MID-FINAL FESTIVAL NOTES ON CANNES 2016

Nicole Garcia's Mal de Pierres (From the Land of the Moon) is just awful. Like Jeff Nichols's disappointing "Loving," it did not belong in the main competition. Marion Cotillard (the star of  "From the Land of the Moon") keeps making bad choices. Sad. As for "Loving," the performances from Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton are outstanding, but can't compensate for weaknesses in Jeff Nichols's script. 

Tunisian-born French director Karim Dridi's "Chouf" is a formulaic crime drama about drug gangs in Marseilles. While the film contain's some watchable performances, it is so cut-and-pasted that it bores the audience. Nothing to see, or learn, here. Still, I did enjoy screening "Chouf" with Bruno Dumont sitting with his wife and son across the isle.

Dumont's Competition film MA LOUTE went over the heads of most critics here, but it contains some of the most refined comic performances I've seen in a long time. The always great Fabrice Luchini gives a beautifully nuanced performance, as doe Juliette Binoche, and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Definitely make it a point to check out MA LOUTE if you get the chance.  

Glad or lucky to have missed Spielberg's "The BFG." That style of animation is creepy. I don't care if Roald Dahl did write it, "The BFG" is the most ridicule-worthy title I've seen in a long time.

Funniest movie title seen in the Marche: "I MARRIED A DUMBASS." Juan Taratuto is the director.  

Shia La Bouf still hasn't learned how to do a press conference. Funny, not funny. 

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis brought sexiness and wisdom to their press conference in Cannes. Sarandon took Woody Allen down a few pegs by pointing out the elephant in the room, namely that he molested a young girl, and that all of his films are about older men exploiting younger, if not underage (see "Manhattan") women. Yep.

Andrea Arnold's "American Honey" has anti-buzz for being a meandering mess that goes on for 162 minutes. 

Ben Foster

Cannes audiences at the Debussy auditorium for the screening of David Mackenzie's stellar neo-western "Hell or High Water" were delighted with the film, and with the presence of the director and two of the film's lead actors — Ben Foster and Chris Pine. The screening reminded me of a similar experience way back in 2003 for "American Splendor," when Harvey Pekar was in the audience. Ben Foster and Chris Pine were very gracious, giving plenty of opportunity for audience members to take there photos. Daniel Bruhl was also in the audience.

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 Free bulletproof coffee at the American Pavilion with free copies of Dave Asprey's book. I had a pleasant chat with Dave about how to beat my jet lag upon my return to NYC next week. "Don't eat airplane food, sleep, and wear blue-blocking glasses." Dave also said it's important to go outside and stand in the sunlight for a few minutes when you wake up the next day after flying.  You hear it hear first. 





May 27, 2016

CANNES 2016 — PHOTO JOURNAL II

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TOWER BRIGHT

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JIM JARMUSCH

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ELLE FANNING

NICHOLAS WINDING-REFN

IGGY

JACOB APPLEBAUMJacob Appelbaum at the after-party for Laura Poitras's RISK. FREE JULIEN ASSANGE

CANNES FROM THE FORT

CANNES 2016 — PHOTO JOURNAL

Cannes26

Cannes16

Cannes22

Cannes1

Cannes30

Cannes28

Cannes34

Cannes6

Cannes12

St. Honoat

Cannes7

HELL OR HIGH WATER

David McKenzie with Chris Pine and Ben Foster at HELL OR HIGH WATER screening.

Ben Foster

Chris Pine

Cannes9

Cannes3

Cannes24

Cannes31

Cannes19

Cannes4

Cannes18

Cannes15

Cannes32

Cannes10

Cannes23

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Dinner w: pals

May 23, 2016

CANNES 2016 — AWARD WINNERS

COMPETITION

Palme d’Or: “I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach, U.K.)

Grand Prix: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

Director (tie): Olivier Assayas, “Personal Shopper” (France), and Cristian Mungiu, “Graduation” (Romania)

Actor: Shahab Hosseini, “The Salesman” (Iran)

Actress: Jaclyn Jose, “Ma ‘Rosa” (Philippines)

Jury Prize: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” (U.K.-U.S.)

Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “The Salesman” (Iran)

OTHER PRIZES

Palme d’Honneur: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Camera d’Or: “Divines” (Houda Benyamina, France-Qatar)

Short Films Palme d’Or: “Timecode” (Juanjo Jimenez, Spain)

Special Mention – Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Girl Who Danced With the Devil” (Joao Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil)

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

UN CERTAIN REGARD

Un Certain Regard Prize: “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)

Jury prize: “Harmonium” (Koji Fukada, Japan)

Director: Matt Ross, “Captain Fantastic” (United States)

Screenplay: Delphine and Muriel Coulin, “The Stopover” (France)

Special Jury Prize: Michael Dudok de Wit, “The Red Turtle” (France-Japan)

DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT

Art Cinema Award: “Wolf and Sheep” (Shahrbanoo Sadat)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “The Together Project” (Solveig Anspach)

Europa Cinemas Label: “Mercernary” (Sacha Wolff)

CRITICS’ WEEK

Grand Prize: “Mimosas” (Oliver Saxe)

Visionary Prize: “Album” (Mehmet Can Mertoğlu)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “Diamond Island” (Day Chou)

FIPRESCI

Competition: “Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade, Germany-Austria)

Un Certain Regard: “Dogs” (Bogdan Mirică, Romania-France)

Critics’ Week: “Raw” (Julia Ducournau, France-Belgium)

 

May 22, 2016

CANNES 2016 QUEER PALM AWARD

The 2016 Queer Palm is awarded to…

Sebastien Lifshitz’s documentary « Les vies de Thérèse »

(Director’s Fortnight)

AND THE SHORT « GABBER LOVER », DIRECTED BY ANNA CAZENAVE-CAMBET (CINEFONDATION)

Statement of the Jury

Cannes, May 21th, 2016.

Heads of the Jury : Oliver Ducastel and Jacques Martineau, filmmakers

Members of the Jury : Emilie Brisavoine, filmmaker, Joao Federici, director of the MixBrasil festival, Marie Sauvion, journalist (Marie-France, « Le Cercle » on Canal+)

This year, the films selected at Cannes testify of the diversity of womanhood – with their strong, independent, different, and subversive characters.

They fundamentally speak of women’s desires – a topic that has for so long been denied representation and has been considered as taboo.

These movies – maybe because it was Cannes’ 69th edition, also displayed a lot of cunnilingus. The Jury of the Queer Palm unanimously wants to thank the directors who have participated in the promotion of this sexual act – far more satisfying to watch than the quick and macho coituses that have been the quite sad standards in sexual representation.

These beautiful women at the festival helped us remembering that we must always fight, that we must constantly confront ourselves, others, and society, in order to build our own path.

After a great deal of discussion, the Jury has decided unanimously to award the Queer Palm to two films that illustrate how two women – one in her teens, the other one on the verge of death– have struggled and succeeded to shape their own life.

The Short Queer Palm is awarded to Gabber Lover, by Anna Cazenave-Cambet.

Gabber Lover is a delicate film in which the director acutely displays her own social and intimate struggles. It is a coming out film, one in which we learn to face our own desires and to free ourselves. We truly believe Gabber Lover will be a source of inspiration and will empower the youngsters.

The Feature-length Queer Palm is awarded to

Sébastien Lifshitz’s Les Vie de Thérèse.

In awarding the Queer Palm to Les Vies de Thérèse, the Jury has decided to pay homage to two souls. The Queer Palm is thus awarded to Sébastien Lifshitz and his moving film – centered around the struggle of a woman, intertwining her private life with her political fights, crossing across times and questioning the roles imposed by society. The resolutely tender gaze Sébastien Lifshitz casts on this woman is a loving one – one that pays homage, yet at a distance – thus fully doing justice to Thérèse’ political fights on the verge of her death.

The Queer Palm is also awarded to Thérèse Clerc, who died on February, 16th 2016 – thus honouring a woman who, in carving her own path, opened up the way for our contemporary fights and reminded us relentlessly that our sexuality can and should both nourish our political fights and guide our commitment to a better society.

 

The Jury is thus delighted to award, for the first time, the Queer Palm to a documentary – one that will mark the cinematographic canon.

 

May 21, 2016

UN CERTAIN REGARD AWARDS — CANNES 2016

 
The Jury and the Winners of the Un Certain Regard Selection© Mathilde Petit / FDC

 

Un Certain Regard 2016 presented in competition 18 films hailing from 20 different countries. Seven of the works were first films. The Opening film was ESHTEBAK (Clash) by Mohamed Diab.

Under the presidency of Marthe Keller (actress - Switzerland), the Jury was comprised of Jessica Hausner (director, producer - Austria), Diego Luna (actor, director, producer - Mexico), Ruben Östlund (director - Sweden) and Céline Sallette (actress - France).

“The jury was honored and delighted to have been charged with a delicate task, given the level of work in the Selection 2016. Every film turned out to be rich in cinematic discoveries and insights into our world, addressing themes of family, politics and cultural differences."
- The Jury

Prize of Un Certain Regard
HYMYILEVÄ MIES
(The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki)
by Juho Kuosmanen

Jury Prize
FUCHI NI TATSU
(Harmonium)
by Fukada Kôji

Prize for Best Director
Matt Ross

for CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Prize for Best Screenplay
Delphine Coulin & Muriel Coulin

for VOIR DU PAYS (The Stopover)

Un Certain Regard Special Prize
LA TORTUE ROUGE

(The Red Turtle)
by Michael Dudok de Wit

May 20, 2016

Cinéfondation Award Winners — CANNES 2016

Naomi Kawase and the Jury have announced the winners
of the 19th Cinéfondation Selection
Winners of the Cinéfondation Selection  © Thomas Leibreich / FDC

The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Naomi Kawase and including Marie-Josée Croze, Jean-Marie Larrieu, Radu Muntean and Santiago Loza, has awarded the 2016 Cinéfondation Prizes during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films.

