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The link between film, festivals and people. For movie pros and festival goers around the world.



 



The End

Sat, 24 May 2008 13:42:40 +0000

The Cannes Film Festival slowly finishes and it is already time to draw an outcome of these ten intense days of cinema. I will first remember some films: Je veux voir (I Want To See) by Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Ils mourront tous sauf moi (They Will All Die But Me) by the young Russian director (20 years) Valeira Gaï Guermanika, the two excellent interpretations of Jean-Pierre Darroussin (Le voyage aux Pyrenees (The Journey to the Pyrenees) and Les grandes personnes (Grown Ups)), Les bureaux de Dieu (God's Offices) by Claire Simon.

I will have seen here (yes even if one is not especially looking for seeing the “people”, we are here for that as well) Louis and Philippe Garrel, Luc Dardenne, Jonathan Zaccaï, Stefano Cassetti, Catherine Deneuve, Julie Gayet, Maradona, Cécile de France, Bouli Lanners, Emmanuelle Devos and Chiara Mastroianni, Joachim Lafosse, Charles Berling, Guillaume Depardieu, Jérémy Rénier, Monica Belluci, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Emir Kusturica…

And then, there are all the images off: queues (yes, I always come back to that), the icy reception of Frontier of Dawn by Philippe Garrel, Cannes’ stiff evenings, these women who parade on the Croisette, these people who wait for hours the walking up the steps… and the Cannes inhabitants which play bowls two footsteps away from the Palace.

Cannes is a weird world in itself, disconnected from reality and true life… It is stuffed of stereotypes and clichés, which make that the Cannes Film Festival would not be what it is without them. One will never be able to really apprehend what happens there but by seeing it with his own eyes. I go back to Belgium exhausted (the Festival is far from being holidays!) but satisfied with this first experience in Cannes.

Aurélie




Cannes’ disproportion

Sat, 24 May 2008 13:20:30 +0000

Thursday May 22nd, 4PM, Grand Théâtre Lumière: this is the end of the screening of Frontier of Dawn (La Frontière de l'aube) directed by Philippe Garrel taking part in the Official Competition. The audience’s reception is cold, icy even. It hoots, it whistles in the theatre… (without mentioning the ceaseless movements of all these exasperated spectators running out of the theatre).

The following day, the cinema critics broke out in the press. Frontier of Dawn is attacked in the majority of the daily newspapers: plastically too beautiful (a very contrasted black and white), close to ridiculous in the second part of the film with the “fantastic reminiscences”, with dialogues leading to nothing, a flat film, without real interest,…

Although adhering partly to this opinion (in particular concerning the fantastic treatment that one supposes to be a clumsiness of the director), I still found in Frontier of Dawn what I had so much appreciated in Regular Lovers (Les amants criminels): a touching love story. In this new film, François (Louis Garrel) realizes too late how much he loved a passed away friend (Laura Smet). Then, would the romanticism have gone out of fashion?

In the fire of the action and as the Festival goes on and films come one after the other, criticisms break out more savagely. Cannes is the kingdom of disproportion. The opinions are hyper distinct: one adores or one destroys. Distance is unquestionably missed; the time necessary to digest a film does not exist here… and it is sometimes such a pity!

Aurélie




Focus on the Film Market

Thu, 22 May 2008 19:53:02 +0000

While strolling about in the Film Market, I stopped at the « Cinema from Spain » stand in order to discover and to try to understand all subtleties of it.

What is the principle of the Market of film?
It is an international meeting about cinema. It gathers a broad panel of the cinema professions. Here are producers, distributors, international sales agents, actors, script writers…
We are here to collaborate with other countries and to manage to satisfy the audience. On this Spanish stand, we are five institutions (Spanish Film Institute for Foreign Trade, Madrid City, Ministry for Culture, FAPAE, Catalan film and TV) and we kind of focus on coproductions. It is a rather complex process. And to understand all its subtleties, it is necessary to see the Market on a long time: the cinema industry is not stable.

Are there specificities in Cannes that don’t exist in festivals like Berlin or Venice?
Yes, there are indeed. On the economic side and the politics side. Here we can observe for example an exaggeration in the prices related to some projects.

