Dennis Hopper

I did not particularly enjoyed much of his work but as many people of my generation, who can forget remarkable Easy Rider??? The story, the music, the performances... and Dennis Hopper was outstanding here as well as Peter Fonda. Another unforgettable film is Lynch's Blue Velvet and Dennis Hopper was remarkable together with Isabella Rossellini. Two unforgettable films by the so-called 'bad boy'. But there is a third great film with a very young Dennis Hopper, Giant; yes the George Stevens film with James Dean, Rock Hudson, Sal Mineo, Elizabeth Taylor and him. Three souvenirs that have a special space in my life.

RIP Dennis Hopper.

MUBI - Update

One of my true passions until today is Branding. I invested many years of my career learning and developing brands. I know the power of a brand and had the opportunity to help some companies that had high levels of brand or branding fragmentation. With this background, it is with high surprise that today I discover that MUBI is still The Auteurs... and The Auteurs is MUBI.

From product description I gather that The Auteurs is where we will continue to find excellent movies, while in MUBI we will find more films less strictly curated and will be like a social network, a discussion group, the latest news and critcism... Hmmm. Like they say: The Auteurs is about films, MUBI about the audience. Hmm.

I'm really sorry to say that this seems like a bad case of brand fragmentation (against a good case of brand segmentation) and just hope that eventually brand owners realize the power of The Auteur brand as what was a unique World platform to watch, discuss, read, review, learn and simply enjoy excellent cinema. My suggestion if I was their brand consultant is .... wait! I used to charge three figures an hour to give this kind of advise... so I better remain silent, LOL!

Anyway if you're interested in this subject, more from a marketing/branding point-of-view than cinema pov, check the letter that The Auteurs/MUBI Founder & CEO published today, please go here.

---end of Update--

Some of my European friends have to be very interested in today's news from Cannes. Here is an excerpt from the news at indieWire that you can read here just go down to 11:33 AM.

“Never before have filmmakers had the ability to program, now they do,” said Celluloid Dreams head Hengameh Panahi in Cannes this morning. She helped usher in a new phase for online film library, The Auteurs, which has unveiled a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and re-branded itself as ‘MUBI.’

Under the pact, detailed today at a Majestic Hotel press event, MUBI’s collection of international, independent and classic cinema will be available to European PlayStation3 users. MUBI will be a free, downloadable application that allows anyone with a PS3 in designated territories access to its library. PS3 users in the U.K., Ireland, France, Italy, the Iberian peninsula, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Benelux and Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand will have access to MUBI’s collection beginning in Autumn, 2010. Plans for North America are said to be still pending.

Included in the downlodable offering is the entire work of Belgian/French filmmaker, Agnes Varda (“The Gleaners and I”). MUBI and Sony call it “the first time that the complete work of such an established filmmaker will have been available to watch globally on the Internet.” Additionally, Mexican collaboration, “Revolucion,” which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and will screen in Cannes this week will be available on MUBI on the anniversary of Mexico’s revolution and ahead of its worldwide DVD release. Work from the Coen brothers and Tarantino as well as Latin American directors and restored shorts are among the array of films that will be available to users"

So I know a few friends that if they don't have a PS3 maybe should buy one fast. But don't despair if you can't afford one, the films are all available at the good old The Auteurs site that from today the opening page reads as follows.

Dont' panic... We just changed our name. We are now MUBI. Your Online cinema. Anytime, anywhere.

Now it's important that you update your bookmarks as the new address is or Still, to check and watch Agnes Varda films in one page you have to go to (!) so, go figure, they must be in the transition phase.

I'm really glad to learn that now PS3 owners can now also watch interesting world cinema besides only playing (lol!), hope my particular friends in Spain enjoy the new film distribution outlet as much as they enjoy playing.

Obviously The Auteurs did more than just changing their name to MUBI as with more platforms come more new viewers and more viewers means more new films! Excellent.


This is the ad at Playstation

New Moon

As world premiere of the Twilight saga third installment is getting closer, I finally decided to check the second installment that as many of you already know, I didn't enjoy much the second book. Yes the book was not as exciting as the other three, but the film definitively was. Surprise! I got so involved in the story that I was wondering if that story was in the second book or not. So I checked the book and got hook again so I'm reading the third, Eclipse, again!

I believe that the second installment is a lot better movie than the first, but after checking reviews and viewers comments, I know that some believe both are bad, the first is better or the second is better, which means absolutely nothing new when you're watching popular, commercial and entertaining movies based on extremely popular books.

Repeating myself, I paid attention to Kristen Stewart long before she became the celebrity she currently is and find this actress intriguing. When she finally gets rid of the Twilight saga movies, hopefully she will direct her career in the course she was before Twilight. Still, I'm so looking forward to be able to watch her latest performance in a movie that hopefully will rock my memories, as she plays Joan Jett from the Runaways. So, it's not surprising that what I liked more about New Moon is her performance and I'm sure that's the reason why I liked so much the second installment. (lol!)

The film basically is to kill some time and enjoy simple escape entertainment, unless you know Kristen Stewart before her current celebrity status. If you do, I'm sure you will enjoy her performance here as much as I did.

I'm ready for Eclipse and look forward to continue enjoying this saga as I know the story gets a lot better.

Oops! I'm forgetting something. Do I recommend the movie? Only if you enjoy the books, enjoy the story and wish to have an escape moment.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

63rd Cannes Film Festival Closing Ceremony

After several tries -due to my Internet malfunction- I was able to watch the closing ceremony. My take away is that the best part of the whole festival was exactly learning the award winners as more than one award winner seemed honestly surprised, some acceptance speeches were interesting (the best: Elio Germano), some colorful (Bardem declaring in public his love for Penelope), some emotional (Binoche), one really touching (Haroun) and the surprised Palme d’Or winner was so happy that was a pleasure to watch.

Before I continue here is the complete closing ceremony for those that haven’t seen it yet.

Most news I’ve read today mention that this year Cannes Palm d’Or is a win that will please cinephiles. Honestly to me the news are a: What??? I don’t know about you, but a few years back I decided to seriously follow festivals as a source of excellent films that never will come to a theater near me and if I wanted to continue improving my film collection, I had at least to know the names of the films I had to buy –now- in DVD. Does this honest comment make a cinephile? My answer is: No. Still, I’m glad and looking forward to being able to watch the winner, that was one of my two choices for my Palm –and I didn’t needed any of the two to win a major award for me getting excited about the possibility of watching films that will stimulate my eyes, my ears, my heart, and my brain all together. Films that could be a complete cinematic experience. Does this make me a cinephile? Still my answer is: No.

To me a cinephile is like a scholar, an archive with millions of files with film facts about every detail of each production. When they emit an opinion is a serious Master Class about everything we common viewers are not interested at all and probably will be overwhelmed with the huge amount of information. Will or could they enjoy or approve 2010 Cannes top winner? It’s irrelevant for them, as I’m sure that everything that Cannes shows becomes part of their cinema knowledge, as happens with other films in many festivals around the world.

So, after I poured out my strong dislike about headlines and articles I’ve been reading today that only segment more audiences if not scare them away from watching great films, let’s continue with some of what I find more light, amusing and entertaining news about the Mother of all festivals.

I got the impression that British press is a little bit bitter about what critics and fest attendees considered a strong contender, Mike Leigh’s Another Year that left the fest empty handed. But also because of the winning film late screening, most press writers and/or critics left Cannes without being able to watch the film.

