Tag Archives: Cannes Film Festival

Trailer Thursday: “Moonrise Kingdom”

OK, I take back what I said about not being excited about any of the films screened at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, because, the latest movie from Wes Anderson looks totally amazing!

Usually, I’m kind of cautiously excited about a new Wes Anderson flick, but, he’s been on a roll lately with The Darjeeling Limited and the weirdly-wonderful Fantastic Mr. Fox, so, I’m betting Moonrise Kingdom will rock. And if nothing else, it will look cool and have a kick-ass soundtrack. Either way…enjoy!

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Cannes Film Festival Poster (2012)

Wow…it’s been a busy couple of weeks around here. How busy, you ask? So busy that I didn’t have any time to blog about this year’s Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday. Yep, I said wrapped up, as in, the festival is over, the jury has gone home and I didn’t mention any of that nerdiness on my blog. Sad, huh?

I dunno if it was the lackluster slate of films in competition or maybe the fact that the star-factor of the jury left me kinda cold — even with Obi Wan himself, Ewan McGregor, on the panel! — but, for some reason, I just wasn’t that jazzed about this year’s fest. No Wong Kar-Wai, no David Lynch, no Woody, no Terrence Malick, hell, I woulda settled for another Tarantino master class, but, nope, not this year.

That said, the official poster for this year’s festival was freaking gorgeous, so, instead of babbling on and on about the films and filmmakers in attendance, this time, I’ll simply post the poster here instead. Enjoy!

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Trailer Thursday: “The Tree of Life”

Alright, I know I’m already breaking my rule about blogging too much about Cannes, but, when I saw the first trailer for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”, I knew I had to share it here as well.

I’m not entirely sure what the plot is here — it looks a little “2001”-ish to me, which would be awesome! — but Malick’s visuals, as always, look pretty damn spectacular. And what a cast! People who have seen previews of the movie are already saying Brad Pitt is a lock for a Best Actor Oscar. Whoa…

Either way, dying to hear what the Frenchie’s think of the movie when it premieres at Cannes on Monday. Go, team Malick!

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Cannes starts today!

OK, you all know by now what a big old Cannes geek I am, so, this year, I promise to keep the coverage to a minimum…you know, unless something really cool happens. And with a jury featuring Uma Thurman, Jude Law, and headed by Robert DeNiro and a new film by my man, Terrence Malick, screening in competition, some cool shit could definitely happen…so, stay tuned.

In the meantime, I wanted to be sure and share with you guys this year’s gorgeous new Cannes Film Festival poster. The picture is of Faye Dunaway and was taken in 1970 during production of her little-seen film “Puzzle of a Downfall Child”. I consider myself something of a Dunaway fan (especially of her early work!) and even I had never heard of this film, but, apparently it was the directorial debut of Jerry Schatzberg (who also took the pic on the poster) and, for whatever reason, was hardly ever shown stateside.

Anyway, a completely restored print of the film is going to be screened at Cannes this week, with both Dunaway and Schatzberg in attendance. And if the movie is even a quarter as slick as this poster, well, shit, sign me up for the Blu-Ray when it comes out. I mean, seriously, could Dunaway look any cooler in that shot?

Wow…let the festival begin!

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Woody Allen @ Cannes (2010)

I know I said I wouldn’t geek out too much about Cannes this year, but, just wanted to post some pics of my boy (or should I say, old man) Woody Allen, who premiered his 41st motion picture over the weekend at the festival. Forty-one movies!? Wow, even if half of them suck ass, that is some batting record, man…

Entitled “You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger”, Allen’s latest stars Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Gemma Jones and “Slumdog Millionaire” hottie, Freida Pinto. And like several of the Woodman’s recent flicks, this one was shot in London, so, here’s hoping it’s more like “Match Point” than his God-awful “Cassandra’s Dream”. Urgh…that movie suuuuucked!

Another interesting thing I read today is that Allen’s movies always screen out of competition at Cannes at his request. Cool, huh? I mean, say what you will about the dude, that is a very non-Hollywood thing to do…so, rock on Woody!

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Cannes Nerd 2010

Judging from the lack of comments the last time I blogged about the Cannes Film Festival, I’m guessing nobody cares about the Festival de Cannes like I do. And that’s cool, I’ll geek out over every last little detail of the fest on my own…but, seeing as it starts today in Cannes, I did want to at least show you guys the poster for this year’s festival.

Featuring the ageless Juliette Binoche, this year’s poster isn’t nearly as cinematic as the David-Lynch-designed poster for the 2008 fest, but, it’s still kinda cool in its simplicity. And hello, it’s still Juliette Binoche!

