May 232016
 

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Twenty one films competed for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, making it one of the biggest, and, according to many critics who attended the festival, one of the strongest fields in recent history. Overnight the Jury, presided by George Miller (director of Mad Max: Fury Road), selected the award winners.

From a star-studded lineup of films it was Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann that received consistent raves from critics and became the clear favourite for this year’s Palme. Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, Jeff Nichols’ Loving, Kleber Mendonca Filho’s Aquarius, and Christian Mungiu’ The Graduation all received very positive reactions. Paul Verhoeven’s Elle caused a storm on the second-to-last day, drawing many speculations that it would win and/or star Isabelle Huppert would win her third Best Actress award. Andrea Arnold’s American Honey was more divisive, but was also believed to be a very strong contender. Of course, there were films that copped it from the Croisette crowds. Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper, Nicolas Winding Refn The Neon Demon, Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World and Sean Penn’s The Last Face, were aggressively booed, with the latter pair widely regarded as two of the worst to screen in the competition. There was barely a whisper for the latest Dardenne Bros film The Unknown Girl, and subdued response to Pedro Almodovar’s Julietta. 

But, various Jury Grids yielded different results, and amongst all of the online chatter it became impossible to predict just who would win this year. The Cannes Jury selections were surprising, to say the least. All we know is that we’re excited about all of these films, and hope to have the opportunity to see them all at some point this year.

Here is a list of all of the winners:

Palme d’or

I, Daniel Blake, directed by Ken Loach

Grand Prix

Juste La Fin Du Monde (It’s Only the End of the World), directed by Xavier Dolan

Jury Prize 

American Honey, directed by Andrea Arnold

Best Director (tie)

Christian Mungiu, Bacalaureat (Graduation)

Olivier Assayas, Personal Shopper

Best Screenplay 

Asghar Farhadi, Forushande (The Salesman)

Best Performance by an Actress 

Jaclyn JOSE in Ma’ Rosa, directed by Brillante Mendoza

Best Performance by an Actor

Shahab Hosseini inForushande (The Salesman), directed by Asghar Farhadi

The Jury of the CST also awarded the Vulcan Award of the Technical Artist to Seong-Hie Ryu, for the artistic direction, with great inspiration, for The Handmaiden by Park Chan-Wook

Apr 152016
 

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Yesterday evening the 2016 Cannes Film Festival line-up was announced. Always one of the highlights on the calendar year. For the first time, in one of the nerdiest decisions ever as a film buff, we watched the announcement on a Youtube live stream. In French. It had surprisingly little fanfare, simply two guys sitting at a table reading out the titles from a piece of paper. But, what they announced was an exciting list of films that went straight to our must-see lists.

The filmmakers competing in this year’s Official Competition include an all-star cast of Cannes veterans and first-time participants. It is an absolutely stacked field of world-class filmmakers, as you would expect. In the competition alone we can look forward to new films from… breathe, there are a lot…Mike Nichols (whose other new film Midnight Special is set to hit Australian cinemas next week), Jim Jarmusch (whose last film to premiere at Cannes, Only Lovers Left Alive, went on to become our favourite film of the year), Park Chan-wook (Korean legend – Oldboy, Stoker), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (previous Palme d’Or winners – Two Days, One Night, Rosetta), Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria), Andrea Arnold (Fish Tank, Red Road), Sean Penn (Into the Wild, and this is his first film since 2007), Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives, famously booed at Cannes a few years back, and Drive), Ken Loach (another previous Palme winner with The Wind That Shakes the Barley, but thought to have retired), Paul Verhoeven (just his fourth film of the 21st Century, but boasts an incredible career including RoboCop and Showgirls), Christian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Beyond the Hills), Pedro Almodovar (a Cannes regular, last time with The Skin I Live In), Alain Guiraudie (Stranger By the Lake) and Xavier Dolan (Canadian wunderkind making his second appearance in the Palme competition, after Mommy in 2014).

Check out the full list of films announced to screen as part of the Official Competition, Un Certain Regard, Midnight Screenings and Outside Competition, and let us know what films you are most looking forward to:

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May 252015
 

Dheepan-Cannes-Film-Review

The Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious international film festival, is over for another year. Over the course of last twelve days 19 titles screened in the official competition before a jury led by the Coen Bros. Amongst some of the best received critically, at least from what I interpreted through my feed, were Todd Haynes’ Carol, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, Laszlo Nemes’ Son of Saul, Nanni Moretti’s Mi Madre, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth and Denis Velleneuve’s Sicario. 

But, the jury award the Palme d’Or to Jacques Audiard for Dheepan, a drama about a Sri Lankan Tamil warrior who flees to France and ends up working as a caretaker outside Paris. Audiard’s last two films A Prophet and Rust and Bone both screened in the official competition, with the former winning the Grand Prix in 2009.

The Grand Prix (second prize) was awarded to Son of Saul, which sounds tremendous –  1944 Auschwitz, a prisoner forced to burn the corpses of his own people finds moral survival upon trying to salvage from the flames the body of a boy he takes for his son.

Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster was awarded the Jury Prize (third prize). This is the first English-language feature from the Greek director, featuring a cast including Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly.  Set in a dystopian near future, single people are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days or are transformed into animals and released into the woods. Lanthimos won the Grand Prix in the Un Certain Regard section in 2009 for Dogtooth.

Best Director was awarded to Hsiao-hsien for The Assassin and Best Screenplay was awarded to Michael Franco for Chronic. There was a lot of discussion about the possibility of Tim Roth winning Best Actor for his performance in Chronic, so the screenplay win was a surprise. Best Actress was shared by Rooney Mara for Carol and Emannuelle Bercot for Mon Roi. The former film was wonderfully received, and the performances for both Mara and Cate Blanchett were celebrated. Mon Roi, Maiwenn’s follow-up to the award-winning Polisse, was not well-received at all. Best Actor was awarded to Vincent London for The Measure of a Man, directed by Stephane Brize.

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit the official Cannes Film Festival website.

While it has been hard to gauge just how strong this year’s line-up is, there are certainly a bunch of Competition titles that sound very intriguing. In addition to the aforementioned winners I most look forward to when Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, Matteo Garrone’s The Tale of Tales, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth and Joachim Trier’s Louder Than Bombs all make it to Australian screens over the next twelve months.