Last year some articles mentioned that Haneke’s The White Ribbon won because the strong ties between Haneke and Isabelle Huppert. This year articles mention that the Palme d’Or winner totally fits Tim Burton’s style. So, I ask: if winners are mostly tied up to Jury President relationships/likes, what’s the role that other jurors play? (lol).

One of the strangest moments I lived yesterday was starting to read in Spanish press about Javier Bardem winning the best actor palm. Articles started to pour while the red carpet event was running and BEFORE the award ceremony started. Leaks?

Cannes (interesting) Trivia

Was reading that the last time Italy got a Best Actor Palme d’Or was in 1987 when great Marcello Mastroianni was honored for his performance in Oci Ciornie. Also -very funny news-Elio Germano’s most interesting part of his speech was cut in Italian news (lol).

Javier Bardem is not the first Spanish actor that wins the best actor Palme, there are other three remarkable actors from Spain that won before him; but what’s interesting is that Bardem has almost every major award in the world, an Oscar, a Golden Globe, two Volpi cups (Venice fest), four Goyas and the only one missing is the Silver Bear from the Berlinale.

Since I found the above news in the media and nothing alike about Juliette Binoche, let me be the one that tells you that Juliette also has almost all the major awards in the world!! An Oscar, a BAFTA, a Silver Bear, an European Film Award, a Cesar, and a Copa Volpi. Only one missing, a Golden Globe where she was nominated three times for Trois Couleurs: Blue, The English Patient and Chocolat.

Haven’t fix the awards post, eventually I will. LOL!

63rd Festival de Cannes Official Selection Awards Winners

Update - Just noticed that I never fixed this post! I'm doing it right now.

I'm ready!!! The ceremony is about to start, as the red carpet is over...

Will fix the post as soon as I get my network ready as believe it or not I LOST my internet connection!!! LOL!!! Boy that was 'exciting' (grrrr).

Think that first I'll watch the video and then will fix the post... not online yet and Canal+ is showing Ken Loach's Looking for Eric, that's strange! Okay, they have stopped and hope will have the video asap. Clips with awards are up.

Haven't seen the closing ceremony video but it's official "I LOVE TWITTER" (already have an account) where I followed a 'serious' twitter: Euronews. Merci beaucoup Euronews, which was faster than any other #cannes twit.

Seems that after many years watching movies I developed a good eye for movies as if you read the post with my only predictions I guessed just from watching videos/clips/trailers right 3 out of 3! Alright, one was a tie that I could never imagined, but I do like Elio Germano and have seen several movies just to watch his performance.

So here are the winners for this year.

Palme d'Or: Lung Boonmee Raleuk Chaat (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Spain, Thailand, Germany, UK, and France, 2010

Grand Prix: Des Hommes et Des Dieux (Of Gods and Men), Xavier Beauvois, France, 2010

Prix du Jury: Un Homme qui Crie (A Screaming Man), Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France, Chad and Belgium, 2010

Best Director: Mathieu Amalric for Tournée (On Tour), France, 2009

Best Actress: Juliette Binoche in Copie Conforme (Certified Copy), Abbas Kiarostami, France and Italy, 2010 (BRAVO!!!!)

Best Actor (tie):
Javier Bardem in Biutiful, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spain and Mexico, 2009
Elio Germano in La Nostra Vita (Our Life), Daniele Luchetti, Italy and France, 2010

Best Screenplay: (Poetry), Lee Chang-dong, South Korea, 2010

Camera d'Or: Año Bisiesto, Michael Rowe, Mexico

Collateral Awards

FIPRESCI Award: Tournée (On Tour), Mathieu Amalric, France, 2009

Ecumenical Jury: Des Hommes et Des Dieux (Of Gods and Men), Xavier Beauvois, France, 2010
Special Mention:
Another Year, Mike Leigh, UK, 2010
시 (Poetry), Lee Chang-dong, South Korea, 2010

Prix de la Jeunesse: Copie Conforme (Certified Copy), Abbas Kiarostami, France and Italy, 2010

Short Films

Best Short: Chienne d'Histoire (Barking Island), Serge Avedikian, France
Jury Prize: Micky Bader (Bathing Micky), Frida Kempf, Sweden and Denmark, 2009

Prix France Culture Cinema: Ronit Elkabetz
Prix du Talent Europeen: Polish Pawel Pawlikowski for his project Sister of Mercy

To check the list at the official site go here.

Day 12 Cannes News

After 12 days we have reached the end. Today a ‘flat’ festival closes after Thierry Fremaux remarkable remark that I didn’t want to pay much attention. Since the press conference the world knew that this was going to be a “difficult” festival. Yes Fremaux warned us, but I was hoping he was just being ‘political’; unfortunately he was being honest. Definitively not the best year for this festival and much less if we recall last year outstanding films that made it up to USA most prestigious award. I believe that this year’s winners will not make it that far. Still, I really hope I’m totally wrong. It’s still very hard to accept that there were no outstanding films in the fest and still want to believe than when watching some of them I will dismiss all this nonsense and will praise the festival.

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Today there is a reprise screening of all in-competition films and after the award ceremony the screening of the closing film, The Tree by Julie Bertuccelli.

Around 8pm local time is the closing ceremony that I’m sure will not be able to watch live (still Canal+ has the clock running, but this time I wont fall for it-besides I know that’s wrong time), but I’ll try to follow live the results.

Serious Notes

The festival highlight for me was not a particular film but learning and reading about a director in prison. No, I’m not talking about Polanski, I’m talking about the invited jury member that couldn’t make it and at the opening ceremony we saw an empty chair. The film director that currently is in a hunger strike and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, then perhaps you should remain in ignorance as I’m not going to tell you. That was and still is the festival highlight for me.

Buzz about winners

From France press reports
Local press predictions, Another Year is the winner, followed not so close by Biutiful.
International press predictions: Another Year winning, followed by Des Hommes et des Dieus.

Best Actor: Javier Bardem, but also strong Lambert Wilson in two films (La Princesse de Montpensier and Des homes et des dieux) and Mathieu Amalric. I really hope Bardem wins and so do many French and international critics.

Best Actress: Major contender is Yoon Jung-hee in Poetry, followed by Lesley Manville in Another Year; some claim that Juliette Binoche’s role is not strong even when performed excellent, and some are talking about an ensemble award for all women in Tournee –mainly because they were asked to return to Cannes today (so it’s possible).

French news from Canada
Palme: Des Hommes et des Dieux; Grand Prix: Another Year; Best Actor: Javier Bardem; Best Actress: tie Juliette Binoche and Yun Junghee; Director Im Sang-soo; Jury Award: Route Irish.

From English written news
Rumor from inside the jury says that no single film has impressed the judges, meaning that there could be spreading of wealth (I find this the most probable situation). Not surprised if top award goes to Poetry. Best film is not in competition, Carlos.

“Most “cinephiles” would like Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s winning something major”. (Really?)

“Most experts say is one of the most wide-open races for the Cannes to prize in years” (True.) and contenders are: Poetry, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives, Another Year and Biutiful.

So, what do I think? I really haven’t got a clue!!! And it’s an eclectic jury. But if I was judging videos/clips/trailers my Palm should go to Uncle Boome new story and/or My Joy; best actor: Javier and Best Actress: Juliette (but I’m totally biased! –lol). Can’t guess any of the other major awards from clips, so I won’t go there.

Not so Serious Notes

Never in my whole life read so much gossip about Cannes jury members. The most outrageous is about Tim Burton not being able to head the jury and the jury from India taking over! Gee, imagine if it’s real… I can’t.

