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Thread: CANNES 2024 - remote notes

  1. #31
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    Cannes Critics Week

    SOURCE

    Cannes Critics' Week, also known as La Semaine de la Critique, is a parallel section of the Cannes Film Festival that focuses on first and second feature films from up-and-coming directors. The French Union of Film Critics created the section in 1962 to support young film creation, highlight first and second features, and discover new talents. Many of the biggest names in international art house cinema got their start at the section
    Across The Sea (Fr-Mor-Belg-Qat)
    Dir. Saïd Hamich Benlarbi

    Following several producer credits including last year’s Un Certain Regard jury prize winner Hounds, this is the filmmaker’s first feature as director to premiere on the Croisette — one of four Critics’ Week titles this year showing as a special screening. The romantic drama (aka La Mer Au Loin) tells the story of a drug dealer and an unpredictable police officer in Marseille. Morocco’s Ayoub Gretaa stars alongside France’s Grégoire Colin and Anna Mouglalis. Sophie Penson produces for France’s Barney Production alongside Morocco’s Mont Fleuri Production and Belgium’s Tarantula, with support from Doha Film Institute. The Jokers Film distributes in France.
    Contact: Indie Sales

    Animale (Fr)
    Dir. Emma Benestan

    After making her feature debut with 2021 romantic comedy Fragile, the French-Algerian director shifts gears with this revenge horror about a young woman who experiences disturbing changes after she is mauled on a night out. César-*winning actress Oulaya Amamra (from 2016’s Divines) leads the cast. Closing Critics’ Week as a special screening, Animale is produced by Julie Billy and Naomi Denamur at French outfit June Films, and Titane producers Cassandre Warnauts and Jean-Yves Roubin of Belgium’s Frakas Productions in co-production with broadcaster France 3 Cinéma. Wild Bunch distributes in France.
    Contact: Film Constellation

    Baby (Bra-Fr-Neth)
    Dir. Marcelo Caetano

    Among the seven films playing in competition at Critics’ Week, this second feature from Caetano portrays a tumultuous passion between a young man recently released from prison and a male prostitute, who teaches him new ways to survive on the streets of Sao Paulo. Co-*written with Gabriel Domingues, with whom Caetano collaborated on his debut feature Body Electric (International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2017), Baby is produced by Brazil’s Cup Filmes, Plateau Producoes and Caetano’s Desbun Filmes, France’s Still Moving, and the Netherlands’ Circe Films and Kaap Holland Film.
    Contact: Quentin Bosschaert, m-appeal

    Block Pass (Fr)
    Dir. Antoine Chevrollier

    This is the anticipated debut feature from Bafta TV Award-nominated Chevrollier, known for hit French series including Oussekine, The Bureau and Baron Noir. Block Pass (La Pampa) reteams the director with Oussekinestar Sayyid El Alami alongside newcomer Amaury Foucher, Les Misérables star Damien Bonnard and Artus (Spoiled Brats, The Madness Express). Set in the world of motocross, Block Pass explores a friendship between two youths, which faces challenges when one boy’s secret is met with intolerance in the community. France’s Agat Films — Ex Nihilo produces.
    Contact Indiana Perrier, Pulsar Content

    Blue Sun Palace (US)
    Dir. Constance Tsang

    Wu Ke-Xi, Lee Kang Sheng and Xu Haipeng star in this tale of migrants in the Chinese community of Queens, New York City who bond after a tragedy and search for familial connections. Blue Sun Palace is the debut feature from Tsang, whose short drama Beau was a jury prize winner at the 2021 Directors Guild of America Student Awards. Production took place in autumn 2023 on the feature from Big Buddha Pictures and Field Trip Media, which was financed through private investors.
    Contact: Charades (international); WME (North America)

    The Brink Of Dreams (Egy-Fr-Den-Qat-Saudi)
    Dirs. Nada Riyadh, Ayman El Amir

    The Egyptian directors team up again following 2016 feature Happily Ever After, which documented a faltering relationship in the wake of the Arab Spring. The Brink Of Dreams, originally titled Land Of Women, follows a group of girls in southern Egypt for four years as they challenge tradition by forming a street theatre group. The documentary is produced by El Amir’s Felucca Films and co-*produced by Denmark’s Magma Films and France’s Dolce Vita Films. Further support came from TorinoFilmLab’s 2024 audience design fund, Venice Final Cut and Red Sea Fund.
    Contact: The Party Film Sales

