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Peter Debruge: Well, I didn’t see that coming. In what feels like a twist ending — one that leaves me feeling a bit like Tim Roth at the end of “Chronic” — the Cannes jury has awarded the Palme d’Or to “Dheepan,” a movie that lags among my least favorites in the competition, and the weakest in Jacques Audiard’s filmography.
People have been throwing the word “weak” around a lot this week, grousing that the official selection doesn’t measure up to that of previous years. I defer to you, Scott and Justin, since you’ve each been attending Cannes for longer than I have (this is only my fifth time on the Croisette), but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my time here, it’s that Cannes critics always like to complain that the present year’s crop feels meager by comparison to past editions, »
- Peter Debruge, Scott Foundas and Justin Chang
The Cannes Film Festival often yields year-end awards contenders, from eventual Best Actor-winner Roberto Begnini ("Life is Beautiful") and "The Piano" and "The Pianist" to Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Best Picture-winner "The Artist." Last year's "Foxcatcher" wound up grabbing a few nods, more than Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner," and the festival introduced several foreign film contenders, while "Clouds of Sils Maria," which didn't opened stateside until 2015, could provide a Supporting Actress shot for well-reviewed Kristen Stewart. So what of this year's crop of awards hopefuls? Weinstein Co. has a full slate this year: "Carol." This is a strong contender on many fronts. Most likely are its two leads. Rooney Mara shared the Cannes Best Actress jury award, which will help her going forward and lends support for a Best Actress slot along with Cate Blanchett. Mara was nominated once »
- Anne Thompson
Winners were announced on Sunday for the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival, and the top prize, the coveted Palme d'Or, went to Jacques Audiard's French film "Dheepan." This is the first time Audiard has won the award following three unsuccessful attempts ("A Self-Made Hero" in 1996, "A Prophet" in 2009 and "Rust and Bone" in 2012), though he did previously win a screenwriting award for "Self-Made Hero" and the Grand Prix for "A Prophet." -Break- His last two entries lost to films by Michael Haneke – "The White Ribbon" in 2009 and "Amour" in 2012 – so in his speech, Audiard thanked Haneke "for not making a film this year." Oscars next for Cannes winners Rooney Mara, Emmanuelle Bercot and Vincent Lindon? This year, Oscar-winning directors Joel and Ethan Coen presided over the jury, which also included international actors Rossy de »
Read More: Here Are Some of the Best New American Short Films The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury, headed by Abderrahmane Sissako and including Cécile de France, Joana Hadjithomas, Daniel Olbrychski and Rebecca Zlotowski, has awarded the 2015 Cinéfondation Prizes during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films. The winner of the top prize, "Share," was one of our picks for the best new American short films earlier this month when we saw it at the Maryland Film Festival. We noted that "Share" had "long, engrossing takes on par with the Dardenne brothers and a voyeuristic quality reminiscent of Michael Haneke" and that it "portrays the distinctly modern fear of digital processes beyond our control — and yet, at the same time, with the potential to become dangerously personal." First Prize: "Share" Directed by Pippa Bianco AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, »
- Casey Cipriani
The smallest and subtlest film in the main competition at Cannes this year, Mexican director Michel Franco’s “Chronic” offers a measured portrait of a hospice nurse (played by Tim Roth) who tends to terminally ill patients, respectfully observing his difficult and emotionally draining job while bluntly asking the question: Who cares for the caregiver? Echoing Michael Haneke’s “Amour” in key aspects of style and theme without achieving nearly the devastating impact of that Palme d’Or winner, Franco shifts the emotional center of his film away from the bond between a dying woman and her closest loved one, zeroing in on the uncomfortable truth that, in many cases, the people who connect most closely to such patients in their final days are not immediate family members, but their nurses. Needless to say, the subject is anti-commercial in the extreme, and the approach even more so, relegating this sensitive portrait primarily to festivals. »
- Peter Debruge
At his highly-anticipated talk for the Kering Women In Motion series at the Majestic Hotel, Cannes festival director Thierry Fremaux kicked off proceedings with the statement, “This debate makes me furious.”
He then spent much of his talk bopping back and forth between his view that Cannes gets unfairly criticised for the lack of female filmmakers in the programme, while festivals such as Berlin and Venice avoided such reproach, while also claiming to welcome the discussion that has been sparked around the issue of female inequality.
“Yes, there are discriminations, but these issues are widespread across other cultural industries around the world,” said a disgruntled Fremaux.
“People attack us with extreme aggression, but if there is one place where female directors are welcome, it’s here in Cannes.”