Well, this is it for today and for the last festival post about news, videos, photos and gossip about Cannes.

Sincerely hope that what Thierry Freamaux is telling lately is true: 2011 lineup is going to be really strong!

Latest News (or gossip): These people have been called back to Cannes for tonight's closing ceremony: Javier Bardem, Juliette Binoche, Lee Chang-dong, Mathieu Amalric, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, and the 'team' of Des Hommes et des Dieux... hmm. Haven't left Cannes, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the 'team' of Hors la loi, Nikita Mikhalkov, Kornel Mundruzco. The rest are NOT in Cannes... and if they win something simply will not accept in person (which hardly happens in a festival, much less in Cannes).

Seems the press boycott is over (lol!) as The Associated Press is releasing dispatches... Reuters, not yet (but saw one or two during the fest)

1st Queer Palm (Off) Cannes Winner

No surprises for me as it was obvious that a more gay interest film had to win the first Queer Palm (LOL!), so here is the winner that comes from the Midnight Screenings.

Queer Palm: Kaboom, Gregg Araki, USA and France, 2010

Still, the good news are that the film 'hero' is bisexual and his best friend is lesbian, so I'm giving the film the benefit of doubt. Here is a copy and paste of what Franck Finance-Madureira mentions about Jury reasons to select this film.

"Kaboom est un film complètement queer: le héros est bisexuel et sa meilleure amie est lesbienne, tout cela ne pose absolument aucun problème et la sexualité est au centre même du film, une sexualité fluide et libre qui a beaucoup séduit les membres du jury. Les jurés ont beaucoup échangé sur les quatre très bons films qui se dégageaient des sélections cannoises: Kaboom, Les Amours imaginaires, Cuchillo de Palo, et Tournée que nous avons trouvé aussi vraiment queer."

So finally we learned the films they considered for the award and I'm surprised not to find in this list Picco, so maybe is not gay interest but maybe it is under different criteria (I'll find out when I'm able to watch it).

Read the official announcement at Yagg, available only in French.

63rd Festival de Cannes Un Certain Regard Award Winners

Not long ago the section had its award ceremony and here are the winners that really excited me and perhaps starts to make the awards more interesting.

Prize of Un Certain Regard - Fondation Groupama Gan Pour Le Cinema: 하하하 Ha Ha Ha, Hong Sangsoo, South Korea, 2010

Jury Prize: Octubre (October), Daniel Vega and Diego Vega, Peru, Venezuela and Spain, 2010

Prize for Best Performance: Adela Sanchez, Eva Bianco and Victoria Raposo in Los Labios (The Lips), Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza, Argentina, 2010

The jury presided by Claire Denis did not disappointed (me) by honoring films that at least seem intriguing (to me). Congratulations to South Korea, Peru and Argentina! To read the official announcement go here.

Collateral Awards

FIPRESCI Award: Pál Adrienn (Adrienn Pal), Ágnes Kocsis, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Austria, 2010

Prix du Regard Jeune: Les Amours Imaginaires (Heartbeats), Xavier Dolan, Canada, 2010

This is it for this year.


Day 11 Cannes News

Tomorrow the fest will be over… sigh.

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Not really excited to watch the second installment of Nikita Mikhalkov’s Burnt by the Sun 2 – The Exodus, but I know will watch when comes to DVD. More interesting A Frankenstein Terv by Kornel Mundruczo (remember Delta?) and definitively will watch Route Irish by Ken Loach. With these films the competition is over, tomorrow we will learn who won and reactions to the closing film that I’m curious about mostly because I enjoy Charlotte Gainsbourg performances, Julie Bertuccelli’s The Tree.

Un Certain Regard: Today this section of the Official Selection has the award ceremony around 8:00pm local time.

Short Films: Today the only two screenings of the nine (9) short films in competition.

Cinema de la Plage: Today 1956 Le Monde du Silence (The Silent World) by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle

Quinzaine: Today reprise of Pied Nus Sur Les Limaces and Cleveland contre Wall Street. Later in the afternoon the few awards will be announced in this non-competitive section

Serious Notes

So what’s the buzz about the possible Palm d’Or winner?

According to French press:
1. Another Year, Mike Leigh
2. Of Gods and Men, Xavier Beauvois
3. Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu
4. On Tour, Mathieu Amalric
5. Poetry, Lee Chang Dong

If you feel like watching UK’s Guardian Cannes roundup go here that’s more than the headline “Comfortably the worst competition that I can remember”. Panel gives their opinions of the (possibly) Palm d’Or winner.

This is new for me, the Cannes Independent Film Festival (not related to the official festival) that honors the best of (ultra) low-budget filmmaking. The winner this year is Lovelorn from UK (budget: Euros 200,000), best documentary Daddy I Do (budget: 20,000 Euros). Check the news here.

Not So Serious Notes

Maybe not all fashion designers should go behind cameras as this Karl Lagerfeld short film lacks many filmmaker skills, but if you’re into watching gorgeous model-alike women, how youth have fun at Saint-Tropez (not much different than many years ago when I had fun there, lol!) and excellent production values (even if they’re wasted in a showing a not interesting story) then watch the film here. The film was screened in Cannes at a Chanel soiree.

Well, according to Canal+ the longest applause at a Cannes premiere was for Biutiful with 8+ minutes; the best of the clip is watching Javier Bardem dancing and ending his quirky dance by kissing Penelope… (lol!).

No photo today as honestly couldn’t find one worth putting here. Sigh.

Finally a great Milla Jovovich photo from Cannes Burnt by the Sun 2 red carpet.

42nd Quinzaine des Réalisateurs - Directors Fortnight Award Winners

As posted at the official site here are the award winners in this non-competitive parallel section of the festival

Feature Films

Art Cinema Award: Pieds nus sur les Limaces (Lily Sometimes), Fabienne Berthaud, France

SACD Award: Illégal, Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium, Luxemmbourg, and France

Label Europa Cinemas: Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times), Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland

FIPRESCI Award: Todos vós sodes capitáns, Oliver Laxe, Spain

Palm Dog Award, a Special Jury award this year goes to Vuk, the goatherd's dog in Le Quattro Volte by Michelangelo Frammartino.

Short Films

SFR Award: (tie)
Cautare (Quest), Ionut Piturescu, Romania
Mary Last Seen, Sean Durkin, USA

To check the official announcement go here. So it's over for this year and my impression is that this parallel section of the fest had very little coverage in general press. Maybe is due to a Selection that has nothing really outstanding, new, breakthrough and/or at least, news worthy. The art cinema award winner is a film with well-known great stars (more Ludivine Sagnier than Diane Kruger) that obviously will be must be seen by many -award or no award-, so there are no exceptional news here. Let's hope that next year this section could me more news worthy.


2010 Cinéfondation Award Winners

Yesterday the section that honors short films announced the winners and here they are.

1st Prize: Taulukauppiaat (The Painting Sellers), Juho Kuosmanen, Finland, 2010

2nd Prize: Coucou-les nuages (Anywhere Out of the World), Vincent Cardona, France, 2010

3rd Prize (tie):
Hinkerort Zorasune (The Fifth Column), Vatche Boulghourjian, USA and Lebanon, 2010
Ja Vec Jesam Sve Sto Zelim Da Imam (I Already Am Everything I Want to Have), Dane Komljen, Serbia, 2010

If you feel like reading the press release go here.