    Ghost Trail (Fr)
    Dir. Jonathan Millet

    Millet’s debut feature — opening Critics’ Week as a special screening — is a thriller inspired by true events about a man pursuing the Syrian regime’s fugitive leaders. The journey leads to France, as he trails his former torturer. The French, English and Arabic-language feature is produced by rising French production house Films Grand Huit and stars Harka’s 2022 Un Certain Regard best actor winner Adam Bessa alongside Tawfeek Barhom of Sweden’s 2023 Oscar entry Cairo Conspiracy. Millet’s short Et Toujours Nous Marcheronswas nominated for a 2018 César award and his feature documentary Ceuta, Douce Prison played at more than 60 festivals.


    Julie Keeps Quiet (Belg-Swe)
    Dir. Leonardo Van Dijl

    (Already covered in this thread HERE)
    This is the Belgian director’s feature debut after his short Stephanie was selected for Cannes’ short films competition in the Covid year of 2020. The drama surrounds a tennis star who refuses to speak out when her coach is suspended while under investigation. Real-life tennis player Tessa Van den Broeck leads the cast alongside Belgian TV star Koen De Bouw. The Dardenne brothers’ Les Films du Fleuve produces in collaboration with Belgium’s De Wereldvrede, Hobab and Film i Väst from Sweden, and French-US outfit Blue Morning Pictures.
    Contact: Katarzyna Siniarska, New Europe Film Sales

    Locust (Tai-Fr-US)
    Dir. KEFF

    The first feature film of Taiwanese-American multidisciplinary artist KEFF follows a quiet young man in Taiwan who leads a double life — working in a family restaurant by day and running with local gangsters at night. The cast includes Liu Wei Chen, Rimong Ihwar and Devin Pan. Anita Gou, producer of Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, produces through her Los Angeles-based Kindred Spirit, alongside France’s mk2 Productions. KEFF’s 45-minute NYU thesis film Taipei Suicide Story was chosen for the Cannes Cinéfondation selection in 2020 and won a grand jury prize at Slamdance in 2021.
    Contact: Alya Belgaroui, mk2 Films

    Queens Of Drama (Fr-Belg)
    Dir. Alexis Langlois

    This feature debut — playing as a special screening — follows several short films from this rising star of the French new queer cinema, including The Demons Of Dorothy, which won a Silver Leopard of Tomorrow prize at Locarno in 2021. Musical comedy Queens Of Drama follows a turbulent romance between a 2000s pop star (Louiza Aura) and a queer punk idol (Gio Ventura), while the cast also includes Asia Argento, Alma Jodorowsky and singer/songwriter Bilal Hassani. France’s Les Films du Poisson, Greece’s Filaro House and Belgian outfit Wrong Men North produce.
    Contact: Charades

    Simon Of The Mountain (Arg-Chile-Uru)
    Dir. Federico Luis

    After his short film The Nap premiered in 2019 Cannes, Buenos Aires-born Luis returns with his first solo feature, about a 21-year-old man who finds renewed purpose after befriending a group of disabled youngsters. Lorenzo Ferro, best known for his breakout role in Luis Ortega’s Cannes 2018 Un Certain Regard entry El Angel, stars, while Luis co-writes with editor Tomas Murphy and actor/filmmaker Agustin Toscano (2018 Directors’ Fortnight entry The Snatch Thief). Argentina’s 20/20 is the lead producer in association with Planta, Mother Superior and Twelve Thirty Media.
    Contact: Luxbox
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-21-2024 at 08:04 PM.

