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



 



Small change in the dates for the 2018 Festival de Cannes: opening on tuesday May 8

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 20:08:38 +0000

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Festival de Cannes 2018 © Valery Hache / AFP

The 71st Festival de Cannes will take place from Tuesday, 8th May to Saturday, 19th May 2018. It will start one day earlier than in previous years, but will run for exactly the same length of time.

 

The opening will therefore take place on the evening of Tuesday, 8th May and the awards ceremony will be on Saturday, 19th May.
 

"Following 2017’s anniversary edition, the Festival is beginning a new period in its history," says Festival President Pierre Lescure. "We intend to renew the principles of our organisation as much as possible, while continuing to question the cinema of our age and to be present through its upheavals."
 

This new schedule will allow us to rebalance the two weeks of the event and to bring new energy to the proceedings.

What is more, starting on a Tuesday will allow us to hold an additional gala evening before the Festival weekend and to organise previews of the opening film throughout France.

Finally, bringing forward the announcement of awards by one day, to Saturday evening, will increase its prestige, while at the same time giving the closing film better exposure. 

 



Interview with Actress/Director Karen Allen @ 70th Annual Cannes Film Festival.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 16:05:53 +0000

Actress Karen Allen has been acting for over 35 years in commercial film and theater. With some of her most renown characters being Katy from 'Animal House' (1978), Marion Ravenwood from 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' (1981) and 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' (2008), Jenny Hayden from 'Starman' (1984) and Claire Phillips from 'Scrooged' (1988), she has played hundreds of roles in film, TV and theater. An award winning actress and household name with a voluptuous career already behind her, Karen is only just getting started. Although she has directed theater for the past ten years, she has now donned the film director's hat and loves it. Her debut short film is the adaptation of a short story by author Carson McCullers called 'A Tree A Rock A Could', which held its international premiere in short film competition at the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival. Audiences have raved about the film since, which has already won its first prize as Best International Short at the 2017 Manchester International Film Festival (MANIFF). I sat down with Karen Allen and her producer Diane Pearlman at the American Pavilion in Cannes where we spoke at length about 'A Tree A Rock A Cloud'. They both had much to say about the experience of making their first film together, as well as attending the Cannes Film Festival. Actress/director Karen Allen and producer Diane Pearlman @ 70th Cannes Film Festival.   You've been acting for many years. What made you decide to make this short film your film directorial debut? KAREN: I've been directing for about ten years but in theater not in film. 'A Tree A Rock A Cloud' has been on my mind for a number of years actually, because it's a story I know really well. It goes back to my early twenties when I was a big Carson McCullers fan. I've read her entire body of work and this little story jumped out at me and has stayed in my mind year after year. I think there was a brief time I thought I might do something with it on stage with another shorter piece. Here you have Carson McCullers writing about love through the voice of a male character and there's another piece I like written by a male writer where he's writing about love through the voice of a female character and I thought they'd be interesting to put together on stage, but that never came about because I never got the chance to focus on it. The idea of the short film came to me because I found the location. I would drive by this old run down cafe all the time and thought, “that looks like the place I've pictured in my mind where this story takes place.” I drove by it again and again over the years but I never stopped to go in. First, because it a was a kind of scary looking place and, second, because I was afraid to see what it looked like inside; I thought that if it looks the way it should for the story, I would finally have to take that next step further. KAREN CONT'D: One day, I pulled up and I walked in. It looked exactly the way I thought it would look inside! Within the next year, I was sitting with a friend of mine who is a producer and he asked me, “What is the thing you really want to do that you haven't done yet?” And I said, “I think I'd like to direct a short film that would allow me to see whether or not I really want to move in that direction.” I knew after having worked with many first time directors that I didn't want to do a feature as a first thing because I've seen that deer in the headlights look on their faces. I've seen men and women weep and have such a nervous breakdown on set that I didn't know if we were going to make it to the next day. I thought, “I don't think that's really the best way to begin directing.” I thought I'd like to begin with something very simple where I'm not setting such a huge task in front of myself that I'm terrified. KAREN CONT'D: There are ten actors in this piece but only three of them speak and we were 85% in the one location. I thought, “this is the first piece for a starter film.” I knew two actors who I thought would be really[...]



