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Cannes 2013. Gods and Men: A Conversation with Alain Guiraudie
6 hours ago
Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake, which played in the Un Certain Regard section at the 66th Cannes Film Festival and which Mubi's Adam Cook has written about here, remains one of the early stand-out titles. Set in and around a southern French gay cruising spot that's situated on the banks of a lake, the film charts the romantic intrigues of a disparate group of men whose rampant lust and desire transport them to strange and dangerous places. Recalling Jarman and Fassbinder as much as more classical French dramatists such as Éric Rohmer, this is Guiraudie's sixth feature film.
David Jenkins: What were the literary and cinematic inspirations for Stranger by the Lake?
- David Jenkins
Cannes 2013. Passing Shots: Satyajit Ray, Joel & Ethan Coen, Alex van Warmerdam
11 hours ago
There are few things more valuable at a film festival than catching a retrospective screening that puts it in perspective, resets your cinephilic enthusiasm, and reminds you what movies can be. Satyajit Ray’s Charulata (1964) served just that purpose as Cannes neared its halfway mark. Beginning with a beautiful sequence of pure cinema, for the first time I saw the link between Ray and Martin Scorsese (who holds the Indian filmmaker in the highest regard). Alone in a room in her home, the title character wanders to a window with her binoculars, opens the shutters and watches people outside. To track them, she moves from window to window, opening each shutter and observing their movement. It's hard not to think of the young Henry Hill looking out his window in Goodfellas, and even more recently, Hugo peering from behind the clock in the train station, »
- Adam Cook
Cannes 2013. Night Snack: Johnnie To's "Blind Detective"
20 May 2013 6:40 AM, PDT
Blind Detective (Johnnie To, Hong Kong)
Out Of Competition
After the Peckinpah-ian hard-boiled detectives of Drug War and the mist and cold of Northern China, back to another fantasy detective, or rather ex-detective (Andy Lau) paired with a devoted and sentimental woman cop (Sammy Cheng). Is Johnnie To building a personal collection of freak ex-cops? The previous one was "mad" (Mad Detective [San Tam], 2007), this one is blind, yet the two characters share the same capacity to mentally witness and re-enact the circumstances of the murder cases they inquire upon. And the same "theory": if you want to understand how "it" really happened, live it. Like scriptwriters who would examine one option after another of a scenario, and then play out the scenes to test them. Yet this time, To and his Milky Way gang let themselves go wilder in the blending of thriller, action, comedy (if not romcom), burlesque and over the top fantasy. »
- Marie-Pierre Duhamel
Cannes 2013. Passing Shots: Farhadi, Kore-Eda, Kashyap, Jodorowsky
19 May 2013 5:22 PM, PDT
The Past (Asghar Farhadi, France)
I had forgotten what had rubbed me the wrong way about Farhadi's A Separation, but it didn't take The Past more than five minutes before a single cut jolted my memory of the writer-director's schematic, super-literal style of filming his scripts. For such an actor-based approach—the last three films of Farhadi's being heated, nearly claustrophobic personal encounters in small spaces—The Past's lack of a sense of the cinematic freedom one can get from forming a film around the actors (rather than the other way around) is disheartening. The deliberateness of every gesture and prop, every feeling, thought and subtext spoken out loud seems a kind of humanist-realism version of Haneke's relentlessly obvious cinema. It is minus Haneke's chiding, of course, but is certainly didactic, cloaked in the “unfolding” of “drama” (in the Classical Hollywood sense of invisible form, rather than Haneke's clinical-analytic »
- Daniel Kasman