: Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) directs, old-timer Bruce Dern stars.

The pitch: Curmudgeon makes road trip with estranged son; the kind of story that Payne has made his speciality.

Croisette quotient: Payne isn't the biggest US indie name in town – the Coens, Steven Soderbergh and Jim Jarmusch also have films in competition. But Payne is much admired in Cannes, and you can expect veteran Dern to be the toast of Croisette cinephiles.

Le buzz: ***

Max Rose

The talent: Jerry Lewis. Or as the French say, "Ah! Jerry Lewis!"

The pitch: The cantankerous comedy legend plays a jazz pianist looking back on his life.

Croisette quotient: This one has its own rubric in the official selection: "Hommage à Jerry Lewis" – ominous words to some. Little is known about it, but if you remember Lewis in Scorsese's King of Comedy you'll want to check it out.

Le buzz: *

The Bastards

The talent: Director Claire Denis; stars Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni.

The pitch: Container-ship captain on a mission of revenge. But, knowing this director, done the abstract way.

Croisette quotient: Claire Denis is one of France's most innovative directors. So why isn't she in competition? Especially given her photocall-friendly cast, big names in Gaul. And especially given 2012's furore over a competition dearth of women directors – a lapse hardly remedied this year. Still, this could be the jewel of the often terrific Un Certain Regard sidebar.

Le buzz: ****

Neil Young from Jigsaw Lounge maintains the odds for winners:
to win the 2013 Palme d’Or
nb: films which have been shown to press in Cannes are in bold
- – - – -
9/2  Haroun, Mahamet Saleh — Grigris
5/1  Gray, James – The Immigrant
6/1  Farhadi, Asghar – The Past
6/1  Kore-eda, Hirokazu – Like Father, Like Son
7/1  Payne, Alexander -- Nebraska
- – -
10/1  Desplechin, Arnaud -- Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
10/1  Jia, Zhangke – A Touch of Sin
12/1  Soderbergh, Steven – Behind the Candelabra
12/1  Coen & Coen – Inside Llewyn Davis
16/1  Kechiche, Abdellatif – Blue is the Warmest Colour
16/1  Sorrentino, Paolo – The Great Beauty
- – -
20/1  Ozon, Francois – Young and Beautiful
20/1  Winding Refn, Nicolas – Only God Forgives
25/1  des Pallières, Arnaud – Michael Kohlhaas
25/1  Escalante, Amat – Heli
33/1  Bruni-Tedeschi, Valeria – A Castle in Italy
33/1  Van Warmerdam, Alex — Borgman
40/1  Polanski, Roman — Venus In Fur
50/1  Jarmusch, Jim – Only Lovers Left Alive
80/1  Miike, Takashi – Shield of Straw
Best Actor
9-2 Like Father, Like Son: Masaharu Fukuyama
5-1 Nebraska: Bruce Dern
….. (solo, or with Will Forte and/or Stacy Keach)
11-2 Borgman: Jan Bijvoet
7-1 Mathieu Amalric and/or Benicio Del Toro*
- – -
10-1 The Past: Ali Mosaffa and/or Tahar Rahim
10-1 Behind the Candelabra: Matt Damon and/or Michael Douglas
10-1 The Great Beauty: Toni Servillo (solo or with others)
12-1 The Immigrant: Joaquin Phoenix and/or Jeremy Renner
16-1 Michael Kohlhaas: Mads Mikkelsen
18-1 Shield of Straw: Takao Osawa and/or Tatsuya Fujiwara
- – -
20-1 Inside Llewyn Davis: Oscar Isaac
22-1 Only God Forgives: Ryan Gosling and/or Vithaya Pansringarm
22-1 A Touch of SinJiang Wu (and/or others)
33-1 Only Lovers Left Alive: Tom Hiddleston
33-1 Heli: Armando Espitia
40-1 Blue is the Warmest Colour:
….. Jérémie Lahuerte and/or Aurélien Recoing
40-1 A Castle in Italy: Louis Garrel
* any combination of Amalric and/or Del Toro in Jimmy P. and/or Amalric in Venus In Fur
Best Actress
7-4 The Past: Bérénice Bejo
9-2 The Immigrant: Marion Cotillard
5-1 Only God Forgives: Kristin Scott Thomas
- – -
10-1 Young and Beautiful: Marina Vacth 
11-1 Venus In Fur: Emmanuelle Seigner
14-1 Blue is the Warmest Colour:
….. Adèle Exarchopoulos and/or Léa Seydoux
18-1 Only Lovers Left Alive: Tilda Swinton and/or Mia Wasikowska
20-1 The Great Beauty: Sabrina Ferilli
22-1 A Castle in Italy:  Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi
22-1 A Touch of SinZhao Tao (and/or others)
- – -
28-1 Like Father, Like Son: Machiko Ono (and/or others)
28-1 Inside Llewyn Davis: Carey Mulligan
33-1 Grigris: Anaïs Monory
40-1 Shield of Straw: Nanako Matsushima
40-1 Heli: Andrea Vergara