Video - Clint Eastwood's Cinema Masterclass in Cannes 2017

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 16:32:23 +0000

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Clint Eastwood © Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP

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CLINT EASTWOOD, who was President of the Jury in 1994, is in Cannes from May 19th to 21st. On the 20th he was at the Debussy Theatre to present the restored copy of Unforgiven, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Festival with Warner. On the 21st, he inaugurated the 70th ANNIVERSARY MASTERCLASS with a discussion in the company of American critic Kenneth Turan in the Buñuel screening room. The legendary actor and director freely commented on his films, childhood and beginnings. Several standing ovations electrified the room.

 

 

 




Cannes out of competition "Demons in Paradise" chronicles civil war in Sri Lanka

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 23:15:32 +0000

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On May 24 at the Cannes Film Festival, a daring film by filmmaker Jude Ratnam was screened out of competition  - Demons in Paradise. In a unique document,  Ratnam presents the historical context of the unrest between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese in Sri Lanka who were favored by the colonial oppressors, the British. Ratnam revealed that he can be ostracized by both sides of the civil war in Sri Lanka as a result of making this film.

Even when Sri Lanka was granted independence in 1948 from the British  there was continual strife against the minority Tamils by the Singhalese with riots and mass murder. In return, the terrorist organization “Tamil Tigers”  fought for nearly 25 years  until a cease fire agreement was reached.

In 1983, 100,000 lives were lost and many of the Tamils became refugees including the filmmaker who left Sri Lanka when he was five and moved to Canada. The massacre of the Tamils  began on the red train line. What turned out to be all out attacks on the Tamils resulted in an equally bloody revenge by fascist factions within the Tamil Tigers.

It is with this background that Ratnam explores this tragic history. He begins with historic footage of the Tamils during the British colonial era who were forbidden to speak their own language. A symbol of unification for the country was the train from the north to the south of the island, today the Kelani Valley railway line that runs through Columbo District to Yatiyanthota and Opanayaka. The old railway was used to service the rubber plantations owned by the British. (official trailer)

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Ratnam visits with old neighbors who might have remembered him as a child, meeting people from both sides of the civil war that reveal that it was a senseless conflict where so many lost their lives and so many were displaced.

Ratnam’s candid film style is direct cinema and interviews and he claims he is the only filmmaker to investigate this history from within the country. In one especially vivid encounter he meets with a man who among others was ordered by the Sri Lankan government to destroy the train tracks with their bare hands, a job that was extraordinary hard labor. The abandoned train parts are shown in the film as vestiges of the colonial era. The old train lines have been completely removed though there are indentations and imprints remaining on the ground.

Ratnam attended film school in Sri Lanka. To make this film, he met a French team of producers, editors and writers including Julie Paratian of Sister Productions, as well as Tamil and Singalese backers. Other important individuals who inspired the work of this film were Raoul Peck from the Fémis film school in Paris, and members of the ARTE Documentary Unit. Thierry Frémaux chose this important film to be screened at Cannes. 

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Julie Paratian,Jude Ratman,Isabelle Marina,Jeanne Oberson, and Dharshan Rajkumar at Cannes premiere May 24.©Moira Sullivan

 

Moira Sullivan , FIPRESCI

Filmfestivals.com

May 24, 2017




Cannes. Or Can't.

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 06:25:18 +0000

Ex-patriate Novelist and discriminating Cinephile P. Lipari comments on Cannes and overrated directors from the backwoods of Brittany

Sounds like the usual Cannes dreariness.  Do you think they do it deliberately?  Go out of their way to pick the "winners" that will piss off as many people as possible?  I have never followed Cannes with any assiduity, but my impression is that its "winners"--for example, of the Golden Masturbation Palm--are even more pathetic than those of the Oscars.  Even back before I lost my passion for cinema, I could not take those assholes seriously.  (They booed L'AVVENTURA back in the day, and then, even after Antonioni became one of the gods of cinema, they booed L'ECLISSE.  Enough said for me: though I could say a lot more, and their history is long and extraordinarily demented.)  I know you love your film festivals, but most of them sound far more interesting, and worthwhile, than these bozos.  I hope you have better fun at the next one.

