THE BRIEF

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The only problem I had with this infographic, and I brought it up with the person who made it, was that I would put Spike Lee in the influential filmmakers section.  But I got, I think, a fair response which essentially said that this info graphic was more about the up and comers, those who are movers and shakers.  So, I asked, where is Ava DuVernay?  They included her production company AFFRM but not her.  To my mind, and perhaps I am not someone who knows everything after all, there is no more influential black filmmaker working today than DuVernay. But hey, have a look and let us know what you think.  Full infographic after the cut.

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A piece over at European CEO wonders whether this is, in fact, true. Jean Luc-Godard said of the fest, “Now, it’s just for publicity. People come to Cannes just to advertise their films.”  Perhaps that is truer today than it’s ever been as the entire year feels like one rolling publicity tour for the same handful of films.  It used to be that the PR train stopped with the Oscars for a while. Cinema would then be in the dead zone for a few months until the summer movie season hit.  But now, with Captain American pushing up summer movies to April, and Cinemacon already starting the necessary fluffing, then Cannes, then  Comic-Con just around the corner and after that Telluride, it begs the question whether there really is any break anymore.  Of course, who can complain when it’s so difficult to get any movies funded now – especially movies that aren’t pre-branded with our overly branded culture.  Any championing of films like Under the Skin and Only Lovers Left Alive is good.  Those movies were supposedly part of the PR train from last season but now are enjoying some singularity with all of the Oscar movies out of the way.

From my seat, Cannes is one of the few stops left that truly celebrates diverse, worthy filmmaking from all over the world. It isn’t just the main competition (which, I have to say, always blows my stupid American brain right the fuck away) but everything else going on at Cannes – the producers workshops, the short films, the networking between up and coming filmmakers and potential financiers.  It isn’t just about promotion but about opportunity – as long as you can get there.

However, according to British filmmaker Andrew Lang, Cannes still has its artistic integrity. “Cannes is still the festival that everyone tries to get their films into. For serious art house cinema, there’s no better place to launch a film. Films that might be considered ‘difficult’ to distributors because of their lack of stars or challenging subject matter premiere at Cannes, and with that stamp of approval might then be seen throughout the world. No other festival – except perhaps Sundance – has the same transformative power on a film’s fortunes.”

He told European CEO that while commercial factors may have crept into Cannes, it still showcases a great deal of challenging cinema. “There’s definitely a creeping commercialism, but where isn’t there? I can understand what Godard misses. In 1968, he had the festival closed in solidarity with the French Student protests. I can’t imagine many modern directors doing that.”

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Play

We probably spend too much time talking about Lost in Translation and not enough time talking about Return of the King. But it was an important film, a beautiful film and the sum total of Peter Jackson’s vision to bring the books to the big screen. It was a pretty good year with Mystic River and Lost in Translation. Of all of them, the Coppola film has really grown in esteem as time has gone by and is as relevant and vital today as it was back in 2003.

Have a listen.

MarilynMonroe5047

1939 – won juvenile Oscar
1940 – nominated for Best Actor in leading role, Babes in Arms
1944 – nominated for Best Actor in The Human Comedy
1957 – nominated for Supporting Actor in The Bold and the Brave
1980 – nominated for Supporting Actor in The Black Stallion
1993 – Honorary Oscar win

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Eminem is one of the most talented musicians out there — his bothersome use of the f-word (not fuck) has calmed a bit through the years, thankfully. There is no denying his genius. He just confirmed on his Facebook page that Spike Lee will be directing Headlights, the apology song he wrote to his mother, which is already a tearjerker. As is.

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