18 items from 2015
Variety critics Scott Foundas, Justin Chang, Peter Debruge, Guy Lodge, Jay Weissberg and Maggie Lee weighed in with their choices for the 21 best films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (listed in alphabetical order):
1. “Amy.” British director Asif Kapadia followed up his 2010 “Senna” with this even more daring and revealing portrait of the brilliant but tragic jazz diva Amy Winehouse. Drawing on a wealth of professional and user-generated video, Kapadia again eschews the usual talking-heads interview format to keep WInehouse front and center for two harrowing hours, during which we come to understand how thoroughly the troubled singer lived her life under the camera’s relentless and unforgiving gaze. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the cult of celebrity in the iPhone era. (Scott Foundas)
- Variety Staff
Given the number of films in competition (19), the correspondingly infinite number of possible award/talent configurations, and the sheer impossibility of guessing at the individual and collective tastes of nine jurors, predicting the major award winners at the Cannes Film Festival is obviously a fool’s errand — and one that our critics on the Croisette have gladly undertaken.
Palme d’Or: “The Assassin.” Word on the street — and among British bookies — is that my own favorite film of the fest, Yorgos Lanthimos’ high-wire relationship fantasy “The Lobster,” is the one to beat, though whether that’s based on honest hearsay or a projection of the Coen brothers’ taste for dryer-than-dust comedy, I can’t say. As much as it would thrill me to see such a singular combination of concept-y formalism and perverse heart-tugging take the prize, I have a hard time seeing it as the unifying consensus »
- Guy Lodge and Justin Chang
Other prizes go to My Mother, Masaan and Paulina.
Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul has been named the best film in the main Competition section of the 68th Cannes Film Festival by Fipresci, the International Federation of Film Critics.
Review: Son of Saul
Laszlo Nemes directorial debut - the only debut in this year’s Competition line-up - is about a Hungarian prisoner assigned to work in one of the crematoria of Auschwitz who, finding a body he believes is his son, sets out to find a rabbi to bury him.
It ranked joint second on Screen’s Cannes Jury Grid, with no prizes as yet for joint leaders Carol and The Assassin.
Nemes previously worked as assistant director to Bela Tarr on The Man From London (2007).
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Cannes – Delivering early verdicts on Cannes Palme d’Or contenders, Fipresci and Ecumenical Jury Awards went to Laszlo Nemes’ “Son of Saul” and Nanni Moretti’s “My Mother,” respectively.
Fipresci’s competition nod vindicates Cannes’ selection of Holocaust drama “Son of Saul,” the only first feature in competition that has gone on to abundant international sales for Films Distribution.
A French press Palme d’Or frontrunner, “My Mother,” again sold by Films Distributiion, has scored well with overseas reviewers, as was the case with “Saul.” Neither Fipresci nor Ecumenical jury plumped for either of Cannes’ competition frontrunners, according to critics’ polls at least: Todd Haynes’ “Carol” and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s “The Assassin.”
Announced Saturday, further kudos from the Fipresci Intl. Federation of Film Critics were won by Un Certain Regard entry “Masaan,” directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, and Santiago Mitre’s Versatile-sold “Paulina,” which already topped Critics’ Week on Thursday. »
- John Hopewell
Paris-based Films Distribution has closed Canada (eOne), Germany (Koch Media), Australia (Palace), Korea (T-cast), Taiwan (Maison Motion), Czech Republic (Film Europe), Fidalgo (Norway), Columbia (Cineplex), Denmark (Camera Film), Turkey (Filmarty), A One (Cis) and Mexico (Mantarraya), among others.
Earlier in the festival, Alchemy snapped up “Mia madre” for U.S. distribution.
Echoing Moretti’s own experience and weaving drama with comedy, “Mia Madre” focuses on a film director who struggles to cope with her mother’s fatal illness.
- Elsa Keslassy and John Hopewell
“Taklub,” Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza’s portrait of three surviving families a year after Typhoon Yolanda ripped through the city of Tacloban, is more concerned with their emotional devastation than with the physical aftermath. Shot in a no-frills documentary style that echoes its subjects’ deprivation, the film is at once intimate and detached in its dramatic economy, though the finale will leave many viewers saddened yet humbled. Without the provocative content of films like “Serbis” or “Kinatay,” it will be hard for this quiet work to make a dent in European arthouse circles. Domestic response will be much warmer, given its relevance, but mostly thanks to the reverence that lead actress Nora Aunor commands.
“A time to tear down and a time to build”: Quoting Ecclesiastes 3:1-6 in the closing credits, Mendoza reflects on the material and spiritual hurdles facing disaster reconstruction efforts, questioning whether faith, charity, stoicism »
- Maggie Lee
The Tokyo International Film Festival will this year organize a special section on the films of Filipino director Brillante Mendoza in particular, and the films of the Philippines in general. Mendoza’s latest film “Taklub” has its premiere this week in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard.