  2. #32
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    JOAO PEDRO MARIANO IN BABY

    BABY (Marcelo Caetano)

    TRAILER

    Critics' Week. The followup to the director's well received 2017 BODY ELECTRIC according to Jonathan Holland in SCREEN DAILY BABY is "a tenderhearted, quietly affirmative take" on a teenage boy’s "search for family" set mostly in São Paolo, Brazil's "mean streets," where the filmmaker does "a terrific job" at "eking out gentleness" in "the most unexpected of places." Though ostensibly an LGBT+ film, this fits into a larger context, Holland says. Wellington (João Pedro Mariano) is released from two years in juvie only to find his family has disappeared for him; his father, a cop, rejects his homosexuality. He falls in with old friends who're buskers, but then meets and hooks up with 42-year-old male escort Ronaldo (Ricardo Teodoro) in front of a porn theater and the connection "part sexual, part father-son, and part sex worker/manager," becomes "the film’s emotional core." SORTIR A PARIS says it's "a conflicting passion, oscillating between exploitation and protection, jealousy and complicity." Somehow Wellington, who adopts the moniker Baby, has good experiences. Ava Cahen was "Blown away by this novel of a film." Olivia Popp in CINEROPA calls BABY "a refreshing normalisation of contemporary urban life and all of its complexities," and Caetano’s direction "never indulgent, and sometimes even understated." She describes further plot and cast details and " the "drum-heavy sound design" and "bouncy, pop-infused original soundtrack" that contribute to the upbeat feel.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-21-2024 at 08:05 PM.

  3. #33
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    Palme d'Or predictions as of May 20 / day 7

    From INDIEWIRE
    Cannes competition entries ranked so far by likelihood of winning the Palme d’Or:

    1. EMILIA PÉREZ
    2. BIRD
    3. THE SUBSTANCE
    4. KINDS OF KINDNESS
    5. MEGALOPOLIS
    6. LIMONOV: THE BALLAD
    7. CAUGHT BY THE TIDES
    8. OH, CANADA
    9. THE GIRL WITH THE NEEDLE
    10. THREE KILOMETERS TO THE END OF THE WORLD
    11. WILD DIAMOND
    On INDIEWIRE Ryan Lattanzio thinks Ben Whishaw has a good chance of Best Actor for LIMINOV.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-21-2024 at 03:24 PM.

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    ANORA (Sean Baker)

    VIDEO CLIP

    In Competition. Remember Baker scored high with his iPhone-shot TANGERINE about two "working girls" in 2015. ANORA could be seen as a much more realistic version of PRETTY WOMAN, spinning out a "whirlwind sex-work romance," says Peter Debruge in his VARIETY review, that "sparkles like the tinsel in its leading lady's hair." She's a New York stripper and he's the "reckless son of a Russian oligarch." The film that has a Safdie brothers flavor Debruge calls "compulsively entertaining, 80-proof emotional ride." Anora or "Ani" (MIkey Madison) is part Russian and speaks a bit of the language learned from her grandma, and shares a small house in Brighton Beach with her sister. It's at the Manhattan strip club, HQ, where she's an escort and lap dancer that she gets sent to the table of young big spender Ivan, aka Vanya (Mark Eydelshteyn), and Ivan and Ani, close in age, click at once. The next day he brings her to his nearby mansion; she negotiates for $15K up front when he wants her to stay. 138 minutes "race by" (though a few could be lost) in a "full-throttle tragicomedy of romance, denial and betrayal," Peter Bradshaw says in his 4/5 star GUARDIAN review, A "a non-love story which finds its apex in a Las Vegas wedding chapel in the middle of the night, "slaloms downwards into the most extraordinary, cacophonous uproar of recrimination unfolding in what is more or less real time." David Rooney in HOLLYWOOD REPORTER says "Sex workers have been a big part of Baker's gallery of outsiders," and this makes ANORA "a fine addition to his terrific body of work." Ani has "a sweetness that humanizes even the most transactional situations" as well as "a defensiveness that makes her dangerous when threatened" - i.e., like when Ivan's dad sends goons to break up this mismatch, Ivan bolts, and Ani does a stand-off. Vegas is for the wedding, but they spend a lot of time at Brighten Beach-adjacent locales with Vanya and his "retinue of Russian-speaking locals," in Coney Island, "a pool hall, a video game arcade, Tatiana Grill on the boardwalk," etc. shot in 35mm with anamorphic lenses thus a messy but "satisfying watch." The leads are "terrific" (Madison) and "watchable" (Eydelshteyn) and " Baker’s film-making is muscular and fluent" (Bradshaw). In an enthusiastic Oscar Expert YouTube review Brother Bro (Mason Jaeger) calls ANORA, which he gives 9 out of 10 "the best film I've seen at Cannes" and predicts it will go on to collect many laurels in the US awards season with multiple Oscar noms including Best Actor and Best. Actress for the leads. WINNER OF THE PALME D'OR. A Neon release.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-27-2024 at 12:37 AM.

