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!

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