The section is the second year that Tokyo has organized its ‘Crosscut Asia’ showcase, after its launch year focused on Thai cinema. The initiative is the joint effort of the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Tokyo Festival (Oct 22-31, 2015).
Organizers calculate that Filipino cinema is currently in a third golden age, after two earlier periods of glory, one in the early 1950s and, a second, in the 1970s and 1980s. The latter was exemplified by angry indie auteurs including Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, and Kidlat Tahimik.
“Now, in the 21st-century era of digital film making, young independent creators are appearing in droves, gaining worldwide »
- Patrick Frater
The Tokyo International Film Festival (Tiff) and Japan Foundation have announced they will focus on the cinema of the Philippines for the second edition of the festival’s Crosscut Asia sidebar.
“I am delighted to be a part of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival where my film as well as other works from the Philippines will be shown,” said Mendoza.
“The Tokyo International Film Festival is a great occasion for everyone as it showcases not only movies from the Philippines but a variety of works from around the globe that are not available at everyday cinemas. I hope everyone will have a chance to appreciate these works.”
The first Crosscut Asia at last year’s Tokyo International Film Festival focused on Thai cinema »
- email@example.com (Liz Shackleton)
The Cannes 2015 lineup wasn’t done quite yet. Today, several films were added to the Un Certain Regard and In Competition categories, bringing the final, completed lineups of each up to 19 films.
Chief among them is Gaspar Noé’s Love, “a sexual melodrama about a boy and a girl and another girl. It’s a love story, which celebrates sex in a joyous way.” Originally it was presumed the film would be In Competition, but now they’ve slotted the controversial filmmaker into a Midnight Movie screening. Also of note is Cemetery of Splendour, which is Thai director Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul’s follow-up to the Palme D’Or winner from 2010, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. That film will be shown as part of the Un Certain Regard.
- Brian Welk
An immediate reaction for many following the first Cannes lineup announcement was, "Where's Gaspar Noe's Love?" Answer: It's in Cannes. The massive French festival has just announced a second volley of selections in the official program - presumably rounding out the full selection - including the latest from Noe, Brillante Mendoza, Naomi Kawase, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and more. Here's the full assortment of new selections:As announced at the press conference held on 16th April, the Festival de Cannes has completed its Official Selection with the inclusion of the following films:in COMPETITIONCronic by Michel FrancoValley of love by Guillaume NiclouxUN Certain Regard Alias Maria by José Luis Rugeles GraciaTaklub by Brillante MendozaLamb by Yared Zeleke - 1st film, first entry of Ethiopia in Official SelectionCemetery of Splendour...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Thierry Frémaux wasn’t done adding to the official festival selections, and in the same token, wasn’t done in shaking up a certain Main Comp status quo. By programming the latest from Main Comp mainstay filmmakers Naomi Kawase, Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Brillante Mendoza in the Un Certain Regard section and giving Gaspar Noe a more suitable Midnight showing for sizzler Love, Frémaux is using his film god powers to give the Main Comp section a fresh coat of paint with an overwhelming number of filmmakers who’ve previously been programmed elsewhere on the Croisette. Basking in the Main Comp glow, today’s two add-ons are Michel Franco (Cronic our #41 most anticipated foreign film) and Guillaume Nicloux (The Valley of Love – our #5 most anticipated foreign film of 2015 – this makes it two Mc titles for Isabelle Huppert). Here is the last batch:
Cronic by Michel Franco »
- Eric Lavallee
The Festival de Cannes (May 13-25) has completed its Official Selection of 53 titles by adding the following films, beefing up their Latin American lineup; one Mexican auteur is in the Competition. Two Cannes competition vets wind up in Un Certain Regard, Apichatpong Weerasethakul ("Cemetery of Splendour") and Naomi Kawase ("An," “Sweet Red Bean Paste”) which will open the programme. That leaves two women in the Main Competition and four in Un Certain Regard. Gasper Noé's erotic "Love" is playing at midnight. In Competition "Cronic" by Mexican Michel Franco, starring Tim Roth (English language)"The Valley of Love" by Guillaume Nicloux, starring Gerard Depardieu and Isabelle Huppert Un Certain Regard "Alias Maria" by José Luis Rugeles Gracia"Taklub by Brillante Mendoza"Lamb" by Yared Zeleke – 1st film, first entry of Ethiopia in »
- Anne Thompson
Official Selection for 2015 line-up completed with extra titles for Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screening and Midnight Screening strands.Click here for the full line-up
The 68th Cannes Film Festival has completed its Official Selection. Headlining the additions are two more Competition titles, taking the number of films in the running for the Palme d’Or up to 19.