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    CELESTE DALLA ;PORTA, STEFANNIA SANDRELLI IN PARTHENOPE

    PARTHENOPE (Paolo Sorrentino)

    In Competition. Newcomer Celeste Dalla Porta stars in this story tracing the life of a Neapolitan woman as a reflection of the city itself, also featuring Stefania Sandrelli, Gary Oldman and Silvio Orlando, but the director's taste for "baroque VIRTUOSITY" makes the film "too rich to digest," says David Rooney in his HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review. HAND OF GOD, Sorrentino's touching and fun, most personal and best movie, "shimmered with the director’s memories of his youth." But the "deeply personal nature and intimacy of that film are drowned here by ostentation," says Rooney. The titular character (Sandrelli) carries the 8th century BC Greek name for the city of Naples. But the more time we spend with her the more remote she becomes. By Siddhant Adlakha reviewing for VARIETY is a much more favorable view he calls the film "an exquisite treatise on cinematic beauty." She is born in 1959; Celeste Dellla Porta plays her in 1968 when she, her brother, and the maid's son go to Capri in a golden summer that ends abruptly. David Erlich in INDIEWIIRE finds this a "superficial meditation n the relationship between youth and beauty." Sorrentino "is back on his proverbial bullshit with another sprawling flesh parade that’s more consumed with abstract ideals than it is with the stuff of life itself," says Erlich. S. is "a middle-aged man who almost drives himself insane trying to imagine what life would be like as an unbelievably hot woman." Things swirl around through time rathr than tell a story, says sERlich. Parthenope meets the alcoholic, closeted Aierican writer John Cheever (Gary Oldman) and they bond, due to the relief for her of a man not wanting to have sex with her. A24 is releasing the film.


    CELESTE DELLA PORTA IN PARTHENOPE
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-21-2024 at 07:36 PM.

  6. #36
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    Current SCREEN DAILY Jury Grid

    The Jury Grid of SCREEN DAILY is a running poll of 12 people who give scores that are averaged. You can find HERE. It will include all the Competition films. It won't tell you who will win the Competition prizes but it is some indication and more complete than the two INDIEWIRE lists I've posted so far.

    2.7 THE SUBSTANCE
    2.6 CAUGHT BY THE TIDES
    2.5 EMILIA PÉREZ
    2.4 KINDS OF KINDNESS
    2.3 BIRD
    2.3 THREE KILOMETERS TO THE END OF THE WORLD
    2.2 LIMONOV, THE BALLAD
    2.2 THE SHROUDS
    2.2 THE GIRL WITH THE NEEDLE
    2.1 MEGALOPOLIS
    1.8 OH, CANADA
    1.7 THE APPRENTICE
    shown, not yet socred:
    ANORA (Sean Baker)
    MARCELLO MIO Christophe Honoré)
    PARTHENOPE (Paolo Sorrentino)
    GRAND TOUR (Miguel Gomes)
    MOTEL DESTINO (Karim Aïnouz)
    BEATING HEARTS (Gilles Lellouche)
    ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT (Payal Kapadia)
    THE SEED OF THE SACRED FIG (Mohammad Rasoulof)
    THE LOST PRECIOUS CARGOES (Michel Hazavincius)
    I knew EMILIA PÉREZ, THE SUBSTANCE, KINDS OF KINDNESS and BIRD were high but didn't realize Jia Zhang-ke's CAUGHT BY THE TIDES had done so well.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-26-2024 at 08:52 AM.