Which films found purchaser and in which country?
I can say nothing on this subject. All that I can reveal is that we are here to sell films, which are in the Official Competition but also in the other sections of the Festival. We have amongst other things, Ché by Soderbergh, Maradona by Kusturica, Woody Allen's last film or Acne. Now I can’t tell you more, it is classified top secret.

Aurélie




God save the women

Thu, 22 May 2008 19:48:00 +0000

On the subject too seldom tackled of voluntary interruptions of pregnancy, Les bureaux de Dieu (God’s Offices) by Claire Simon moves by its sensitivity and the force of the speech which emerges from it.

Part of the Director’s Fortnight, the film infiltrates the walls of a family planning. We discover there the team made of psychologists, social workers, nurses, gynaecologists… in their work of accompaniment of young girls and older women who find themselves confronted to a nondesired pregnancy.

Near to the form of documentary, Les bureaux de Dieu mixes well-known actresses (Nathalie Baye, Béatrice Dalle, Isabelle Carré…) and actor (Emmanuel Mouret) with young anonymous girls. The film is built on a multiplication of talks filmed mainly in sequence shots, camera on the shoulder. The camera films very close to the bodies, listens and stays on glances and gestures. Nobody comes out from it unharmed: the consulted woman of course, but also the team which absorbs all the sufferings and the distress of the patients.

With an economy of means adapted to this difficult and delicate subject, Claire Simon manages in Les bureaux de Dieu to capture the attention of the spectator. The force of the film is in this multiplication of these meetings and the diversity of those. Whatever the reasons are (the age, the religion, the social background,...), a termination of pregnancy is not an easy test in the life of a woman.

Les bureaux de Dieu directed by Claire Simon (with Nathalie Baye, Emmanuel Mouret, Isabelle Carré, Rachida Brachnie,…)
Director’s Fortnight

Aurélie




Looking for tickets desperately

Tue, 20 May 2008 15:47:14 +0000

In Cannes, the accreditations make a lot of envious. Near the Palace, a true “hunting for tickets” is open. Evening dresses and placards are required. Meeting with one of them.
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Does it really work “hunting for tickets”?
With a placard like this it does not work very well. The most important is to act discreetly, to speak with the people… But day after day, it becomes more and more difficult.

Why do you absolutely wish to see the films here whereas they will be released in very little time?
I’m doing that because it is the Cannes Film Festival and for all the glamour which is related to it.

Are there some tricks to obtain tickets and which are they?
To have a badge (laughs). Initially what is necessary is to know and identify the accreditations. Each colour refers to a profession: distributor, producer… We can then approach people. We have to be daring!

For information, our “friend”, who wished to stay anonymous, succeeded in obtaining a ticket for the special screening in tribute to Manuel de Oliveira while we were talking.

Aurélie




An Italian story

Tue, 20 May 2008 15:42:04 +0000

Marco Tullio Giordana (The Best of Youth) comes back to the Cannes Film Festival in order to present his new film, Mad Blood (Sanguepazzo). This film is about an episode during the Mussolini period through the destinies of two Italian fascist cinema actors: Osvaldo Valenti and Luisa Ferida. An anticonformist couple in public as in private life, they were part of the Salo Republic. Five days after the liberation, they got killed.

This story, which obsessed the Milanese director for many years, is built on the multiplication of the flashbacks during a period of ten years (from the meeting between Osvaldo and Luisa to their shooting). With an aesthetic like one could find in a TV movie that doesn’t innovate much on the formal side, Mad Blood is playing easily and systematically on the picture light’s duality between the past and the present (one is bright and warm, the other one is dark and cold).

With the glamorous Monica Bellucci (who is playing Luisa Ferida), Mad Blood is an historical fresco as Marco Tullio Giordana likes and which the audience who appreciated The Best of Youth few years ago will certainly love.

Mad Blood by Marco Tullio Giordana, official selection, special screenings

Aurélie




The Spots’ War

Tue, 20 May 2008 09:33:31 +0000

Adolescence is one paradoxical moment in life. It is an ungrateful period between the childhood and the adulthood when the body changes and people experience life. Presented in the Director’s Fortnight and running for the Golden Camera (price rewarding the best first film), Acne by Federico Veiroj tells the story of an adolescence through the eyes of a 13 year old boy, Rafa.

For a few years, the interest around adolescence and the fascination caused among directors have not ceased growing. The traditional teen movies are still flourishingly produced in Hollywood but today this genre turns out to be also an international auteur’s tendency with such titles as Ken Park, Water Lilies, Et toi, t'es sur qui?