The Cinéfondation Selection consisted of 18 student films, chosen out of 2 350 entries coming from 548 film schools around the world.

First Prize
ANNA
directed by Or Sinai
The Sam Spiegel Film & TV School, Israel

Second Prize
IN THE HILLS
directed by Hamid Ahmadi
The London Film School, United Kingdom

Joint Third Prize
A NYALINTÁS NESZE
directed by Nadja Andrasev
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary

Joint Third Prize
LA CULPA, PROBABLEMENTE
directed by Michael Labarca
Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela

Awards

The Festival de Cannes allocates a €15,000 grant for the First Prize, €11,250 for the Second and €7,500 for the Third.

The winner of the First Prize is also guaranteed the presentation of their first feature film at the Festival de Cannes.

The Cinéfondation will grant the three winners prizes of an equal value – €15,000 for the First, €11,250 for the Second and €7,500 for the Third – provided that a feature film project is presented within two years of the film award.

May 16, 2016

11,000,000 BY TED RALL

May 16, 2016

Donald Trump has promised to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants from the United States if elected president. The optics of this forced population movement would be horrific, with millions of children who don't remember their countries of origin ripped away from the homes in the dead of night and sent to internment camps. And there is nothing Trump needs from Congress to make this happen. He wouldn't even need to issue an executive order.

Donald Trump has promised to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants from the United States if elected president. The optics of this forced population movement would be horrific, with millions of children who don’t remember their countries of origin ripped away from the homes in the dead of night and sent to internment camps. And there is nothing Trump needs from Congress to make this happen. He wouldn’t even need to issue an executive order.

May 11, 2016

CAFE SOCIETY KICKS OFF CANNES 2016 WITH A STINKER

Cafe-societyNot many audiences bother with Woody Allen movies anymore. Most of those who do will readily concede that Allen “seems to just make the same movie over and over again.” While that caveat certainly holds true for “Café Society” (Allen’s 46th film), the main problem with his latest cinematic frippery is that it is barely even a movie to begin with. Allen douses the audience with so much pained voice-over narration, to explain the gaping holes he leaves between barely connected sequences, that he may as well have written a short book. Still, it wouldn’t be a book you’d want to read. As for humor, there is none. Not only has Allen’s once-cute sense of novelty worn off, so to has any grounding in authenticity. The best you could call “Café Society” is a piecemeal effort by a filmmaker whose day is done.

What little there is of a story is set in the glamor days of old Hollywood when names like Barbara Stanwyck and Errol Flynn meant something. Allen packs the movie with cheesy jazz music (played by black musicians in empty clubs, but by white players in bustling white-owned establishments). He commits a sin against jazz music by using it in such an exploitative way. Talk about a turn-off.

Jesse Eisenberg, the least romantic actor in modern day cinema, plays Woody’s latest on-scren alter ego Bobby, a predictably nebbish New Yorker looking for a new life in Los Angeles. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? (See “Annie Hall” for a better version of this story).

Bobby gloms onto his uncle Phil (Steve Carell), a hotshot Hollywood mogul who is secretly schtupping his much, much younger secretary Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). That’s all you need to know, plot-wise. During his frequent voice-over interruptions, Allen emphasizes what a “dynamic and successful powerhouse” Phil is when the character isn’t dropping names and talking on the phone. If there’s a noticeable lack of screen chemistry between Stewart and Eisenberg, the ostensibly romantic scenes between she and Steve Carell are enough to make milk curdle.

Woody Allen

We get a transparent thematic dose about how the Jewish religion is superior to Christianity because Jews don’t believe in an afterlife. Soon thereafter, a (Jewish) leftist character puts a fine point on the proceedings when he quotes Socrates. “An unexamined life is not worth living.” The character adds, “but and examined life is no bargain.” Either way, “Café Society” is an interminable bore that is not worth seeing.

Chosen as the opening film at Cannes, “Café Society” set the bar so low that it won’t take much for the films in competition to seem far better by comparison.  

May 05, 2016

LA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST) — ROBERT ALTMAN'S "THE PLAYER"

In episode #5, Mike Lacy and I drink "Delicious IPA" (Stone Brewing) while chewing the fat over Robert Altman's unforgettable 1992 film.

Tim Robbins

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