And may I say a word about Todd Haynes?  We should start a competition, you and I: Who is THE least talented filmmaker inHollywood (or Trumperica) today?  I know: the competition would be murderous, and picking a winner would be a very tough slog; and as long as Chris Columbus continues to breathe, any other competitor will have an exhausting time winning that Golden Shower Palm.  But Todd would definitely be in the running.  His lack of talent is truly ghastly.  Exactly eight days ago one of my cable channels started broadcasting the much-lauded six-hour mini-series MILDRED PIERCE, from his pen and eye; and because I have a great interest in James M. Cain, I watched the first two hours (of six.  I must repeat that yet again: six.  Can you believe it!  Six hours of Todd Haynes!).  Kate Winslett is absolutely brilliant as Mildred (which is no surprise: she is the real thing, as opposed to so many); but the "film" is still appalling.  Haynes doesn't know where to put a camera, where or how to move it, where or how to cut, so he makes up for his staggering deficiencies with arty frou-frou.  Hey!  Let's shoot a meaningless scene through flowers!  Hey!  Let's deliberately put obstructions in the way so we can't see the people, can't even see Winslett (the only thing truly worth tuning in for), and maybe people won't be able to figure out how atrocious my script is.  James M. Cain was one of the tautest and tighest writers who ever pecked at a typewriter; and he must be puking in his grave even now.  I did not watch the middle two hours last night, despite Winslett.  Another Todd Haynes triumph!

And may I also say aword about Michael Haneke?  The word is: VOMIT! And may I say a third word about the egregious D Hoffman?  Oh, hell: forget it.

But in Joaquin Phoenix we finally have a real talent, to go along with Kate.  He has been wowing me, very quietly, for years; and did you ever happen to catch THE MASTER, that film from another fantastically overrated filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson?  The Master is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (are you as sick of these triple-barreled names as I am?), but it is Phoenix's film.  He is devastatingly good.  He is usually devastatingly good; and yet he never seems to be nominated for anything.  Maybe he just doesn't draw enough attention to himself, shoes notwithstanding.  I would take him over Dustin a thousand times over.  I would take him over Philip S as well.  Oh, well: at least he did win the Golden Dingbat at Cannes.

And on a personal note: what happened to you?  Where are you now?  Back in Pest-Buda, I assume.  I know you always think about coming here after Cannes and never do, but this time you seemed closer to it than in previous years and I was looking forward to our long and exhaustive dissections of Le Kinema.  Maybe next year.

If you insist on tormenting yourself with the CANT Film Festival…

P

Bretagne, France




Interview With Kayvan Mashayekh About PGA "Producers Without Borders" @ 70th annual Cannes Film Festival

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 16:22:36 +0000

  PGA producer Kayvan Mashayekh  PGA “Producers Without Borders” started in Cannes three years ago by PGA member Kayvan Mashayekh and the general manager of The Royal Film Commission of Jordan Geroge David. The event is sponsored by The Royal Film Commission of Jordan.   After having helped to cast the various panelists myself for this year's 3rd annual PGA PWB edition, I interviewed Kayvan. Here is what he had to say:   How did the PWB panel begin 3 years ago and what is the aim? KAYVAN: PWB began over a casual dinner conversation at Pastis four years ago during the Cannes Film Festival with my dear friend and colleague, Mr. George David of The Royal Film Commission of Jordan. I was frustrated over the fact that there were so many filmmakers running around making the same mistakes I made when I was first starting out and no one was there to help them through the mine field of making a film. I created Producers Without Borders as the step-by-step collaborative process of how to launch your film from concept to distribution with the proper team of creative professionals. Born out of my own challenges of how to successfully produce an international film across multiple international territories, it is wholly based on my own struggles in finding answers to questions that no one at the time was willing to help me understand. Since film schools are primarily focused on teaching the craft theoretically, nothing can properly prepare someone to embark on a film venture other than hands on experience. My aim is three-fold for my panelists as well as my audience.    KAYVAN CONT'D: For my panelists, my goals are: 1. For them to share their vast knowledge unselfishly with people who never have access to their expertise, but desperately need their wisdom and experience to guide them forward productively. 2. To engage with their co-panelists to work on problem areas in the film business that are begging for adaption to a more cohesive working environment. 3. De-mystify and be disruptive in eliminating unnecessary middle men that cloud the experience and damage the reputation of a declining business model as the industry shifts rapidly from the traditional old school theatrical model to multi-platform digital distribution outlets with collapsing release windows.   KAYVAN CONT'D: For my audience, my goals are: 1. A.B.L….always be learning! Take on a proactive approach in educating yourself and constantly ask questions about areas filmmakers know nothing about from people who have walked the line. 2. Realize the value of collaboration and how to put together a proper team. The Producers Guild of America is ALL about building your team and I’m proud to be a member of a guild that has helped me so much in my development as a filmmaker. 3. Learn what not to do, as much as what you are supposed to do based on what someone else tells you, you should. You can only reach your goals through your own path of conquering the challenges that lie in your path…that requires what I call, the 3 P’s…Persistence, Passion and Perseverance!   You are on the PGA Middle East division. Most people don't know there is one. Can you speak about it? KAYVAN: I’m The MENA Representative for The Producers Guild of America. Basically, as a member of our International Committee, I am tasked with the objective of promoting, nurturing and developing collaborations with other producers in the talent rich region in the hopes of creating a window of opportunity to work on projects with our guild members. Our primary and most important affiliate in the entire region is The Royal Film Commission of Jordan, and had it not been for the stellar support of my colleague there, (George David), over the past 8 years, the bonds that have tied us would never have lasted that long.   This year at Cannes you had the PWB panel over two days. What kinds of subjects [...]