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    CHIARA MASTROIANNI IN MARCELLO MIO

    MARCELLO MIO (Christophe Honoré)

    TRAILER

    In Competition. Chiara Mastroianni is the daughter, born 1972, of Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. She has often played in Honoré's films in secondary roles, but this time is the center of one as a version of herself: taking on the faux identity of her famous father. Cate Blanchett wearing a similar drag to play Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' I'M NOT THERE was brilliant, but that was something quite different. Bradshaw giving it only 2/5 stars in his GUARDIAN review calls this film a "twee" and "unconvincing and tiresome piece of cine-narcissism" redeemed only slightly by a "droll Catherine Deneuve," the best thing" in this piece of "Mastroianni family whimsy." Jordan Mintzer in his HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review shows this film to be sprinkled with arcane references to European film history - for Chiara, who played her first big role at 21 in André Téchiné's MY FAVORITE SEASON, subsequently worked not only frequently for Honoré but sometimes for Raúl Ruiz, Arnaud Desplechin, Manoel de Oliveira, and Claire Denis. Guy Lodge in a VARIETY review, noting MARCELLO MIO features a "bevy of A-listers as themselves," describes the film as "a vastly indulgent but gossamer-weight bit of frippery" that was "probably more fun to make than it is to watch." Honoré has excelled at lightweight movies like LA BELLE PERSONNE or LOVE SONGS/LES CHANSONS D'AMOUR, but this, says Bradshaw, is merely "an indulgent doodle of a film, a self-admiring industry in-joke, an earthbound flight of fancy, unconvincing on a literal level, and unenlightening on a metaphorical level." Including Fabrice Luccchini, Melvil Poupaud, Nicole Garcia et al. as themselves doesn't help. "Yet Deneuve," says Bradshaw, "puncturing her daughter’s affectations and delusions with a wry and bemused smile, injects some real humor."
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-23-2024 at 02:24 PM.

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    OLIVER STONE (RIGHT) INTERVIEWS THE BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT IN LULA

    LULA (Oliver Stone, Rob Wilson)

    Special Screenings. A documentary about the amazing rise from poverty, disgrace and imprisonment-fall, and rise again of Brazilian leader and current president (for the third time) Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. It is thorough and fast-paced, Jordan Mintzer says in his HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review, and makes much use of THE INTERCEPT as a source (though one must consult that publication itself for full details) and interaction with its co-founder Glenn Greenwald, who lives in Brazil. An "illuminating and accessible" film, says Stephanie Bunbury in her DEADLINE review. " You could come to this film with zero knowledge of Lula," she says; but that is a disadvantage for some, Mintzer points out: he says the first half is obvious to anyone knowledgeable about Brazilian politics. (This is tyical of Stone films.) Mintzer also points out that Stone "isn’t a journalist, but a filmmaker with certain convictions, whether political or thematic, that he tries to convey in every movie he makes." It's a little suspicious that Stone likes so much hanging around with "powerful men," even the likes of Putin; that every one of his films seems "an Oliver Stone film in all senses of the term." One wants to see Stone films, but handles them gingerly. Perhaps that's why the neutral "Special Screenings" status at Cannes. (There is a Cannes interview with Stone in VARIETY by Brent Lang.)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-22-2024 at 11:51 AM.

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    ELIN HALL IN WHEN THE LIGHT BREAKS

    WHEN THE LIGHT BREAKS (Rúnar Rúnarsson)

    Un Certain Regard (opener)..VARIETY points out its premiere was "buzzy" and has "sold to a raft of territories." It is enthusiastically reviewed in a short video by Justin Jaeger, Brother Bro of The Oscar Expert on YouTube . Brother Bro says he has not seen young people "grappling with grief" in "such detail" and that the Icelandic director is a "master" of his craft as a director in every aspect, and this makes him want to see every one of his films and recommend any film student do so. It "may be a hard film to love" for some people because of its difficult subject matter, but he says he does not "expect to see a better performance at Cannes" than that of Elín Hall in the lead role. BRO'S recommendation of this film is heartfelt and detailed. Lovia Gyarkye in HOLLYWOOD REPORTER bluntly reveals upfront central details of the film perhaps best not known in advance. She is ostensibly approving, but more lukewarm, saying "An appreciation for grief’s minor moments coupled with a striking visual language elevate this slender drama." In his VARIETY review Guy Lodge calls it a "quiet but intensely felt miniature, carefully describing how it unfolds during one long dayat once blurred and intensified by grief.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-22-2024 at 04:03 PM.

