Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:34 pm 
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Not promising to 'cover' Cannes remotely but the previews are appealing. Jonathan Romney calls this the Cannes "that had critics salivating." Excerpts from Romney's "blog" intro to Cannes from Film Commen]:

Opening film: Annette, by Leos Carax "Carax was presumably aiming for than a simple rock opera (to use an archaic term), and one with marginally less narrative complexity than Ken Russell’s Tommy (1975). It didn’t bring out the best in either Marion Cotillard or a morose, stormy-browed Adam Driver—although the overture number 'So May We Start' was a buoyant saving grace." -Romney, Film Comment

Mark Cousins’s The Story of Film: A New Generation, an update of his encyclopedic TV series. His new chapters simply propose that this century, cinema has seen as many artists expanding or breaking rules as it ever has: beginning with the odd juxtaposition of Joker and Frozen, via Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Claire Denis, Tsai Ming-Liang’s VR, the Spider-Verse, and all points beyond. "a free-associative expression of faith in the continuing validity of the very thing that brought us to Cannes."

Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II, "continuing her 2019 semi-autobiographical drama about pain, passion, and the problems of becoming a filmmaker when you’re posh and a young woman" - as well as coping with the death of the difficult addict boyfriend who dominated Part I. Has a fantasy ending unique to this director that's a fitting end to this "superb diptych."

Emmanuel Carrère’s Between Two Worlds, with Juliette Binoche launching a very Loachian investigation into unemployment in Northern France.

François Ozon’s Everything Went Fine, "based on Emmanuèle Bernheim’s book about her father’s choice of assisted suicide. It dealt subtly and intelligently with questions of life, death, and ethics, and while lead Sophie Marceau didn’t quite have the range of nuance that the Bernheim role called for, veteran great André Dussollier was masterly as a man exerting his will despite a debilitating stroke. But the film felt slightly… if not academic, then well-behaved, even studious, which is not Ozon’s natural mode." [But Ozon was certainly plenty serious in his 2018 By the Grace of God, about pedophile priests. This sounds like another film in that new vein.]

Arthur Harari’s Onoda. New French director's 2n d feature "was a drama in Japanese about Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese soldier who famously held out after the end of World War II, refusing to believe that the conflict was over, and hiding out on an island in the Philippines..." "magnificent and crazy... captures war as derangement, and heroism as delusion, to troubling and even moving effect. . . extraordinary, Herzogian...but it's somewhat excessive 166-minute length kept Romney, he says, from seeing it all the way through.


Not mentioned by Jonathan Romney (Yet) but Deadline has a piece, "With Four Films In Cannes, Léa Seydoux Will Rule The Croisette – Interview." Léa comes with almost suspiciously "royal" movie lieange, being directly descended on both sides from the two most powerful film producing families in France (her grandfather is the chairman of Pathé, her granduncle is the chairman of Gaumont). But since she came on the scene and started working prolifically 15 or 16 years ago, she has over and over shown that she can carry her own weight as a hard-working, versatile, and yes, glamorous actress. She's most known for Kéchiche's sexually bold lesbian love affair film La Vie d'Adèle aka Blue Is the Warmest Color, but she is associated with many other as good or better titles.

She has been in Bond movies, in Robin Hood (Ridley Scott) and Mission Impossible (J.J.Abrams). But like Robert Pattinson she is a glamorous star who seeks to work with the most interesting directors - sometimes in very small roles. (She may be ahead of Pattinson in that.) She has worked with, besides Kéchiche, among others, Raoul Ruiz, Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, Yorgos Lanthimos, Catherine Breillat, Wes Anderson (twice), Bertrand Bonello, Benoît Jacquot (twice), Christophe Honoré, Ursula Meier, Xavier Dolan, and Arnaud Desplechin (now twice) and Bruno Dumont (now for the first time). She has wrapped or is completing films with David Cronenberg, Arnaud des Pallières, Mia Hansen-Løve, and her second performance as Dr. Madeleine Swann in a Bond film, this time with Cary Fukunaga; the first time was with Sam Mendes.

In this Cannes Léa Seydoux "will be reunited with directors Wes Anderson and Arnaud Desplechin, with whom she’s worked before, for The French Dispatch and Deception, respectively. France marks her first collaboration with Bruno Dumont, while Hungarian woman director Ildikó Enyedi directs Seydoux in The Story of My Wife."

"It’s crazy," Seydoux says of the flurry of activity. And she’s excited about what the work represents. "I’ve done one American film, a European film and two French films, and they are all so different. It’s exciting they’ve all been chosen by Cannes." (She has had to skip Cannes premieres because she has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating at home in Paris.)

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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