Raymond Depardon's "12 Days" looks at the rights of patients at French psychiatric institutions

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 23:00:08 +0000

Screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival on May 25, the documentary 12 Days is made by the award winning director Raymond Depardon and producer and sound editor Claudine Nourgaret. This film explores a French law passed in 2013 that requires a person involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital to appear before a judge within 12 days with counsel. These “liberty and custody judges” can rule that the person remain incarcerated and be seen every six months thereafter. Depardon visits the Vinatier Psychiatric Hospital in Lyon where he originally comes from, an hygienically scrubbed modern mental health care facility. Thick walls and doors and the latest state of art equipment are visible in a well-staffed care facility. The different incarcerated individuals who appear before the judges have various difficulties ranging from punching someone, to killing a parent or an inability to take care of their children. In the USA, involuntary incarceration is 72 hours and must go to court if it is to be longer. In France, the freedom for an individual to speak on his or her behalf has been remanded to the courts. The 12 days of involuntary incarceration is not based on the decision of a psychiatrist who is not present at these hearings to keep patients longer than 12 days. However, in every case a patient is remanded to the judge, a psychiatrist has issued an opinion about whether the person should remain or not. The individual then has the right to appeal the decision. Raymond Depardon is the first filmmaker to document this new law and was given permission to film in the hospital with the patients and judges in Lyon, a total of 72 hearings with 10 cases on camera.  According to Depardon there are 250 cases a day, and 92,000 a year that are remanded to the liberty judges (see photo above). The style of 12 Days is cinema verité, or direct cinema ,with no intrusion by the filmmaker, no questions asked those who are filmed.  The intention of the filmmaker was to film the patient and judge from two separate cameras, with a third in wide angle. This decision was made to remain impartial to the proceedings. Depardon has succeeded in this regard. The judges seem very capable, and the individuals are clear about defending themselves in the procedure. What seems to be at stake, therefore, is the law, not the judges or the individuals. The individuals who speak on their own behalf are questioned by the judges about their behavior that brought them to the hospital. In every case, the judge decides to keep the individual for an additional period. Every person says they will appeal the decision or has their counsel speak on their behalf about an appeal. The 10 cases are amazingly similar.  While it is clear that it is left up to the spectator to evaluate these proceedings, there is no analysis of the law, just the effect of the law. The result is a sober portrait of people caught in the wheels of legal machinery. Thierry Frémaux, Raymond Depardon et Claudine Nourgaret , Cannes 25 May, 2017. ©Moira Sullivan Following the premiere of the film, the filmmakers were given a lengthy standing ovation at Salle du Soixantième at Cannes. Several of Depardon and Nourgaret’s films have been screened at Cannes in the sections Un Certain Regard, or Cannes Classics. They are welcome guests to the festival and were presented  to the audience by the director of the Cannes Festival, Thierry Frémaux. All in all, Depardon has made 25 feature films including a documentary made last year Les Habitants—(2016) with interviews with 5 – 10 couples who are inhabitants of 15 towns in France. The style is similar to 12 Days. Depardon and Nourgaret have a production company called Pameraie et désert. ©Moira Sullivan FIPRESCI, Alliance of Women Film Journalists AWFJ Filmfestivals.com  May 25, 2017   [...]



Video of Polanski red carpet and press conference + Joaquin Phoenix press conference

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 15:00:02 +0000

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Video of The Okja red carpet with Rhianna and press conference Jake Gyllenhall, Tilda Swinton,

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 14:55:34 +0000

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Video of Wonderstruck red carpet and press conference with Julianne Moore...

Sat, 03 Jun 2017 14:52:37 +0000

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