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    CRISTA ALFAIATE IN GRAND TOUR

    GRAND TOUR (Miguel Gomes)

    TEASER TRAILER

    In Competition. GRAND TOUR, another "beguiling and elusive" film from the 52-year-old Portuguese auteur, "takes the viewer on a dreamy ride through colonial Asia in 1918", explains Deborah Young in her FILM VERDICT review of the director's new film, which is fanciful, not realistic."Edward (Gonçalo Waddington), civil servant, flees fiancee Molly (Crista Alfaiate) on their wedding day in Rangoon, 1917," IMDb explains. "His travels replace panic with melancholy. Molly, set on marriage, amused by his escape, trails him across Asia." But the present day "often pushes through the whimsical story," says Young. Gomez's mix of narrative and experimentalism divide audiences between the visionaries and the unconvinced, she says. Bradshaw gives it a 4/5 stars in his GUARDIAN review, but notes its oddity: British characters speak Portuguese; voiceovers are in the language of the country being visited, which include Bangkok, Saigon, Manila and Osaka. Bradshaw calls GRAND TOUR "six parts beguiling to one part exasperating." "Beautiful and bold, if not always believable," is the "bottom line" of Jordan Mintzer's HOLLYWOOD REPORTER review. Finding Gomes's three-part 2015 ARABIAN NIGHTS (NYFF) to be hard going, I described the director as "an uneven but original and imaginative filmmaker." I described his breakthrough film, TABU (NYFF 2012): "The story like a Somerset Maugham short story without the punch line, or Hemingway one without the moral complexity. It's a bit shallow; but it's nonetheless beautiful, stylish, and inventive."

    GRAND TOUR has come to #2 on the SCREEN DAILY jury grid with 3.0, with San Baker's ANORA at the top at 3.3 now. MARCELLO MIO is at the bottom with 1.4. MOTEL DESTINO (Karim Ainouz) is at 1.9, just above OH, CANADA.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-26-2024 at 08:54 AM.

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    NATALY ROCHA, FABIO ASSUNCÃO in MOTEL DESTINO

    MOTEL DESTINO (Karim Aïnouz)

    TRAILER

    In Competition. David Rooney in HOLLYWOOD REPORTER says "Karim Aïnouz’s tropical noir conjures a potent atmosphere of heat, desire and danger even if the payoff loses steam." A young man has conflicts with his criminal comrades and holes up in a seedy beachside (love) motel in Brazil's northeastern coast. There's a love triangle that seems torridly queer but it turns out they're all s "ostensibly straight" (they're not). There are "intoxicating visuals" in tis sunlit noir in grainy 16mm by Hélène Louvart to keep you "glued." Bradshaw in the GUARDIAN calls this a "terrifically acted Brazilian erotic noir thriller" and gives in 4/5 stars. Bradshaw's plot summary: "A young man on the run from a mob boss lands an unlikely job in a brutally functional love motel and starts a passionate affair with the manager’s wife." Some reviews, like the one in DEADLINE, think "narrative contrivance" detracts, but grant that direction and cinematography "crowning achievements." Fionnuala Hallligan, in SCREEN DAILY, compliments the score and sound design too as adding notably to the lushness and sensuality. If one gets into this setting and action as Bradshaw, Justin Chang of the NEW YORKER, the Cannes reporter for SCREEN INTERNATIONAL, and Robbie Collin of DAILY TELEGRAPH do, this will be a great watch. The Cannes premiere reportedly received a 12-minute standing ovation.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-24-2024 at 04:49 PM.