On other news, the 6th edition of the Cinéfondation Atelier was considered again a success with 400 meetings -with 110 companies- for projects of the 15 directors participating this year a significant increase from last year’s 300 meetings with 80 companies. Cinéfondation’s Director Georges Goldenstern comments that there wasn’t any “recession effect” as more companies were interested in the section efforts to promote the –always- 15 lucky directors. The Arte award this year went to two directors each earning the full award, Massoud Bakhshi for Khorramshahr and Srdan Golubic for Circles. To announcement/interview go here.

So this is it for this year and hope to see you again in 2011.

Queer Palm News

As we all know tomorrow the first ever Queer Palm will be awarded to a film in competition and we still are not sure of which films are being considered as there is no list at their official site or anywhere else for what matters. Not a really good beginning for an award that’s looking forward to be part of the official festival. I hope that tomorrow when they announce the winner at least they will tell the films that they considered.

On other 'related' news today at the American Pavilion will be the 4th Gay Soiree (ie party). According to Armand Lachance, event director at the American Pavilion, the pavilion has always been friendly! The first party was when Shortbus was at Cannes and since then every year they do it. This year the expects 300 to 400 people as it’s not easy to have access to enter the zone with the expositions pavilions. Hope someone publish some photos, but I can easily imagine some celebrities that are in Cannes and will not miss this party.

Anyway, by late tomorrow we will know who won the very first (unofficial) Queer Palm.


Day 10 Cannes News

Two more days to go and I’m not sure if I feel relief that’s over or sad, but truth is that this year the fest of all fests is not as interesting as in previous years.

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Today a very controversial film in France, Hors La Loi by Rachid Bouchareb that surely will watch not because the controversy but because is sort of the second installment of Indigènes by the same director that was great to watch. Also today a film that seems visually VERY interesting plus with a magical ghost story, Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat (Uncle Boonmee who can recall his past lives) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. By-the-way, at MUBI there is a short film about Uncle Boonmee too.

Un Certain Regard: Today Hong Sangsoo’s Hahaha, Olivier Schmitz’s Life, Above All and again Octubre by Vega brothers. The competition screening is over and tomorrow around 8:pm local time will be the award ceremony.

Cinefondation: Today the last program and at 4:30pm the award ceremony.

Cinema de la Plage: Today Rock ‘n Roll… of Corse! By Lionel Guedj and Stephane Bebert.

Quinzaine: We can say that the section closes today as tomorrow there will be reprises of some films plus the award winners that will be announced today around 7:30pm local time. I’m a little curious about the closing film, Fabienne Bertrand’s Pieds nus sur les Limaces and Woo Ming Jin’s The Tiger Factory that’s also screened today.

Serious Notes

As you probably noticed tomorrow Saturday May 22nd will have screenings of only two sections, the main competition and Un Certain Regard. The fest is slowly fading away and in my opinion unless the big winner is a BIG film, the fest could pass to history as the year where not much happened thanks to what everyone in Europe has been saying: The European Crisis. I don’t agree with them as the current economical crisis could affect productions for next year, not films that started production in 2008 or 2009. Besides GREAT films do not always have to have BIG budgets and when financing becomes scarce its when filmmakers have to use more their creativity and sometimes the end result is priceless and a great cinematic experience.

But I'm not alone when thinking about the current fest. Here some excerpts from articles in English with impressions about the fest.

“Two days to go and the obituaries are in the post. This Cannes, we are told, is flat. It has been low on celebrity dazzle (which has irked the photographers) and low on top-quality pictures (which has irked the critics). (…)Last year was stupendous and so, by comparison, this year stinks. Except that it doesn't – not really. It is still Cannes and therefore embraces both missteps and masterworks, quirky sidebars, furious debates and a great teeming mass of humanity out on the Croisette. This place contains multitudes.” Xan Brooks, Guardian, UK

“As you may have noticed, my coverage of the Cannes Film Festival this year has not been up to par with other festivals or even my coverage of last year's Cannes. It's not that I haven't had the time to do as much coverage, per se, but as the fest goes on I'm starting to feel like it has to do with my lack of excitement, lack of interest, and lack of enthusiasm for this year's line-up. I'm struggling to find great films beyond the ones I've expected to like and I'm not sure whether to say that it's a bad year for films or whether it's the line-up Cannes chose.” Alex Bilington,

Anyway, what’s the buzz about the possible Palm d’Or winner? Not many dare to comment but here are some examples.

- A race between Mike Leigh’s Another Year and Xavier Beauvois’s Of Gods and Men
- Artistic choice: My Joy
- Political choice: Hors La Loi

Tomorrow will find more and maybe will share my prediction based on trailers/clips and my (limited?) knowledge of the Jury.

IFC picks up Copie Conforme!! Excellent news.

Definitively belongs here as Paris Match has an outstanding slideshow entitled “Dans les coulisses de Cannes avec les photographes de Match” with a selection of Cannes photos from the past with the likes of Brigitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Elizabeth Taylor, Truman Capote and more. Some photos are great souvenirs of a long gone era. Check it here.

There is an unofficial award at Cannes that’s called “La Palm Dog” and is given to the best dog performance in a film at the festival. The winner this year is Boss, a Boxer in Stephen Frears’s Tamara Drewe. Gee, even dogs have awards!

Early press headlines about Hors la Loi are positive and let’s hope that ‘people’ reaction doesn’t get worse as the film has been called ‘an offense to France’. Yes there were ‘massive’ manifestations at Cannes streets yesterday.

Today’s photo has real Valerie Plame Wilson and Naomi Watts who plays her in Fair Game. Believe it or not this is the best picture around the net from yesterday!

49 Semaine de la Critique – Critics’ Week Award Winners

Finally yesterday there was no way to follow awards live, so I decided to wait until today to post the winners and here they are.

Feature Films

Grand Prix: Armadillo, Janus Metz, Denmark

SACD Award: Bi, đừng sợ! (Bi, Don't Be afraid),Phan Dang Di, Vietnam, France and Germany
ACID/CCAS Support: Bi, đừng sợ! (Bi, Don't Be afraid),Phan Dang Di, Vietnam, France and Germany

OFAJ (Very) Young Critic Award: Sound of Noise, Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sweden and France

Short Films

Best Short Film: Berik, Daniel Joseph Borgman, Denmark
Discovery Award: Deeper Than Yesterday, Ariel Kleiman, Australia

To check the awards at the section site go here. So this year’s was Denmark’s year with the two top awards going to films from that country. Films in this parallel section of the fest are always the hardest to watch as unfortunately most do not get wide release and many not even get a DVD release. Also I have to admit that are the most 'strange' and not always easy to watch.

Still this year I was not really excited about the films in competition. I was a lot more excited with films out of the competition, especially Copacabana that definitively is possible to watch as an Isabelle Huppert film is always released! (lol!) Also I'm curious about the tire film, Rubber and the good news is that the rights already are sold to USA market, so will be possible to watch it. Last, I have to watch Women are Heroes and probably will not be easy to be able to watch it, but eventually I will.

So, it is until next year for this section.

Day 9 Cannes News

Sorry about yesterday but today is a better day for Cannes and for me.

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Today Doug Liman’s Fair Game, please read below in Serious Nots what I think about this film. Also Daniele Luchetti’s La Nostra Vita (Our Life) and the last film to enter the competition Route Irish by Ken Loach that is a must be seen film for me even when early British critics’ reviews are not on the positive side.

