The Cannes Film Festival came to a close yesterday, with Michael Haneke taking home his second Palme d’Or for his new film Amour. I feel good about this. I like Haneke, and from my distant but watchful perspective from Lake Wobegone, this is probably a solid, yet somewhat safe, choice. (Although, Haneke? Safe? Whatever.) Some other people won some awards too, but, honestly, if you want a rundown on that you should be reading a post from one of the hard working wordsmiths who spent the last week and a half plying the caverns of the Croisette with “no guts, no glory” tattooed to their foreheads. (That may sound like romance, but it’s mostly admiration for the chaos that critics dive into at Cannes.)
Thoughtful analysis of the Cannes Film Festival is not what you will find below, but instead knee jerk reactions of anticipation and apathy as filtered through my pounding juvenile film libido.
Here are my most anticipated films among the 22 in competition at the 65th Festival de Cannes:
Post Tenebras Lux directed by Carlos Reygadas (Teaser trailer)
As soon as the critical love/hate line was drawn in the sand, this film jumped into my top spot of interest. Visual, non-narrative feature length films with crazy beautiful stuff, which may or may not accurately describe Post Tenebras Lux, are my kind of thing. It might be also worth saying that Carlos Reygadas films are my kind of thing as well. Battle in Heaven had its flaws, and although people sometimes feel the need to goad for my love of Silent Light, hopefully we can all agree that Reygadas’ debut, Japón, is something special if not a masterpiece. Reygadas won Best Director for Post Tenebras Lux—which translates to “after dark, light”—and there was no shortage of sneers, jeers and bravos, or at least that is what I have garnered from Twitter and various coverage. This only intrigues me more. Because what kind of film is it that can take a litmus test from a respectable swath of the film community and come of with half red and half blue? This fascinates me. Post Tenebras Lux is wagging around without US distribution as of yet, but someone will hopefully step up to the plate.
Holy Motors directed by Leos Carax (Trailer)
Listening to the Cannes natter one is led to believe that Holy Motors director Carax and star Denis Lavant were unjustly shut out of the awards at Cannes. Never you mind that, Holy Motors caused enough of a stir to match or better any award it could have muscled. From what I can surmise, this film is off the crazy chart and it stars Kylie Minogue. I'll take it. Holy Motors was picked up for US distribution by Indomina, a genre label that can hopefully make good on getting this film out to us yonder folk.
In the Fog directed by Sergei Loznitsa (Clip)
Loznitsa’s got my attention. My Joy was a shock to the narrative system, and really really really dark. Until he belly flops, I will always look forward to this guy’s films.
Reality directed by Matteo Garrone (Clip)
The skill in which Garrone adapted Roberto Saviano’s surreal and troubling book Gomorrah has earned him lifetime achievement for my admiration. Garrone’s Reality has a reality television subtext, something Italy probably knows about even more than the US. Reviews were generally not good for this film, but, again, it will take some time to convince me that Gomorrah was a fluke. Reality won the Grand Prix at Cannes and has been picked up for distribution by Oscilloscope.
Like Someone in Love directed by Abbas Kiarostami (Trailer)
Kiarostami continues to reinvent, this time in Japan. Like Someone in Love was picked up by Sundance Selects/IFC.
I’m also looking forward to Cristian Mungiu’s latest Beyond the Hills, Resnais’ big finale You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Hong Sang-soo’s tandem bike ride with Isabelle Huppert In Another Country, and of course Haneke’s Amour.
A big thanks for those in the trenches delivering the good the the sad sacks at home. You know who you are and you know who we are.