French proverb: Patience passe science.
(There’s nothing so shrewd as patience.)
Cannes, once again soaked under a deluge of rain and cold weather, isn’t how the residents and business owners of Cannes like it to be this time of year. You can’t stop the weather.
The festival so far has been mostly marked by rain, with so many umbrellas as far as the eye can see, and those cheerfully selling umbrellas on the street are the only street vendors having a good season. It was into this on Saturday that I made my way down to the Debussy to wait in line to see the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which was having its first screening at the smaller theater here in Cannes.
Two hours early is way too early for a screening at that theater, as usually one hour — if you have a blue badge — will suffice. But a popular screening like this one, even in the cold and rain, was going to be packed. Being at the front of the line maybe meant you could get in but I was taking no chance that I wouldn’t, after a two hour wait. In the rain.
Another blogger, Hollywood.com’s Matt Patches vowed to join me and sure enough, there he was, first in line down at the Dubussy. Shortly after that, Craig Kennedy showed up and little by little people starting crowding the line. Even the yellow-badged festival goers were lining up, on the slim chance they’d get in. You give it your best shot, even if it seems futile. Inside Llewyn Davis ought to have been shown in the bigger theater, the Grande Lumiere but for some unknown reason it was screening at the Dubussy. Perhaps it required a slightly more intimate first look or maybe there was something else scheduled at the Lumiere.
I’m going into each film here at the festival knowing as little in advance as I can possibly manage. I’m not even reading the official catalog entries so I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from prolific Japanese director Takashi Miike. My only hope was that he’d help blow off a little mid-festival langueur and he certainly did that with Shield of Straw, a brisk crime thriller that sneaks in a uniquely Japanese cultural punch. Every year, Cannes manages to work one or two nifty genre exercises in between the Important humanist tone poems and this year Miike fit in nicely.
Two excellent cops, a man and a woman of similar skill but different personalities, are assigned to escort a child murderer from Fukuoka to Tokyo. The hitch is that the man has just been let out of prison for his crimes, but DNA evidence at a new crime scene points directly at him. When the victim’s super-rich industrialist grandfather offers up a billion yen reward for the suspect’s murder, just about everyone in Japan all the way up the echelons of the police force, want a piece. As attempt piles upon attempt, it becomes increasingly clear someone connected is leaking the whereabouts of the transport.
What a great asset for Cannes distributors to have these beautiful press kits made available for anyone to view.
Only lovers left Alive is an unconventional love story between a man and a woman, Adam and Eve. (My script was partially inspired by the last book published by Mark Twain: The Diaries of Adam and Eve — though no direct reference to the book is made other than the character’s names.)
These two lovers are archetypal outsiders, classic bohemians, extremely intelligent and sophisticated — yet still in full possession of their animal instincts. They have traveled the world and experienced many remarkable things, always inhabiting the shadowed margins of society. And, like their own love story, their particular perspective on human history spans centuries — because they happen to be vampires.
Slashfilm showcased the poster of the Rooney Mara/Casey Affleck film which will be released in theaters August 16th before heading to VOD on August 19th.
Set against the backdrop of 1970′s Texas Hill Country, AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS is a romantic American story that follows three characters on various sides of the law – outlaw Bob Muldoon (Casey Affleck), his wife Ruth Guthrie (Rooney Mara), and a local sheriff named Patrick Wheeler (Ben Foster), who gets caught in their crosshairs. The film, which is the second feature from writer-director David Lowery, was developed at the Sundance Institute’s Writing and Producing Labs and also stars Nate Parker and Keith Carradine. The film received the U.S. Dramatic Cinematography Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
The Cannes Film Fest has thrust a few Best Actor contenders into the spotlight, and though there are many months and many films to go, they seem promising contenders to be strongly considered.
The top tier nominees right now would have to be Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale and Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis. Both actors have already shown diversity in their work, which only adds to their heat heading into the race. Isaac, for instance, played the jailbird boyfriend to Carey Mulligan in Drive, the complete polar opposite his folk singer ex-boyfriend of Carey Mulligan (again) in Llewyn Davis. Michael B. Jordan’s notably different work on Friday Night Lights and The Wire. While Jordan’s is the more emotionally expressive role, Isaac plays guitar and sings. Both will have ended the year having turned in two of the best performances.
You have to appreciate a film festival that would put a movie as strange as Alex van Warmerdam’s Borgman in main competition. Though it often feels like the cast and director are making it up as they go along, it features memorable moments that are ultimately hard to shake.
Warmerdam aims to position itself as a kind of Occupy-ish revenge fantasy on the upper class. We first meet Borgman (Jan Bijvoet) at his starting point: literally a hole in the ground. He and two of his partners live in holes they dug with beds and caves underneath. But if you think that somehow is the key to everything, it isn’t. Perceptions are quickly formed and just as quickly dispelled about who Borgman and his wrecking crew really are. They might even be dogs for all we know. Yes, dogs.
You have to toss all preconceptions and watch the dream play out. It isn’t just any dream, but one of those bizarre, rambling, vivid dreams that startle you awake in a cold sweat — like a naked man straddling you, staring at you while you sleep making you dream terrible things about your husband as you’re being seduced by Borgman. That is but one of the recurring images that cling to the psyche.