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Ridley Scott’s out of competition “Robin Hood” is opening the festival tonight followed by what I’m sure will be a pretty rocking party. And speaking of rocking, Tim Burton is heading the jury this year, so, hopefully that will yield some cool winners down the line.

Of course Kate Beckinsale (huh?) is also on the jury this year, so, who knows. I’m not saying she isn’t pretty and everything, but, really? Kate Beckinsale is judging serious films now? Hmmm…not sure what I think about that one yet. Hopefully her fellow actor/jury mate Benicio Del Toro will help balance the scales a bit…

In any case…whoo hoo, Cannes is up and running, amigos! Vive le cinema! Vive le Festival de Cannes!

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Closing Ceremonies: Cannes 2008

Film-geek Francophiles everywhere rejoice!

For the first time since 1987, a French film, “The Class” — a drama about a teacher challenged by his tough, inner-city students in one of Paris’ roughest junior high schools — has taken home the prestigious Palm d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Rock on, Frenchies!

And that was the first of many surprising wins at this afternoon’s closing ceremonies, where the Jury seemed to take iconoclastic Jury President Sean Penn’s recent statements to French daily Le Monde to heart.

Urging his fellow jurors to “do just the opposite” of the Oscars “where manipulation and very good marketing are rewarded” Penn implored the Cannes jury to honor compelling, unconventional films instead, and man alive, did they take his advice to heart!

And not only are the winners interesting and totally unique — I’m not entirely sure what short film winners “Megatron” and “Jerrycan” are about, but cool titles! — but the presenters were even cooler.

Not only did two-time Oscar-winner Robert DeNiro hand out the award for the Palm d’Or to director Laurent Cantet (he’s the grey-haired dude in the pics with his “The Class” cast, above), but legendary expatriate — a previous Palm d’Or and Oscar-winner for “The Pianist” — director Roman Polanski presented the Grand Prix award to Italy’s Matteo Garrone for “Gomarra”. Cool!

And while I’m sure conspiracy theorists will have a field day with the fact that two of Monsieur Penn’s famous friends took home major awards — Benecio Del Toro for Best Actor in Steven Soderberg’s four hour-plus “Che” and Special Jury Award winner Clint Eastwood for his upcoming film “Changeling” — I like to think the jury did the right thing.

So, check out the complete list (and mad links!) of 2008’s Cannes winners below, and until next year’s shiny festival on the Riviera…vive le France!

PALME D’OR
“The Class” directed by Laurent Cantet

SPECIAL JURY AWARDS
Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood

GRAND PRIZE
“Gomorra” directed by Matteo Garrone

BEST DIRECTOR
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, for “Three Monkeys”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Brothers, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, for “Lorna’s Silence”

BEST ACTOR
Benicio Del Toro, in “Che”

BEST ACTRESS
Sandra Corveloni, in “Linha de Passe”

CAMERA D’OR
“Hunger” directed by Steve McQueen

CAMERA D’OR SPECIAL MENTION
“Everybody Dies But Me” by Valeria Gaï Guermanika

BEST SHORT FILM
“Megatron” by Marian Crisan

SHORT FILM SPECIAL MENTION
“Jerrycan” by Julius Avery

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE
“Il Divo” by Paolo Sorrentino

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Abel Ferrara @ Cannes

Even though I am not a huge fan of his strange, but often-interesting films, and his teeth in the pictures below kind of scare the hell out of me, I gotta say that for the first time in years, controversial writer/director Abel Ferrara and I see eye to eye on something…

But before we get to that, a little background on the freaky-deaky indie icon himself. The quintessential New Yorker, Ferrara, like so many offbeat American directors, is kind of worshiped by the French. Not only has he been a regular fixture at Cannes over the years, but several of Ferrara’s recent films — which have never even had a theatrical release in the U.S. — premiered in France.

So it was no surprise to see him soaking up the French love on the red carpet for the world premiere of his latest cinematic opus, the star-studded documentary “Chelsea on the Rocks”. Detailing the gloriously seedy past and uncertain future of this landmark NYC hotel, the doc is said to contain some of Ferrara’s best work to date…so, rock on, Abel!

But the biggest shocker to come out of Mr. Ferrara’s multiple press conferences at Cannes was the news that someone is inexplicably remaking his twisted masterpiece “Bad Lieutenant”. Yep, you heard me…remaking! Insane, non?

Even more surprising is the talent attached. The new version of Ferrara’s 1992 classic is going to be directed by German “madman with a camera” Werner Herzog with…hold onto your tainted badges, folks…Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage starring as the titular police man. Yep, Jerry Bruckheimer’s hambone royale himself is gonna be tackling what is arguably one of Harvey Keitel’s finest cinematic performances.