The first is Chronic by Mexican director Michel Franco, starring Tim Roth and Bitsie Tulloch (Grimm). The film marks Franco’s English-language debut and centres on a depressed nurse practitioner who assists terminally ill patients and tries to reconnect with the family he abandoned. Wild Bunch handles sales
Franco and Roth decided to work together after meeting at Cannes in 2012, where the film-maker’s previous feature After Lucia won Un Certain Regard and Roth served on the jury.
The Mexican filmmaker was also in the running for Cannes’ Golden Camera in 2009 with his debut feature, Daniel and Ana.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
Michel Franco’s “Chronic” and Guillaume Nicloux’s “Valley of Love” will get a shot at the Palme d’Or, Gaspar Noe’s “Love” will receive a midnight screening, and Naomi Kawase’s “Sweet Red Bean Paste” is set to open Un Certain Regard at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, it was announced on Thursday.
One week after the lineup was initially unveiled in Paris, festival delegate general Thierry Fremaux completed the official selection with the whopping addition of nine films: two in competition; one midnight entry; five in Un Certain Regard; and one, Robert Guediguian’s “Une histoire de fou,” in Special Screenings. The last-minute jockeying for position — with several films reportedly in play for a limited number of berths — suggests an even more complicated, down-to-the-wire selection process than usual.
The official selection will present 53 features in total, with the competition and Un Certain Regard unspooling 19 titles apiece.
- Justin Chang
The Festival de Cannes has announced the lineup for the official selection, including the Competition and Un Certain Regard sections, as well as special screenings, for the 68th edition of the festival:
COMPETITIONOpening Night: La Tête Haute (Emmanuelle Bercot) (Out of Competition)Dheepan (Temporary title) (Jacques Audiard)La loi du marché (Stéphane Brizé)Marguerite et Julien (Valérie Donzelli)The Tale of Tales (Matteo Garrone)Carol (Todd Haynes)The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien)Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke)Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda)Macbeth (Justin Kurzel)The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos)Mon Roi (Maïwenn)Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti)Saul Fia (László Nemes)Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)Louder than bombs (Joachim Trier)The Sea of Trees (Gus Van Sant)Sicario (Denis Villeneuve)Cronic (Michel Franco)The Valley of Love (Guillaume Nicloux)
The Cannes Film Festival added nine totals to its lineup on Thursday. “Cronic” from director Michael Franco and “The Valley of Love” from director Guillaume Nicloux will be screened in Competition, bringing the total number of films being judged by a jury presided over by Joel and Ethan Coen to 19. Additionally, José Luis Rugeles Gracia’s “Alias Maria,” Brillante Mendoza’s “Taklub,” Yared Zeleke’s “Lamb,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Cemetery of Splendour” and Naomi Kawase’s “An” will compete in Un Certain Regard, which will be decided by a jury led by actress and director Isabella Rossellini. Also Read: Jake Gyllenhaal, »
- Greg Gilman
With the world’s most prestigious film festival just around the corner, cineastes have been lasciviously salivating about what’s going to show up at Cannes, with wish lists appearing almost immediately after Berlin (a fest that had one of their most impressive line-ups ever) announced their awards. The remainder of the 2015 fest circuit looks to be a plentiful, diverse porridge, with many of the world’s most renowned auteurs’ sporting brand new titles. While many prognosticators will be sharing the same lists, more or less, hopes are incredibly high for a handful of sure bets, and a gaggle of hopefuls. The main competition always seems easier to postulate, though Thierry Fremaux always throws a few curves, (After the Battle in 2012, The Hunt in 2013 or last year’s Timbuktu, which won the Cesar for Best Picture recently, are a couple ready examples of under-the-radar titles).
Italy seems primed for saturation at the fest. »
- Nicholas Bell
Brillante Mendoza, one of the most notable directors working in the Philippines, has had constant output since his controversial win as Best Director for Kinatay at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival (he’d received previous murmurs of international renown for titles like 2008’s Service and 2005 debut The Masseur. He’s been quiet since the underwhelming experimental horror film Sapi in 2013, while other titles, like 2012’s Thy Womb, are often delayed considerably before reaching the Us. While 2014 was absent a new Mendoza title, earlier in the year it was revealed that his latest project, The Embroiderer, had received funding (along with a documentary he was simultaneously working on). While the film concerns an 83-year-old woman whose embroidery business is on the verge of bankruptcy, we wonder if Mendoza’s regular muse Mercedes Cabral will play a part somewhere in the mix.
Cast: Not available. »
- Nicholas Bell
18 items from 2015
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