Acne is part of this tendency. The skilfulness of the film lies in the fact that it tackles all the problems related to adolescence: the body which changes, the parents who divorce, the phantasm of the female body, the awakening and the training of sexuality, the friendships which break. The camera of Federico Veiroj sticks literally as close as possible to Rafa. It scans the in-depth treatment of the spots, the first emotions caused by the girls, the obsession of the first kiss’ perfection.
Like the piano play that Rafa tries to learn, one discovers and learns about life while making wrong notes at the beginning. But finally, the partition will be played without mistakes.

The film is right, tender, funny and moving at the same time especially taking into consideration our souvenirs related to our own adolescence.

Acne directed by Federico Veiroj
Director’s Fortnight / Golden Camera

Aurélie




Waiting, waiting, waiting (part II)

Tue, 20 May 2008 08:48:12 +0000

At the steps of the Festival’s Palace a handle the irreducible persons is bound each day to be among the first at the time of the procession of the stars. I met one of them to discuss in order to better understand what pushes her to wait, wait, and wait.

Why are you staying here?
We do it to see the stars as close as possible.

At what time did you arrive?
We’re arriving everyday at 7 AM. Today, it’s a little bit special; we just arrived at 9 AM. We are staying here from the morning to the evening and the way up the stairs by the film crew at 7 PM.

Can you explain what you are doing during the whole day?
We are looking at the people... This is never boring in fact. We are eight of us to relay each other during the day… To be able to remain at this great place.

Are the actors nice with you who are staying young fans?
Some are nice not all of them. It is a pity. This year, the guests do not look at us too much… Except yesterday (Sunday), the team of the film in competition screened in the afternoon (Serbis of Brilliant Mendoza) was very sympathetic. It would be good if all stars could be like them…

Who have you already seen?
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Woody Allen, the team of Indiana Jones… There are loads of them. We come here each day since the beginning of the festival. We do it year after year.

An anecdote?
There was not yet of it. This year, they do not look at us too much. I remember Sharon Stones or Bruce Willis who waited close to us before the carpet was available…

Aurélie




That’s dancing in the flat country… which is mine!

Sun, 18 May 2008 21:32:20 +0000

Small UFO in the current cinematographic landscape, Rumba will charm the cinema lovers with its old-fashioned burlesque form! By reapropriating themselves the codes of this genre, Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy are playing admirably with these filmic forms for a long time established.

Dom and Fiona are in love and work as teachers in the same elementary school. Their couple is welded by the love they share for their common passion: the rumba. Unfortunately, a car accident comes to compromise the harmony that reigns between them two. Dom is found amnesic, Fiona, amputated of a leg…

Presented in a special screening during the Critic’s Week, Rumba is part the reflection that Abel, Gordon and Romy have about the body and its movements, a homogeneous reflection already started in their previous film The Iceberg like in their short film Walking On The Wild Side. The body speaks and cannot lie! And this body language is preferred to any other form language. For them, the word is not the vector of film burlesque (Rumba has almost no dialogue). The comic effects are thus mainly carried by the physical distortions (they define themselves as clowns) and by a skilful play on the sound, two processes which are not without pointing out the work of a director like Jacques Tati, taking again and revisiting the “mickeymousing” and the sincere and tender “naivety” of the characters. .

Aurélie

Rumba directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy (with Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon,...)
Special screening of the Critic’s Week




Waiting waiting waiting…

Sun, 18 May 2008 21:28:42 +0000

Sometimes in order to see a film in Cannes it is necessary to wake up early, even very early! Each screening being strongly coveted, the various theatres see long very long queues of people waiting. The audience is ready to wait sometimes more than one hour and a half (the time of a film…) before being able (hopefully!) to enter the theatre. And this waiting takes place whatever the weather is, of course…

And all that for films, which will be released in a few weeks (look at Indiana Jones) or a few months. And even more paradoxically, in order to see a maximum of films during these ten days some people leave during the screening to reach another one…

Some among them are equipped. Even sometimes very well organised. Small stool, daily newspapers, sunglasses or umbrella… They talk about the Festival, the films seen the day before, the potentials award winners…

It is that also the magic of Cannes!

Aurélie