My question is…why, God, why? I mean, love it or hate it — we did both, sometimes at the very same time — the infamous “Bad Lieutenant” is one of the most well-regarded independent films of the 1990’s, so, if you ask me, remaking it is kind of a sacrilege.

And with Nicolas Cage no less!? Yikes…here’s hoping Herzog does the world a favor and cuts that whole full-frontal nude scene…

And though I’m not quite as passionate as Mr. Ferrara is on the subject — he told the French press on Friday that the people involved should “die in hell” and vowed to “strangle every one of them” if he ever sees them again — I understand the dude’s outrage. I mean, really, any way you look at it, this lame, totally unnecessary remake is gonna suck some serious ass. I say…long live the original flawed masterpiece that is Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant”.

And while I wait to check out his cool-sounding “Chelsea on the Rocks” documentary for myself…here’s to you, crazy old Abel Ferrara, late night genre movies would be a very boring place without you!

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Tarantino Master Class @ Cannes

I’m not sure what all Oscar-and-Palm d’or-winning director Quentin Tarantino had to say in his Cinema Master Class at Cannes yesterday, but, from the looks of the picture below, I’ll bet it was fun!

Always interesting, the Cannes Cinema Master Class has been a staple of the festival since 1991. And in that time, the event has been hosted by such kick-ass filmmakers as Sydney Pollack, Martin Scorcese, Oliver Stone, Nanni Moretti and even my boy from Hong Kong, Wong Kar Wai. Cool, huh?

Apparently totally free and open to the public, the Cannes Master Class is a chance for world-class directors to talk about their process, the films they’ve made and in the case of Tarantino, the fact that he thinks every serious director should take an acting class. Hmmm…a novel concept…

So, though I couldn’t be there to applaud Tarantino in person, I’m sure the French film fans — who love him almost as much as they do Woody Allen — ate it up! Rock on, QT!

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Countdown to “Indiana Jones 4”

Reviews be damned…I am literally counting down the hours and minutes till we get to see “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” tonight at the Arclight. By my last count, I have 5 hours and 46 minutes to go…and even though that sounds like a short time frame, when you’re really excited about something…it kinda seems live FOREVER!

Christine keeps telling me not to get too excited as I might be in for another bout of soul-crushing, post-“Phantom Menace” depression if the movie sucks…but you know what, I don’t care. I mean, sure “Menace” sucked, and I did weep openly for days afterwards, but I lived through it — even seeing it twice on opening weekend! — so nothing Lucas pumps out can ever burn me that bad again.

Of course, I haven’t seen “Crystal Skull” yet, so, that might change come Saturday morning…but either way, I’m just excited about the fact that the movie is finally coming out! So, back the breathless waiting…

I guess the best thing about the wait this week is that it did give me time to watch some of the previous Indiana Jones movies on DVD. I’m about half-way through “Temple of Doom” right now, and even though I know most people hate this one, I gotta say that is the one I probably watched the most as a kid.

Even then I knew it was kind of racially insensitive and downright lame in parts — especially the God-awful Kate Capshaw, who never could hold a candle to Karen Allen in my book — but I still loved it! Hell, even that annoying little Shortround kid even grew on me after a while…

So, as I try and finish up the trilogy before we head out tonight in our dusty fedoras and whips — just kidding about the whip part, I do have a fedora, but I doubt Christine will let me sit next to her if I wear it! — I’ll leave you with some of the super cool pics from Sunday’s world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” at Cannes…enjoy!

Oh yeah, and if anyone out there knows who the hot African-American chick (pictured above and bellow in yellow) with George Lucas is…drop me a line.

I’m not sure who she is, but any way you look at it, that fetching young lady is a huge upgrade from Lucas’s first wife, Oscar-winning “Star Wars” editor Marcia Lucas, so…rock on, Jedi Master George!

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“Ashes of Time: Redux” @ Cannes

I know, I know…another post about Cannes. Sorry, but I told you…I’m kind of obsessed right now. The good news for all you non-movie fans out there is that the Festival wraps up on Sunday, so, I’ll get back to more juicy “eat”, “do”, and “make” posts very soon.

Speaking of “eat”, wait till you see the Key Lime pie I had in Tampa…amazing! Anyway, back to the shiny film fest on the Riviera…

So, the big news on Sunday was all about the world premiere of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls” — more on that later, but for the record, we ordered tickets today for the Friday night show at the Arclight — but for fans of legendary Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai, the night was all about the premiere of his re-cut 1994 masterpiece, “Ashes of Time”.