Out of Competition: Yesterday the last film in this program was screened. I imagine that many of you have not much idea who Carlos is, but I do and hopefully I will be able to watch the 5 hours 33 minutes TV miniseries and not the 2 ½ movie version. Yes, I’m curious about this portrait of the so-called Jackal that has broken a no-no in Cannes when screening in such prominent way a TV program.

Un Certain Regard: Today a film that has stimulated my total curiosity, Rebecca H. (Return to the Dogs) by Lodge Kerrigan and I really hope that does not disappoint me when I’m able to watch it. Also Simon Werner A Disparu… (Lights Out) by Fabrice Gobert that French critics say "starts like an American film" but 'fast' becomes more" (lol!).

Cinefondation: Today Programme 2 and 3 with six short films. Tomorrow we will learn the award winners.

Cannes Classics: Yesterday they had the only Lecon de Cinema of the fest (?!?!) with Marco Bellocchio, plus had one movie that would like to watch the restored version, John Huston’s 1951 classic, The African Queen.

Today a film that I wonder if I wish to revisit as really shocked me when I first saw it and prefers to keep that souvenir than erase it today, restored version of Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock. Also, Roberto Rossellini’s 1941 short film, Il Ruscello di Ripasottile and 1973 Titash Ekti Nadir Naam (A River Called Titash) by Ritwik Ghatak. But the one I have to watch is Men Filmen Ar Min Alskarinna (But Film Is My Mistress) the documentary by Stig Bjorkman about Ingmar Bergman.

With these films the program closes today, but I hope that excellent DVD labels like Criterion will be able to hopefully soon release some of these restored versions, so we cinema lovers can enjoy those films again.

Cinema de la Plage: Today Roy Rowland’s 1963 The Girl Hunters.

Quinzaine: Yesterday they had one film that seems visually very interesting, Todos Vos Sodes Capitan’s by Oliver Laxe, plus one of the few with a female director, Alicia Duffy’s All Good Children and last the Rolling Stones documentary, Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak.

Today one gay interest film that calls my attention beyond the genre, Picco by Philip Koch. Also Boxing Gym by Frederick Wiseman, plus the first (of two) screening of short films.

Wish to remind you that this section is non-competitive, still some awards are handled every year, like Label Europa Cinemas, Art Cinema Award and Prix SACD for feature films and Prix SFR for short films.

Semaine de la Critique: Today is the last day of this parallel section and will screen films that are an invitation to Mexican Festival de Morelia, Revolución by many great Mexican directors, especially Carlos Reygadas!!! (for sure will watch it in MUBI as I’m simply dying to watch Reygadas work); also the short film Señora Pajaro by Veronique Decroux and Julio Barcenas.

At 8:00pm Cannes local time the Award Ceremony will start with the screening of the two ‘unexpected’ short films Bastard by Kirsten Dunst and The Clerk’s Tale by James Franco. About 20 mins later the award ceremony will start and will follow it live at the section facebook site, so expect news as they happen. Additional collateral awards will be announced tomorrow evening.

Serious Notes

I’m watching the Fair Game press conference and if you are like me that wasn’t that much interested in an American film about a recent known story, I suggest you watch it as my impression changed dramatically. Yes, now I’m very interested in watching this film that –according to what they say- does not tell a ‘political’ story but a –sort of universal- story about first an incredible working woman and second about her colorful husband. My expectations have risen but I still remember that the director did a terrible film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith… which by the way was the last question!!! (lol!). His answer is acceptable and probably spoke truth.

Talking about the film and miniseries Carlos, some of you have to be interested in learning that in USA, IFC will release the 2 ½ film version and even before its theatrical release, Sundance channel will air the complete miniseries. Also Telluride and New York Film Festival have the film in this year’s program. By the way, American critics write very positive reviews (including the ones I read)… my question: should I worry? Nah, I’ll watch it anyway… even if really is similar to those action movies they mention, like The Bourne Identity (but they say “with more substance”). (lol!)

IFC also got the rights for North America of Xavier Dolan’s Les Amours Imaginaries; the film will be released on theaters and VOD.

As always Un Certain Regard Official Selection will be screened at Paris from May 26th to June 1st and if you’re interested check the schedule here.

The last (has to be) film to join the selection yesterday, Making Fuck Off is a documentary by Fred Poulet who followed the filming of Mammuth by Benoit Delepine and Gustave Kervern and starring Gerard Depardieu, Isabelle Adjani, Yolande Moreau and Anna Mouglalis. The documentary seems very interesting, as well as the film that was at the last Berlinale!

In the eve of the fest coming to an end this weekend I have to say that my spontaneous reaction to this year’s films is that they are not like last year at all. We know that’s hard to really ‘know’ if you’re going to like or not a film before watching, but at least you can feel curious about the latest job of a particular director, about a performance, a story and/or visual imagery. I really hope I’m absolutely wrong and many films from all the programs do ‘surprise’ me when I’m able to watch them, as we all know that the Cannes Selection ‘seal’ is not given freely to any film and let’s hope that this year is not the exception.

I strongly suggest to my photographer friend to check information about JR’s very interesting and complete project. The film Women are Heroes documents his work, but the scope of the project is wider than one film. Check all about the exhibition of this photographer that specializes in “illegal pasting”. Very interesting as a photography exhibition. The film has to be hard-to-watch with women telling their stories, but I’ll will watch.

The Not so Serious Notes

Vanessa Paradis will be at the red carpet during the weekend (probably the closing ceremony) I really hope Johnny Depp is with her (lol!).

The Irreverent News

If you’re into watching -for fun- the Worst Dresses at the fest, take a look at Canal+ slideshow here some are truly horrible! (like the one with an ‘eye’, lol!).

Recently a film that I didn't paid much attention was screened, Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine. Today I found many positive reviews by French critics and press writers. My surprise is that Michelle Williams not only plays the lead but also is a producer. Yes, now I'm interested in this film and to feel better here is today's photo with very nice-looking Michelle walking the Cannes streets.

I imagine that many of you know that if you click the picture you will see it larger (size is small so page loads faster), but in case some of you don't, I'm telling you.

Day 8 Cannes News

No, I haven't forgotten about the daily post, it's just that yesterday was so intense (Copie Conforme press conference) that still haven't recuperated and I needed a break from Cannes.

But today they screened the third and last film that I'm really interested, My Joy by Sergei Loznitsa. Late tomorrow we will start to learn some winners and today's surprising news are a new film in the Selection in the Special Screenings section, Making Fuck Off by Fred Poulet.

On the very light news, yesterday Johnny Depp was in Cannes because Canal+ honored Vanessa Paradis with a very exclusive "diner-concert' where none other than Patti Smith performed.

I will continue tomorrow as usual.

Day 7 Cannes News

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Today the second film that really calls my attention starring the actress that HAS to win the Best Actress award –now I’m sure after hearing what she says about the film plus all the excellent clips that populate the net-. Yes I’m talking aobut Abbas Kiarostami’s Copie Conforme (Certified Copy). Also today a film that puzzles me because of images I have seen and dialogue I’ve heard, but I’m not sure if I’ll enjoy it, Des Hommes et Des Dieux by Xavier Beauvois.

Out of Competition: Stephen Frear’s Tamara Drewe, not rushing to watch but eventually I will; then one that surely will watch, Romanian Autobiografia Lui Nicolae Ceausescu by Andrei Ujica.

Special Screenings: Brazilian cinema 5 x Favela, Agora por nos Mesmos by several directors.

Un Certain Regard: I’m curious about Los Labios by Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza, very curious about Udaan by Vikramaditya Motwane and EXTREMELY curious about Octubre by Daniel and Diego Vega. I’ll check all news about today screenings as I want to learn more about the three films that totally stimulate my curiosity.