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    BEATING HEARTS/L'AMOUR OUF (Gilles Lelouche)


    STILL FROM EARLY IN L'AMOUR OUF/BEATING HEARTS

    TRAILER

    In Competition. The plot starts with two teenagers, a girl from an upper-middle-class family and a boy from the working class, who fall madly in love only to have that doomed when the boy becomes involved in crime and serves a decade in prison; but later they reunite. This is an "operatic French gangster film," Bradshaw says (it's full of great 80's and 90's hits) starring François Civil and Adèle Exarchopoulos, that "suffers from bloat" in what he says "aims for a Springsteenesque blue-collar energy" but "buckles under the weight of its own naivety." He gives it a damning 2/5 stars in his GUARDIAN review. The French title uses the slang word "ouf," which means roughly "wow," so it means "wow love." Audrey Diwan, Ahmed Hamidi and Julien Lambroschini adopted Neville Thompson's novel called Jackie loves Johnser OK? set near Dublin and said to be full of local slang and lingo, and transferred it to northern France. Guy Lodge in VARIETY says it's "way too long at 165 minutes but never dull," and "best when it gives in to its wildest urges." Lodge says it takes the "slender plot of innumerable B-movies" about how "time and crime collaborate" to "derail the pure-hearted romance between two pretty young things" and blows that up "to a dizzily grand scale." The latter part is a semi-musical. The ensemble cast includes Alain Chabat, Benoît Poelvoorde, Vincent Lacoste, Jean-Pascal Zadi, and Élodie Bouchez, among others. Tim Grearson on SCREEN DAILY says the first half is better when the less known, younger actors play the mad teen love story. As the film "starts to lose its luster," Grearson writes, "eventually bogged down in Clotaire’s criminal enterprises and Jackie’s convoluted complications regarding her husband, the moony atmosphere and rocking tunes fail to provide adequate compensation. The best musicals feel lighter than air," Grearson concludes: "BEATING HEARTS strains to create the illusion of effortlessness." A French review comments it's not "amour ouf" but "amour bof" - not wow love but meh love.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-26-2024 at 09:13 PM.

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    ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT (Payal Kapadia)

    In Competition. India's first Cannes Competition film in 30 years, says S.M Kaufman in INDIEWIRE, 'is a sensual triumph." "Dreamlike and gentle," says Bradshaw in the GUARDIAN, finally giving a film here 5/5 stars. The film is the story of three Mumbai hospital employees in monsoon season, two nurses and a cook, all originally from small towns, two of whom are roommates, the younger one causing scandal by having in ill-concealed Muslim boyfriend, a rejection of arranged marriage. The eldest of the women is threatened with eviction due to an oversight of her late husband. Jessica Kiang in VARIETY says with just two features (this is the second, the first fiction) Kapadia "has established her rare talent for finding passages of exquisite poetry within the banal blank verse of everyday Indian life." The eldest decides to quit the hospital and go back to her home village and the other two women accompany her. DP Ranabir Das gives all sorts of light, Kiang says, a "gorgeous glamor." The portrait of the city is "unusually rich," so it's "almost a wrench" when the second half moves to the country but the new setting focuses more on the women's developed "bonds of mutual support" that burn brighter. And the Muslim boyfriend has secretly followed. Kapadia won the documentary award at Cannes in 2021 for her film in Directoers' Fortnight, A NIGHT OF KNOWING NOTHING. Fionnuala Halligan of SCREEN DAILY, who also uses the word "gentle" as well as for the latter part "mystical," says there's "a strong romantic streak" in the depiction of Mumbai that "calls to mind Wong Kar-wai's great love affair with the city of Hong Kong." Bradshaw notes up front a "languorous eroticism" and "something epiphanic in the later scenes and mysterious final moments." 114 mins. ALL WE IMAGINE AS LIGHT has jumped to the top of the SCREEN DAILY jury grid with a 3.3 rating, on a par with Sean Baker's ANORA.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-24-2024 at 10:31 AM.

