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Nothing But the Beat (2011)
I attended the première of this at the Rex cinema in Paris last night and 75 minutes later asked myself "what was the point of that?". The whole movie is like the last 10 minutes of most "talking head" documentaries you see on TV (i.e. when the person/subject it's about is summarised by the participants) only it started like that and then continued in the same way. It doesn't really go into much depth (the "death of disco",the rise of House music and his early career are touched upon) but it's far too choppy and seemingly concerned with jumping to the next scene. As a vanity project it works (David seems a nice guy that lots of people like, who (along with his wife) has built up a very successful business and there is some impressive concert footage) but beyond that...I have no idea.
The Artist (2011)
Jean Dujardin deserved his Palme D'or for his captivating and wonderful performance. Where to start...this film is so clever, so beautifully crafted, so mesmerising. The lost art of the silent film is once again brought to life and that era is impressively recreated, whether it be the acting style, the sets, the locations (shot in Hollywood), the shimmering black and white photography. It is obvious to see that the people behind L'artiste respected that era of film making and wanted to recreate the magic with some modern touches ( I won't spoil them) and totally succeeded. I saw this in Cannes at an 8.30 am press screening and was totally entranced. I cannot wait to see it again!
The Tree of Life (2011)
An Eternity by Calvin Klein advert?
Well that's what portions of this film looked and felt like when it wasn't being a National Geographic documentary. I saw this at the press screening at Cannes (where it got some jeers amongst the claps). I will admit that the scenes with the children were beautiful and in places thought provoking but Sean Penn might as well not of have been in it and I found his scenes in the film the most "Calvin". Now don't get me wrong, I'm not averse to slow moving, "difficult" films and I admit it looks and sounds great, but for me, there just wasn't enough... Shame, because I really wanted to love it. *See Nostalgia de la Luz - 2010 (which was at Cannes last year) if you want to see a moving film about life and what it means.