The round-up of various links covering Cannes:

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

The Hollywood Reporter at Cannes:

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

Matt Zoller Seitz and Kevin B. Lee at Press Play from indieWIRE

the indieWIRE Playlist:

indieWIRE reviews, with grades listed:

Robert Koehler from Filmjourney:

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

The House Next Door at Cannes:

Drew McSweeny and Guy Lodge from HitFix:

Mike D'Angelo at The Onion AV Club:

Cannes Fest at Time Out London:

Cannes Diary from Film Comment:

The Guardian Cannes commentary:

The Envelope, the Cannes Blog from The LA Times:

The Film Center's Barbara Scharres and Michał Oleszczyk from the Roger Ebert blog:

Richard Corliss (though there may be a paywall) from Time Magazine:

Karina Longworth at LA Weekly:

Movieline Cannes Coverage:

Various writers at Twitch:

Melissa Anderson at ArtForum:

Julie Miller at Vanity Fair:

Sukhdev Sandhu and Robbie Collins from The Daily Telegraph:

Alex Billington from First Showing:

Michael Phillips at Cannes (though there may be a paywall) from the Chicago Tribune:

The Huffington Post:

Emanuel Levy:

Eric Lavallee Ion Cinema:

Brad Bevet from Ropes of Silicon:

Fabien Lemercier at Cineuropa:

Charles Ealy at the Austin Movie Blog:

David Jenkins from Little White Lies:

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

I began the day with the bicycling film, "May I Kill U," sacrificing the day's two Competition films, which overlapped their morning screening. I did make an attempt on the 8:30 screening of Ozon's "Young and Beautiful," since it would let out at ten, just as the bicycling film started, but no one in the line for those without Invitations was let in. They were all funneled over to the 60th Anniversary Theater for the nine a.m. screening, which was too late for me. It will have to wait to Day Three or the end of the festival.
The bicyclist in "May I Kill U" is a vigilante London bicycle cop fed up with criminal behavior. He becomes a serial killer executing repeat offenders who incur his wrath. His first victim is a thief who earlier knocked him off his bike and caused him injury. He seeks him out, catching him with an armload of stolen goods. The criminal says he would rather die than go back to prison. So the cop asks him, "May I kill you." When the guy says "yes," he bashes him over the head with the big screen television that was among his stolen goods. His next victim is a domestic abuser. He warns him never to do it again. When he happens upon him again accompanied by his wife with another black eye, he takes him off and forces him into a dumpster and strangles him.
He ranges about on his bicycle, sometimes with a woman cop. She invites him to accompany her on a bike tour to Africa. He refuses at first, but then thinks he might do it. That's before he takes in a Bulgarian prostitute he rescues after killing her two pimps and releasing half a dozen other women they are holding to sell in prostitution, all confined to the back of a van. Not all his victims are hard criminals. He tells an elderly woman, who he catches shop-lifting chocolate, that he must execute her because he knows she has been a lifelong shoplifter with several convictions. His vigilantism becomes headline news. His partner begins to suspect him, leading to a dramatic conclusion.
This wasn't my only satirical comedy on the times for the day. The other was a mockumentary, "The Conspiracy," an American film. Two young film-makers start making a documentary about a semi-crazed conspiracy theorist who takes to the streets with a bull-horn spouting his theories. As with the bicycle cop, he spends a lot of time on the Internet doing research. When he disappears without a trace a month after the filmmakers became involved with him, they fear he's gotten too close to the truth with his research. They continue their project and suspect they are being stalked by a guy on a cool racing bike as was the initial subject of their documentary. Though this was no more far-fetched than the vigilante movie, it was more farcical than credible.
A legitimate documentary on Pussy Riot, "Pussy Riot--A Punk Prayer," was another commentary on the times. This well-polished effort had remarkable footage of the handful of performances the assorted women involved with Pussy Riot gave, as well as remarkable courtroom footage and interviews with the three women who end up being sentenced to two years in prison for their thirty-second outburst in a Moscow cathedral. Pussy Riot is more a feminist movement than an actual punk band. They only had five performances, all unannounced in a public space that they had someone video to put on the Internet. One was in a beauty parlor, another on the roof of a building near a prison. There were actually five women with colorful baklavas over their heads, the movement's trademark, who participated in the cathedral performance, but the authorities were only able to track down three of them. At other performances there were as many as eight of these women all hiding their identity. As much as wishing to empower women, Pussy Riot aimed to reveal the repressive nature of the Russian state. Their trial and the public reaction of outrage shows how extreme it is. The three women are repeatedly put on display in a cage for photographers. They smile and smirk at all the attention they have brought to their cause.
"Exposed" also focused on people who thrive on attention. This documentary on a handful of men and women who like to get naked on stage could have been called "Exhibitionists." The director Beth B certainly had no trouble getting them to agree to be filmed and to talk about themselves. That is their life. They considered their craft burlesque, not strip tease. A more interesting documentary might have been made about people who are drawn to watch such performances. This was less titillating than perplexing.
"Tale of a Forest," a Finnish documentary, was a necessary, soothing antidote to all these films on outrageous behavior. At last an opportunity to sit back and relax and be transported to the natural world, complete with gurgling streams, chirping birds, foraging bears, wandering elk and insects of all sorts. The film was complemented with relaxing music and an even-voiced English narration extolling the virtues of the forest.
Along with all the day's fringe cinema, five films worth, my day was highlighted by a pair of high-quality films that would please any cinephile--David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche," which played in Competition at Berlin this past January, and "Fruitville Station," a Sundance award-winner also this January.
Green's character-driven drama starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch painting yellow lines down the middle of a road in isolated rural Texas was the lone movie of the day with a pregnancy issue, down from yesterday's three such movies. Hirsch returns from his weekend in s sour mood. Rudd finally gets him to confess that it is because he just learned that a 46-year old woman he had slept with just a couple times told him she was pregnant with his baby. That is just one of many plot strands in this most engaging of films.
"Fruitville Station" is also rich in realistic characters and dialogue. It is the true story of the accidental killing of a young black man by a police officer on New Year's Eve on a Bart Station platform in the Bay Area in 2008. The victim had served time for dealing drugs but was trying to straighten out his life. He is portrayed way more sympathetically than necessary, but that the young director Ryan Coogler, who introduced the film to the Un Certain Regard audience, grew up in the area and intimately knew his material. The Weinstein Company will make sure this film gets seen by many, as it deserves to.
Getting in line an hour ahead of time wasn't early enough to see Sophia Coppola's Opening Night film for Un Certain Regard. The complaints that it should have been in Competition by those who hadn't even seen it seem unjustified by its the tepid response it received from the critics.
Once again I biked back to the campground in a misty drizzle, after biking in to start the day in an even harder rain. I wore shorts on the way in and changed into long pants. Lucky I wasn't wearing the long pants as I might have torn them when I took a spill when I turned to go up on the sidewalks as I neared the Palais and was caught by traffic. I didn't realize there was a bit of a curb hidden by a puddle of warm. It was my first fall in quite some time. Fortunately no damage.

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