And since “Ashes” is one of the few films of WKW’s that I have not seen — aside from his recent English-language disaster “My Blueberry Nights” — I’m kind of dying to see this definitive, extended version of what many consider to be his first truly great movie.

Though the dreamy, retro vibe of his later films was still years away — if you haven’t watched the Criterion Collection DVD of “In The Mood For Love” you are missing out, man — “Ashes of Time” was the first of his films to really stand out from the rest of the Hong Kong “wuxia films” of the time.

Starring WKW regulars like Tony Leung, Maggie Cheung and Brigitte Lin, “Ashes” is said to be anchored around the central performance of the late, great Leslie Chung (“Farewell My Concubine”). And though Chung was sorely missed by WKW and the rest of the cast at the Palais on Sunday, I can assure you he was there in spirit as he is said to be amazing in the movie.

Interestingly enough, WKW’s longtime-collaborator, iconic cinematographer Christopher Doyle — who is rumored to have had a spectacular falling out with the director after working with him for the last time on “2046” — was also in attendance. And not only was he there — he is the white dude in the pictures above and below — but he held hands with Wong and the cast as they made their way to the theatre as well. Cool!

Here’s hoping that the rift is over and that Doyle returns to the WKW fold for his next film. And in the meantime, knowing that the “Ashes of Time: Redux” was so well received at Cannes gives me hope that a stateside theatrical run might be just around the corner as well!

Or at the very least, maybe I can start dreaming about a special edition DVD — are you listening, Criterion? — to add to my kick-ass Wong Kar Wai box set, pictured below. Either way, long live the king of Hong Kong cool!

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Confessions of a Cannes nerd…

Judging from my last couple of posts, you’ve probably already figured this out, but, for the record…yes, I am a total Cannes Film Festival nerd. Sure, I get excited about Sundance and Toronto and even the Los Angeles Film Festival — the only one I’ve ever actually attended! — but nothing for me is as exciting as Cannes.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because those cinema-mad Frenchies are such big fans of some of my favorite writers and directors.

Only a handful of American films have ever won the Palm d’or, and almost across the board, they were made by some of the coolest, most idiosyncratic filmmakers in Hollywood. Robert Altman (“Mash”), Martin Scorcese (“Taxi Driver”), Francis Ford Coppolla (“Apocalypse Now”), Bob Fosse (“All That Jazz”), the Coen Brothers (“Barton Fink”), Quentin Tarrantino (“Pulp Fiction”) and David Lynch (“Wild at Heart”) are just a few of the American winners to date, and the list of cool foreign films that snagged the top prize is even more impressive.

Unlike the Oscars, who’s crusty old members will throw a Best Picture Award at bloated schlock like “Crash”, Cannes juries are more discriminating and the movies they screen and honor with awards at the festival are much more interesting because of it.

For instance, aside from a Best Original Song nomination for Bjork, Oscar voters totally ignored modern classics like “Paris, Texas” and “Dancer in the Dark”, but not Cannes, baby. “Texas” and “Dancer” both won the Palm in their respective years and the Cannes jury even gave Björk a well-deserved Best Actress award.

And one of my all-time favorite writer/directors, Jim Jarmusch — who shockingly, has never even been nominated for an Oscar! — has been in the running for the Palm d’Or a whopping six times. And that’s just the nominations, Jarmusch’s list of Cannes wins could fill books.

Aside from taking home the lesser, but still prestigious, Camera d’or for his seminal “Stranger Than Paradise”, Jarmusch also won a Grand Jury award for “Broken Flowers”, a short-film Palm d’or for “Coffee and Cigarettes III” and a special award for “Best Artistic Contribution” for his seriously-underrated “Mystery Train”. As my French friends would say…incroyable!

And the writing awards at Cannes are even more eclectic. They doesn’t give out a screenplay award every year, but when they do, the juries at Cannes pick some really amazing scripts…stuff that is often totally overlooked by other festivals, the Academy and hell, even the WGA.

Genre-bending classics like “Nurse Betty”, “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”, “Henry Fool”, “Volver” and even James Schamus’s pitch-dark swinger dramedy “The Ice Storm” are just a few of the rocking good screenplays to win at the Cannes Film Festival.

So, while I haven’t ever climbed the grand staircase at the Palais du Cinema in real life, I have followed the festival for years from abroad, and man alive, what a nerdtastic trip it’s been!

Vive le cinema! Vive le Festival de Cannes!