Fremaux cited several factors to support his argument that Cannes supports women, including the fact that juries are, in large part, evenly split between »
Indie distributor Alchemy has just scooped up Cannes perennial Nanni Moretti's "Mia Madre" out of the competition. This semi-autobiographical seriocomedy centers on a director (Margherita Buy) who's shooting an Italian film with an unruly and famous American actor (John Turturro). Meanwhile, she's trying to keep her own life together, despite her mother's (Giulia Lazzarini) illness and daughter's (Beatrice Mancini) budding adolescence. Moretti, who also stars in the film and won the 2001 Palme d'Or for "The Son's Room," co-penned the script with Francesco Piccolo and Valia Santella. In 2012, he served as the Cannes jury president when Michael Haneke's "Amour" took the Palme. Read More: Indiewire's Cannes Review of "Mia Madre" Moretti produced "Mia Madre" through his Sacher Film banner along with Domenico Procacci of Fandango and Rai Cinema. While no release date has been set, the film has so far met acclaim and interest »
- Ryan Lattanzio
This week Neil Calloway looks at what winning the Palme d’Or can do to your box office…
So we are in the middle of the Cannes Film Festival, and it’s easy to dismiss it as a two-week publicity vehicle for beautiful actresses to get photographed next to middle-aged European film directors on the Croisette, or a time for oligarchs and their trophy wives to entertain fading Hollywood stars on their super yachts. However, the importance of the festival to the film industry cannot be understated.
Cannes is the biggest film industry event of the year; the Oscars comes close but that only lasts one night. It is, in fact, one of the biggest annual events of any kind. As William Goldman points out in Hype and Glory, his entertaining memoir of sitting on the juries for both Cannes and the Miss America Pageant, the World Cup and Olympics are bigger, »
- Neil Calloway
In the 35 years since “Ordinary People,” American cinema has told and retold stories of how a death in the family can reveal the dysfunction no one wanted to admit was there. “Louder Than Bombs” is just such a picture, studying how a widower and his two sons cope with learning the “circumstances” of the accident that killed his war-photographer wife, but it also manages to be the opposite of nearly every other film in the genre. Directed by Joachim Trier, who’s certainly gifted enough to have turned in a passive-viewing tearjerker, “Bombs” asks audiences to bring their brains, eschewing grand catharsis in favor of subtle psychological nuance, resulting in a film that runs both slender and cold on the surface, but rewards the arthouse audiences willing to give it a deeper reading.
Ever since Trier’s 2006 feature debut, “Reprise” (which landed him on Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list »
- Peter Debruge
The eagerly awaited Official Selection for this year's 68th Cannes Film Festival (13-24 May) was announced in Paris this morning. As previously revealed, celebrated sibling filmmakers and Cannes regulars Joel and Ethan Cohen will preside over the jury this time around. Emmanuelle Bercot will become the first female director to open the festival in 28 years with her comedy-drama La Tête Haute (Head Held High), starring Catherine Deneuve and Rod Paradot. Meanwhile, highlights of this year's Palme d'Or race include new films from Jacques Audiard, Matteo Garrone, Todd Haynes, Jia Zhangke, Paolo Sorrentino, Gus Van Sant and Denis Villeneuve. Directors whose latest films appear to have missed out this year include Terence Davies, Michael Haneke and Ben Wheatley.
- CineVue UK
Only a handful of filmmakers have ever won the Palme D'Or twice (among them: the Dardennes, Michael Haneke, and Francis Ford Coppola), and it looks like this year won't be the one that another pulls off the achievement. "Uncle Boonmee" helmer Apichatpong Weerasethakul has been relegated to Un Certain Regard with his new movie, while "Elephant" director Gus Van Sant's dreadful "Sea Of Trees" isn't going to be challenging for any prizes. That just leaves one other previous Palme-winner in Competition: Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti, who won for "The Son's Room" in 2001. Whether or not his new film, "Mia Madre," can challenge for the big prize remains to be seen, but after the relative disappointments of "The Caiman" and "We Have A Pope," it certainly serves as a return to form. Read More: Watch: First Trailer For Nanni Moretti's 'Mia Madre' Starring Margherita Buy & John Turturro The film centers. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
No stranger to the international film festival circuit, Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is receiving rave early reviews out of this year's Cannes for The Lobster, his third feature and first with a high-caliber English-speaking cast, including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, and Ben Whishaw. The film focuses on a future wherein you either find your mate or you are transformed, inexplicably, into an animal and let out to roam the wilderness. It's a typical what's-that-guy-on premise from Lanthimos, who already conquered Cannes years ago when his debut, Dogtooth, nabbed him the Un Certain Regard prize. That film has a major following at this point, not surprising as it marries Michael Haneke's formal exactness with dark, deadpan satirical jabs at isolationists that escalate into violence, incense, and self-abuse. His striking sophomore effort, Alps, won screenplay honors at the Venice Film Festival, where it was up for the Golden Lion that, »
- Chris Cabin
Following his fall 2014 Le Conversazioni with Zadie Smith (White Teeth) and Patrick McGrath (Asylum and Spider), Antonio Monda invited Joyce Carol Oates and Stephen Sondheim to discuss films that influenced their lives and work.