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    ARIELA MASTROIANNI IN GAZER

    GAZER (Ryan J. Sloan)

    Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine des Réalizateurs). Critics seem enthusiastic about this intense little US debut, a "stylish noir" (Angie Han, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) that makes one think of early Christopher Nolan, "and of course FIGHT CLUB" (Peter Bradshaw video review). It stars Sloan's co-writer, Ariella Mastroianni. It has a grim industrial New Jersey setting, and a brittle heroine. It is a "brilliantly paranoid debut" (Christian Zilko, INDIEWIRE),a "grimy, paranoid thriller shot on 16mm on the streets of Jersey City" (Bradshaw). Frankie (Mastroianni) is an impoverished young single mother who has neurological problems and suffers from dyschronometria. She lacks a normal sense of time and can "zone out." She is also something of a voyeur. To make $3,000 she offers to get a car for a woman called Page so she can escape from an abusive brother, but it's risky, complicated, and there is a danger she will zone out while carrying out this maneuver. This is like BABY DRIVER if it were "a tragic, music-free exploration of mental decay," says Zilko, who calls GAZER "the kind of debut that should restore your lost faith in independent cinema," even if it "it remains something to be admired from a distance rather than felt viscerally" (Han). Jacob Stolworthy in THE INDEPENDENT (UK) calls GAZER "psychological drama that's a cult-hit-in-waiting." Sloan reportedly made this film shooting on nights and weekends over two years while working at his regular day job as an electrician in New Jersey (work he has done since the age of 13) and Mastroianni worked in programming at Angelika Film Center in New York. One thinks of PRIMER: this kind of offbeat DIY film can be very memorable and original - even as, in this case, it plays with many noir conventions. Glazer talks about the "voyeur" theme HERE. Interviewed at Cannes, he cited REAR WINDOW, THE THIRD MAN, and Lee Chang-dong's BURNING as influences, also citing BLUW-UP and BLOW-OUT. He consciously sought to make a film like Carol Reed's classic, that can be watched more than once, Stolworthy reports.
    (Other Directors' Fortnight films described on this thread: MONGREL and CHRISTMAS EVE IN MILLER'S POINT.)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-24-2024 at 10:47 AM.

  15. #45
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    THE SEED OF THE SACRED FIG (Mohammad Rasoulof)

    In Competition. (Original title: دانه*ی انجیر معابد) Rasoulof, Iran's most political filmmaker, has now fled Iran after receiving another prison sentence, this time of 8 years. THE SEED OF THE SACRED FIG, "shot clandestinely and set for the most part in one somber Tehran apartment," is "a dark and sprawling 3-hour family drama" that "is very much about Iran’s draconian legal system and what it does to the human psyche, which is obviously a subject Rasoulof knows intimately," says Jordan Mintzer (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER). . It's a "powerful indictment of Iranian oppression through the eyes of one family's breakdown," says Mintzer, "With the brutal 2022 killing of Mahsa Amini by government hands as his launching point," says Ryan Lattanzio (INDIEWIRE),the film is a "gripping allegory" about "the corrupting costs of power" and oppression of women "under a religious patriarchy that crushes the very people it claims to protect." The father here is a newly appointed almost-judge now expected to condemn a man without mercy.. His two daughters participate in the anti-hijab demonstrations by taking in a young woman who has been arrested and shot in the face. As part of his higher status the father is issued a pistol, which disappears. He starts accusing people, and violence ensues. It winds up being a horror movie, says Mintzer. And the director "has decided to focus on the very kinds of people who have been making his life hell." Bradshaw in the GUARDIAN gives the film 4/5 stars and calls it "a brazen and startling picture which, though flawed, does justice to the extraordinary and scarcely believable drama of his own situation and the agony of his homeland." In a later GUARDIAN Cannes roundup where he describes political films in the festival, Bradshaw wrote of SEED OF THE SACRED FIG, "It attempts to intuit the nightmare experienced by dissenting women by taking a downbeat political and domestic drama and progressively escalating it to a violent confrontation that resembled a pueblo shootout by Sergio Leone." The Cannes premiere received an almost-fifteen-minute standing ovation.


    ORIGINAL POSTER WITH THE TITLE & DIRECTOR'S NAME IN FARSI
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 05-26-2024 at 11:29 AM.

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