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Woody Allen @ Cannes

Even though his last movie, “Cassandra’s Dream” totally sucked — this despite featuring a uniformly excellent cast, including Ewan “Obi Wan” McGregor, Colin Farrell and the scorchingly-hot newcomer, Hayley Atwell — I am still a die hard Woody Allen fan.

And the fact that every other movie he makes is horrible will not stop me from seeing just about everything he makes. The way I see it, Allen makes enough movies that he can make a real clunker every other time out. As long as someone keeps giving him money to write and direct and super cool actors keep on signing up to work for him for scale…I say rock on, Woody!

And though my favorite films of his are mostly from the 1980’s — “Hannah and her Sisters”, “Broadway Danny Rose” and “A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy” — there are at least three other movies of his from every recent decade that I love in a big way. And I’m just talking about his major works like “Bullets Over Broadway” and ” “Deconstructing Harry”, but I also love me some minor Woody Allen as well…”Manhattan Murder Mystery” anyone? Classic!

Non-fans may see Allen’s recent “Anglophile period” as just another tired (if accented) rehash of his usual shtick — and though “Match Point” ranks with his finest work ever, I’d have to agree with them on “Scoop” and the aforementioned “Cassandra’s Dream” — but despite the misfires, I actually found it kind of exciting that he was trying something new for a change.

So, you can imagine how excited I was to read that Allen’s next cinematic venture, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, was shot entirely in Spain, featuring mostly Spanish actors. Even cooler than that is the fact that the movie received a ten-minute standing ovation after it’s premiere this weekend at Cannes! Ten minutes…man, those Frenchies rule!

Starring Oscar-winner Javier Bardem, Oscar nominees Penélope Cruz and Patricia Clarkson, newcomer Rebecca Hall (pictured on Allen’s left in the pic with Cruz, below) and Allen’s recent way-too-young-for-him muse, Scarlett Johansson, the movie revolves around the complicated love life of a Spanish painter (Bardem) juggling affairs with three different women.

Let me see…all-star cast, shot in Spain and it’s a comedy…gloria a Dios. Welcome back, funny Woody!

Always hugely popular in France, Allen worked the European press this weekend like a pro. And when asked if he himself had ever tackled a threesome — as Bardem apparently does with Cruz and Johansson in the film — he replied: “You know, it’s hard enough to get one person”. Ha…I think Mia Farrow would disagree on that one, but you gotta love the dude for trying.

And while “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” — which comes out on our shores on August 29th — is not eligible for any major awards action at Cannes (having screened out of competition) I’m still counting the days till I can give the movie a ten-minute standing ovation of my very own right here in Burbank.

Vive le Woody!

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Cannes gets a little Lynchian…

Though he’s not vying for another Palm d’or at this year’s Festival, Cannes favorite David Lynch — who won the Palm for “Wild at Heart” in 1990 — made quite a splash on the riviera yesterday with the debut of his super cool poster for this year’s fest.

Haunting, strange, and strikingly beautiful, the poster is the textbook definition of the term “Lynchian”…and apparently, film geeks everywhere are eating it up.

I thought about ordering a print for myself, but wall space being at a premium in my already cluttered office, there is just no more room for another cool poster. Plus, even though I love the print, those “man hands” carressing that woman’s face kind of give me shivers, so I’ll just post a copy of the poster here for now…

Though the Americans are said to be taking this year’s festival by storm, with “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” set to have it’s world premiere on Sunday, and a number of other highly-anticipated films from American directors lined up after that, the big news for me this year is the jury!

Always composed of some really cool, eclectic film folks — one of my all-time favorite directors, Wong Kar Wai served as Jury President a couple years back — this year’s panel is headed by perennial hot head Sean Penn. Even though I personally think he’s a humorless prick, I gotta say, “Into the Wild” was one of my favorite films last year…so, rock on, sourpuss!

The rest of the jury — pictured below with Penn at last night’s premiere of Fernando Meireilles’s all-star supernatural thriller “Blindness” — are, from left to right: Director Alfonso Cuarón, Actor Sergio Castellitto, Author/Director Marjane Satrapi, Actress Jeanne Balibar, Director Rachid Bouchareb, Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Actress and former Queen of Naboo, Natalie Portman and finally, Actress Alexandra Maria Lara.

I know…crazy, huh? The guy who wrote and directed “Children of Men”, the chick who literally lived “Persepolis”, Madonna’s first husband, and the mother of Luke and Leia Skywalker…all on one jury? Wow…it’s like, movie nerd nirvana!

So, as the 61st Festival de Cannes settles into it’s first full day of screenings today, here’s hoping this years films are as interesting and diverse as its rocking poster and jury! Vive le France!

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