Le Conversazioni and Rome Film Festival Artistic Director Antonio Monda Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
- Anne-Katrin Titze
It had enough admirers to snag several Oscar nominations, including best picture, but I confess I found the 2004 movie Finding Neverland a decorous yawn, starring a somnambulant Johnny Depp opposite Kate Winslet in a role that under-utilized her talents. But the preciousness and mawkish emotional manipulation of the movie seem like the austere work of a Michael Haneke by comparison with this long-aborning stage musical adaptation. Bombastic and exhausting, the show confuses childishness with an affinity for the child inside, at times recalling Wicked in its busily assaultive hyperactivity, but without that show's catchy songs or engaging
- David Rooney
Along with fresh interviews with Martin Scorsese, Don Hertzfeldt, Olivier Assayas and Bong Joon-ho, we post links to the Paris Review archive of great conversations with the likes of Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Jean Cocteau, Michael Haneke, Susan Sontag, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Terry Southern, Tom Stoppard, Wallace Shawn, Tony Kushner and Budd Schulberg. Plus, a 1960 BBC interview with Orson Welles, Noah Baumbach's 2012 conversation with Brian De Palma, a New York Times profile of Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany and the Hollywood Reporter's interview with Claudia Cardinale. » - David Hudson »
"The world is no longer a predictable place," we hear in Parabellum as we follow the featureless man and a group of blindfolded tourists into a swamp delta for a survival training unlike any other. Lukas Valenta Rinner directs with confidence and a detached gaze the goings-on in the explorer's camp that offers courses on homemade explosives and the mandatory survival underwater training. John Huston's The African Queen and Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen are about two different kind of personal survival. Austrian parallels come into play with his New Directors/New Films colleagues, Goodnight Night Mommy directors, Veronika Franz, and Severin Fiala, as well as Michael Haneke and Ulrich Seidl. Pablo Seijo connected with his character through Michel Houellebecq's books.
The participants »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala's Goodnight Mommy starring Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz and Susanne Wuest, produced by Ulrich Seidl is the corner of your mind where Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Georges Franju, Damien Hirst and Michael Haneke meet in Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (Hausu) and invite Gregor Samsa to converge with the von Trapp family.
After a short prelude in the form of a clip from an Austrian version of the Sound Of Music story, starring Ruth Leuwerik, we settle into the country house of a woman (Wuest) who has just undergone extensive facial surgery. Her twin sons, Lukas and Elias, are seen spending the time on the grounds around the isolated house.
Hello Mommy Susanne Wuest: »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Franz Kafka is to film what lightning is to a bottle: many filmmakers try to capture him, but few succeed. Courageous men like Michael Haneke and Aleksey Balabanov have attempted the feat of translating Kafka's final work, “The Castle,” into the medium of cinema, only to end up with a square peg in a round hole. Now, we have a couple of new brave souls. Darhad Erdenibulag and Emyr ap Richard are co-directors from Inner Mongolia, who have chosen to tackle the labyrinthine world of bureaucratic abyss in Kafka's seminal novel as their sophomore feature. A supreme undertaking, and a valiant effort, ultimately, “K” is a resounding failure and a butterfingered attempt to capture the essence of a literary genius. For those unfamiliar with Kafka's work: firstly, I must implore you not to watch Erdenibulag and Richard's interpretation as an introduction. Secondly, the plot is wonderfully basic at its core. »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
Thrillers come in all shapes and sizes, from sophisticated legal dramas to high-octane and shocking action features.
With the atmospheric and absorbing Netflix original series Bloodline arriving this week, here are some of the best TV and movie thrillers on Netflix:
Not for the faint of heart, South Korean director Park Chan-wook's Oldboy tells the story of a man who is locked away for 15 years without knowing the identity of his captor or the reason for his punishment.
When he is released just as inexplicably, he finds himself with only five days to unravel the mystery, save the woman he loves and seek vengeance against the people who destroyed his life.
With non-linear storytelling and a powerful atmosphere of paranoia over five seasons, you'll learn to suspect everyone, »
At the finale of Robin Campillo's masterful Eastern Boys, bourgeois, middle-aged Frenchman Daniel (Oliver Rabourdin) has overhauled his relationship with the Ukrainian hustler Marek (Kirill Emelyanov) into something totally unexpected. The journey to that climax is a rollercoaster of flirtation, betrayal, larceny, lust, love, dauntless deeds, comeuppance, and finally a benevolent acceptance of the pair's interconnectedness in a manner that neither of these devoted halves could foretell.
The film begins documentary-like, and you won't be able to guess who the lead characters are for the first ten minutes or so as the camera goes sightseeing amongst a bevy of young males meandering to and fro at a train station among self-absorbed travelers. Are the lads thieves or hustlers or just out for a lark? Some men eye them warily with a slight lust unsure of whether to approach or not. One station guard's suspicions are raised due the actions »
- Brandon Judell
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