Cinefondation: Today this sections starts and Programme 1 will screen three short films. This section of the festival ends next Friday with the awards ceremony, so will be the first awards given in the 2010 fest. If you feel like learning the short films screening during the three days please go here.

Cannes Classics: Today this section will screen a film in conjunction with la Semaine de la Critique, Women are Heroes by JR, a documentary that definitively will watch. Also, 1946 Rene Clement’s La Bataille du Rail (Battle of the Rails) and 1932 Jean Renoir’s Boudu Save des Eaux (Boudu Saved from Drowning), both films are great oeuvres of French Cinema history. Last, 1939 Ket Lany Az Utcan (Two Girls on The Street) by Andre De Toth.

Cinema de la Plage: Another film surprise! Gee I forgot to check yesterday for the surprise films! (lol!) will check today maybe. But tomorrow the section will also screen Women are Heroes by JR.

Quinzaine: One film that have to watch, Des Filles en Noir by Jean Paul Civeyrac. Also Two Gates of Sleep by Alistair Banks Griffin and Illegal by Olivier Masset-Depasse.

Semaine de la Critique: Sound of Noise by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson plus the short film Deeper than Yesterday by Ariel Kleiman. This section will have the closing soiree on Thursday and the awards ceremony on Friday. Gosh the fest is coming to an end soon, time really ‘flies’.

The Not so Serious notes

Juliette looks fantastic in Copie Conforme photocall. Obviously all crazy photographers scream Juliette!!! but also another similar word lunette (lol!) asking Abbas Kirostami to take off his dark eyeglasses. Just to watch so natural Juliette check the photocall. There is also a nice interview video and if you understand French I suggest you switch to that language to avoid the awful simultaneous English translation voice over. It’s very refreshing to watch a very famous actress behaving so natural, ‘normal’ and most of all, being just lovely!

Copie Conforme early positive reviews in English do really worry me, does this means that the film will not be as Kirostami art house films, could be more commercial??? Still, I have to watch everything with Juliette, so eventually will find out if is Juliette's great performance in a romantic comedy or a great cinema experience. Anyway news in other languages also are good... hmm, hope is good non-commercial cinema.

Chopard had a party and news say Lindsay Lohan (looking not good), Paris Hilton (with all her family), Naomi Watts, Meg Ryan were there, but also 'shy' (?) Marion Cotillard, Emmanuelle Beart plus other celebrities.

Just for fun check the video...

The VERY Irreverent - Cannes at Night

Not Cannes Related

Bollywood film Kites will be (finally) released to international audiences and will become one of the widest releases ever for a Bollywood film. Yep, want to watch this one starring cute Hrithik Roshan and yes, Barbara Mori. No, Aish is not here (lol!).

Three Short Films

My other passion was Advertising and when the lines become blur with my first passion, Films, the end result is quite interesting. Always wanted to work in Europe for an European brand. Did worked in Europe for an European brand, but never allow us to do something like this or hiring such amazing directors. Check the short films/long-form ads for Lady Dior, starring Marion Cotillard.

Lady Noir directed by Olivier Dahan (from La Môme fame)

Lady Rouge Directed by Jonas Akerlund (Music video)

Lady Blue Shanghai Written and directed by David Lynch (very Lynch!!)

This video looks a lot better at Lady Dior site.

Part 1

Part 2

Can you guess what Dior is advertising? If you can't just mark the following word to find out. [Handbags].

Day 6 Cannes News

Today @ Cannes

One comment, to write what’s on in Cannes daily I follow the official schedule if they make changes it does not matter as what I’m really doing is sharing my thoughts about each film.

Official Competition: Two movies that have to watch. First Takeshi Kitano’s Outrage with more violence that I could wish for, but he’s going back to his roots. Second, one of the three movies that really call my attention from the whole festival: Biutiful by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu (another will be screened tomorrow and I bet/hope that Juliette Binoche will win the Best Actress award, especially after watching today the arte interview). To not repeat myself about Biutiful please go to the VERY Serious notes section of this post.

Special Screenings: Countdown to Zero by Lucy Walker and La Meute (The Pack) by Franck Richard, the last moved to in-theater screening due to mature audiences rating in France!!!

Un Certain Regard: JL Godard latest oeuvre that I’m sure will be a visually ‘strange voyage’ Film Socialism plus also the latest from Pablo Trapero, Carancho. Both films are must be seen for me.

Cannes Classics: Three films, 1964 La 317e Section by Pierre Schoendoeffer, 1989 La Campagne de Ciceron by Jaques Davila and one restored film that everyone should see eve if we have seen it before (several times) 1979 Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) by Volker Schlondorff.

Cinema de la Plage: A ‘film surprise’! Later we will learn what the surprise is all about.

Quinzaine: Three films that I’m still unsure about them. Año Bisiesto by Michael Rowe; Alting Bliver Godt Igen (Everything Will Be Fine) by Christoffer Boe, and Ha'Meshotet (The Wanderer) by Avishai Sivan.

Semaine de la Critique: Again today Copacabana! From the competition The Myth of the American Sleepover by Robert David Mitchell and the short film The Boy Who Wanted to be a Lion.

The VERY Serious notes

I’ll admit that I’m extremely curious about Biutiful and while watching the press conference –that has too many spoilers that hope will forget when finally able to watch the film- I’m getting even more curious as I’m listening to words like “intense”, almost no dialogue (excellent!), lots of ‘emotion’ (superb!) and Bardem doing the minimum and transmitting the most (awesome –as always-). I’m getting tired (in a good way) from listening to what they say… if the film is really intense (surely is) the press conference totally transmits the intensity. Gonzalez Iñarritu words: “sordid poetic photography” Ouch!! To summarize: Must be seen film for me, even before watching the very seriously-dark press conference. I dare you to watch the video here. One last comment, from what I feel and think after hearing the press conference, I would NOT be surprised if Javier Bardem wins the best actor award. Gosh I’m exhausted as the very first thing I did today was watching this video. Have to take a break to continue.

The NOT so Serious notes

Not many positive reactions to Takeshi Kitano's Outrage, but seems everyone forgot the director roots; so, will not be a film for everyone.

Can't stop reading about Biutiful that has been praised all over... except American critics/buyeres/etc. This only confirms that the film is not as commercial as Gonzalez Inaritu's previous films - great! One American news woman says that the 'expensive' film (about US$45 million) has to find a buyer and she doubts will get one for America. If happens, I really hope the film excels in the big European markets and hope that eventually I can watch it at a movie theater near me, this one have to watch it for the first time in the big screen and the following times (yep seems will be a multiple times watching film) in the privacy of my own home where I can feel free to cry as much as I want.

Today photo from yesterday, Isabelle Huppert.

Aish at Raavan Photocall

Day 5 Cannes News

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: I’m a little curious about Bernard Tavernier’s La Princesse de Montpensier, but seems its style is too classical for my taste. Also today Un Homme Qui Crie by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.

Midnight Screenings: L’Autre Monde (Black Heaven) by Gilles Marchand, definitively NOT my kind of entertainment.

Special Screenings: Inside Job by Charles Ferguson and one of the few films directed by a woman, Sophie Fiennes’s Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow that from clips I’m curious to check visuals.

Un Certain Regard: Today a film by one of my favorite directors Jia Zhang-ke’s Hai Shang Chuan Qi (I Wish I Knew) absolutely must be seen for me. By-the-way, the film name has so many different names that’s impossible to know which is the correct one, but has only one English name. Also today Agnes Kocsis Pal Adrien (Adrien Pal) with what seems a difficult story to watch and David Verbeek’s puzzling R U There.

Cannes Classics: Four films, 1970 El Fallah Al Fasih by Shadi Abdel Salam; Toscan by Isabelle Partiot-Pieri; 1989 Mest by Ermek Shinarbaev, and Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff by Craig McCall.

Cinema de la Plage: Hollywood Don’t Surf a documentary by Greg Macgillivray and Sam George.

Quinzaine: From today’s program the film that calls my attention is Gustavo Hernandez’s La Casa Muda. Also screening Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte and Cleveland Contre Wall Street by Jean-Stephane Bron.

Semaine de la Critique: Today a film that is must-be-seen for me not only Isabelle Huppert leads but also from clips, the music! I’m talking about Marc Fitoussi’s Copacabana. Also Janus Metz’s Armadillo that I gather will be not easy to watch.

The Not so serious news

Not sure who said the following quote, but I’ll be not surprised if was Woody Allen as there are all over quotes from whatever he spoke yesterday. “Getting old is really not an advantage. You don’t get any more intelligent or more generous. My advice is to avoid it!” (yep, was him!) Another that I know comes from Allen: “My brain? That’s my second favorite organ.” All right, I suggest you watch the press conference, is the most amusing up-to-date, but be prepared to hear Woody talking the peculiar way he is (!) which is Excellent for me. Check the video here, is only in English (sans the awful French simultaneous translation voice over). By-the-way feel free to fast forward in the not amusing parts – when Woody is not talking- … Oops! You can’t.

Gosh, the official site just upped the Photocall for Countdown to Zero and guess who was there? Meg Ryan!!! You know what name all photographers were screaming? Yep, Meg! Meg! No idea she had something to do with this documentary but I’m glad she’s in it (if she is, as is not credited anywhere… strange); still I’m sure will not be a pleasant to watch film.

Ahh! Cannes politics... One French newspaperman bitterly claims that Tavernier's movie is not for a festival, belongs to TV... then continues to tell that the film is in the Selection because Tavernier works with Thierry Fremaux at Lumiere Institute. Well, from trailers and clips I got almost the same impression, but definitively I'm a lot more 'polite' just check my comment above. (called the film: classical). On other news about same film, one British newspaper woman 'enjoyed the costume film' but was a little bit boring... (that's exactly what I mean by classic-al-).

Seems that African cinema is well represented with Un Homme Qui Crie. I didn't particularly like the film clips, but today photos from the film look spectacular plus newspaper buzz claiming that is TOO slow (lol!) just got me really interested as awesome visuals plus slow pace belong to my kind of movies!!

It's said that Xavier Dolan's second film got an standing ovation. I'm glad but need no Cannes approval, I have to watch this film that I expect will be visually stunning.

Love to watch videos at Canal+ just for one very special 'thing'... an ad!!! You have to watch the J'Adore parfum ad with Charlize Theron... WOW!

Been reading about what I think are two Beatles film projects, one where Martin Scorsese is involved about George Harrison's life -seems will be a documentary, as is claiming to include 'never before seen' real footage-, and another that will be produced by a crazy British singer I'm not familiar with called Liam Gallagher (sorry but pop/rock music is not my forte). The Gallagher still untitle project will be based on a 1972 book which details the Liverpool band's final years.

To close this section and finally re-publish the post let me share with you about a French film that has the director/actor/producer/writer puzzled because was not selected in any festival selection. Ça Commence par la Fin starring Emmanuelle Béart and her husband Michaël Cohen (both well-know in France, so known that are called the King and Queen of French cinema) is not in Cannes and Cohen is bitter, but Beart will walk the red carpet at the closing ceremony sans Cohen. The film tells the story in reverse and opens with the end of the relationship between leads; film is based on Cohen's novel of the same name. News in English say it's very erotic, ie sexually explicit, which to me means that is a 'normal' French cinema film even when they compare it to Gaspar Noe's Irréversible.

The Great News

Just a few hours ago Michael Haneke was honored with a "green and gold medallion" making him a Commander in France's National Order of Arts and Letters. The honor was bestowed upon him by Frederic Mitterand, France's Culture Minister.

Well, definitively today the fest starts to pickup steam and becoming more interesting to follow. I'm so glad as I was starting to get bored... (lol!). Tomorrow one of the favorites for many -I have no idea how the film became their favorite as there is no trailer and the only clip hardly shows more than a hand- Biutiful by Inarritu...


Today's photo: Michael Haneke and Juliette Binoche smiling and showing Haneke's latest honor.

Day 4 Cannes News

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: Mike Leigh’s Another Year will watch it but with not much expectations.

Out of Competiton: Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Dark Stranger, of course will watch has an excellent cast, check Anthony Hopkins excerpt at the trailers blog.

Midnight Screenings: Gregg Araki’s Kaboom, not my kind of movie; by the way one of the films that will compete for the Queer Palm.

Un Certain Regard: Both movies are must be seen for me, Xavier Dolan’s Les Amours Imaginaires and Christoph Hochhausler’s Unter Dir Die Stadt (The City Below).

Cannes Classics: Wish I could watch restored Tristana by Luis Buñuel! Also today Sam George's Hollywood Don’t Surf and Mrinal Sen Khandar (The Ruins).

Cinema de la Plage: Ettore Scola’s 1982 La Nuit de Varennes.

Quinzaine: Think I’ll watch Cam Archer’s Shit Year because his photographer background, but I wonder if I’ll enjoy the film… the story is acceptable but according to clips, I’m still wondering. Also today Aktan Arym Kubat’s Svet-Ake and Jorge Michel Grau’s Somos Lo Que Hay that absolutely is must be seen for me. Up at official sites are videos with interviews to film directors.

Semaine de la Critique: Rebecca Zlotowski Belle Epine plus the short film Native Son by Scott Graham. Also the most puzzling film for me this year, Rubber by Quentin Dupieux. Photos and videos are up at the official site.

The Not serious news

After browsing around I reached the conclusion that yesterday was not an interesting day as there are not many 'relevant' news. The most 'interesting' piece of information I found today is that Woody Allen says that Carla Bruni is "very theatrical" and yes she's doing 'something' in his new film. Then American critics liked Stone's Wall Street 2 and call it entertaining... but there was something "missing" that no one put to words.

At Woody Allen's film red carpet there were a lot of 'celebrities' that suddenly are at Cannes, but I can understand that everyone has to watch the latest Allen film that early buzz says that the best performance belongs to Sir Anthony Hopkins.

In this red carpet moment we see Aish with her mother.

Day 3 Cannes News

Today @ Cannes

Official Competition: The Housemaid by Im Sang-soo, the remake of Korean cinema milestone film by Hanyo, remakes are remakes not much more, but from trailer and clips seems visually stunning.

Out of Competition: Premiere of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Photocall with Oliver Stone, Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan is up at fest site. If something I'm really curious about this film are performances by the young actors as previous work is very good (I'm talking about LaBeouf serious works and extraordinary Mulligan's performance in An Education).

Special Screenings: Visconti's restored Il Gattopardo, gosh wish I could see it again. Abel by Diego Luna, will watch with no expectations. Nostalgia de la Luz by Patricio Guzman, must be seen for me and I know will be hard-to-watch even when is a very poetic film.

Un Certain Regard: Another must be seen for me Romanian film Aurora by Cristi Puiu. Also, Chatroom by Hideo Nakata.

Cannes Classics screens restored 1946 Au Petit Boneur (Happy Go Lucky) by Marcel L'Herbier and yesterday's screening was restored version of infamous Babenco's Kiss of the Spiderwoman.

Cinema de la Plage has a puzzling documentary The Two Escobars by Jeff and Michael Zimbalists; Escobar and soccer, hmm will watch when comes to cable.

The Atelier of the Cinéfondation meetings opened this morning; shorts programs start on Wednesday May 19 until Friday 21 when they have the award ceremony. By the way, the Cannes Shorts competition starts and ends on Saturday, May 22.

Quinzaine: Today two films that I'm curious about Quillevere's Un Poison Violent and Lerman's La Mirada Invisible. Also Berghe's Little Baby Jesus of Flandr.

Semaine de la Critique: Cheol-soo Jang's Bedevilled and the short film Vasco by Sebastien Laundenbach.

The Not so serious notes

Still very handsome Alain Delon talks about Visconti's Il Gattopardo with film clips plus old footage from when film won the Palm d'Or at Canal+!!! s Also very young Claudia Cardinale. Click the right video or you will end up watching nonsense by Eva Longoria (lol!)

This should be more serious but I'll leave it here. Is about the Jury press conference and I do agree with Cecile Magne from Check the comments and video here.

Hotel Majestic has up at their youtube site their version of the other Cannes fest opening, the one that happened at night, la soirée officielle d'ouverture du 63è Festival du Film de Cannes. Check it here.

India Pavilion at Cannes opened to showcase the country's cinema to the world audience. You know which movie had NO poster exhibit inside the pavillion? Yes, Udaan by Vikramaditya Motwane that's in competition for the Palm d'Or. Talk about omissions (or cinema politics?), this one is remarkably unaccepted even when the pavilion main interest is to promote India as a film destination.

According to what I read the Cannes Marche opened last night with never seen before fireworks display sponsored by China Movie Channel (from China, hmm probably true never seen fireworks display); what marveled me are the unofficial figures (source is not official): 1,500 screenings -65 in 3D-, 4,500 projects on offer and films combined, 450 international sales agents licensing films to 2,500 distributors from some 100 countries doing business to a tune of approximately 1 billion US dollars.

To continue learning about those A and B-movies that populate the Cannes Marche check this 7 min video with info about films like Titanic 2, Cinderella 3 (a deer!), vampire, zombies, etc. etc.

Plus Information about Films

If you want to watch clips from Manoel de Oliveira's Angelica check article and video at arte site here.

Not Cannes related

Marion Cotillard and Colin Farrell (!?) in a new David Cronenberg film, Cosmopolis. An Irish-Italian coproduction. Hmm!

So this is for today. Let's close by saying that today English Cannes related articles abound in the net, it took them one day to start pouring out in tons. So, it's not the boycott (remember the news boycott??) it's just that they take their time.


Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton films have always his special unique visual and storytelling style and this film is no exception as is visually rich plus has a story told a la Burton. The bad news, I didn't enjoy the story, most performances and I almost fall asleep in the boring parts.

Not long ago I admitted that since childhood Alice in Wonderland is THE one children story that scared me the most, so it took me lots of courage to decide to watch this film that I had to watch because yes, I have to watch everything with Johnny Depp. After so much anxiety I was so disappointed (LOL!) as the 'sequel' to Alice in Wonderland is not scary at all, on the contrary, is pointless and boring.

Tells about Alice second visit to Wonderland. Now a young woman about to unwillingly engage to a Lord in a fixed for convenience marriage. She literally escapes to Wonderland before answering the marriage proposal. While in Wonderland no one is sure if she's the right 'Alice', not even her, not even us viewers as there are many story pieces that are the same as the original story but soon enough characters start doing and talking 'new' things. Confusing? Yeah, maybe more than a little; but the real problem is the new story is not interesting and even silly.

The good news, the film is visually superior even to Avatar (like someone said somewhere and I definitively agree) the imaginary world is visually fantastic and I just imagine how it look in 3D as I watch in plain old good 2D. After my disastrous experience with Avatar I'm not rushing to watch every single movie that comes in 3D as is not really worth it. Then I loved Johnny Depp performance as a really crazy Mad Hatter, plus Alan Rickman and Stephen Fry voice acting were really good.

I'm sure that many will not like the film, some will be in the middle and others will love it. All right I'm cheating as I read many critics' and viewers' comments and that's exactly the behavior; me, I'm in the middle, I don't hate it but I didn't like it and believe me I wanted to like the movie as the characters pictures in the film promotion looked unbelievably good.

Do I recommend the film? No, if you want to have a good escape entertaining moment. Yes if you need to watch everything with Johnny Depp. Yes if you like visually fantastic films and do not care much about the story (this sounds just like Avatar - hmm, hope is not a 3D trend).


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Day 2 Cannes News

After browsing all over I found that articles in English are scarce while in other languages abound. So let’s try to do a summary.

The Serious News

As we all know today is when the festival really starts with the screening of the first film in competition, Tournée (On Tour) by Mathieu Amalric, a film with positive reviews that from trailer and clips I get the impression that’s going to be ‘gloriously decadent’ and until I watch it I’ll doubt that’s a comedy. Also today Rizhao Chongquing (Chongqing Blues) by Wang Xiaoshuai. Both photocalls are up at the Cannes official site and if you wish to watch them go here.

Manoel de Oliveira opens Un Certain Regard with his latest oeuvre O Estranho Caso de Angelica (Angelica) and the famous Portuguese director was all over the news as the only man in the world that yesterday had an audience with the Pope and later -a few miles away from Vatican city- was greeting Gilles Jacob. But the second film in this section is none other than Marţi, după Crăciun (Tuesday, After Christmas) by Radu Muntean, another must be seen film for me thanks to my true passion for Romanian cinema.

Parallel section Director’s Fortnight opens today with the world premiere of Benda Bilili! the documentary by Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye about “the world’s most famous disabled music band” with his quirky joke: “this is the festival of canes!”. Also 2010 Carrosse d’Or winner Agnes Varda’s Lions Love… (And Lies) will be screened as part of the opening day.

Semaine de la Critique officially opens with the Special Screenings film Le Nom de Gens (The Names of Love) by Michel Leclerc , but the film Sandcastle by Boo Junfeng is opening the competition and also today the short film Love Patate by Gilles Cuvelier. Photos and information will be at their official site from Friday, May 14.

If I was in Cannes definitively I would not go to a party tonight, instead I’ll go to enjoy watching the restored Fred Zinnemann’s 1953 film From Here To Eternity shown as part of the Cinema de la Plage program.

The Not so serious news

Wasn’t until today that I found out what Aish is doing in Cannes and I’m so glad to find that she has a new film that’s being promoted at Cannes, Raavan also staring Aish husband. From the plot summary I know I will like the movie that definitively is must be seen for me.

American TV Today show is in Cannes and Matt has a nice-to-watch interview with Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe that you can check at the show site. Speaking of Robin Hood, reviews headlines tend to not be positive, but who cares as this is film that many of us will watch no matter what critics say.

Oops, was forgetting the news about the gigantic poster unveiled at Cannes for Jack Black's version of Gulliver!!! I noticed the film news because the poster is really HUGE!!! (lol!) If you want to check this film and the other A or B-movies that marketing brings to Cannes streets check some pics here.

This is it for this morning; let’s see what happens when dusk arrives.


Aish at Tournee premiere red carpet.

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