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Entries in Cannes (118)

Friday
May222015

Tim's Toons: Animated Features at Cannes

This week, the Cannes Film Festival was home to the premiere of Inside Out, the new film by Pixar Animation Studios, and one of its best-reviewed pictures. The film is playing out of competition, as has been the recent tendency of most Hollywood products, and animation in particular. It has been a special habit of films made by DreamWorks Animation in the 21st Century, with all sorts of things from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in 2002 up to How to Train Your Dragon 2 last year muscling their way onto the Croisette.

There has, however, been a small but meaningful history of animated movies to have been given slightly more honorable treatment, and allowed to play in the big kids’ sandbox. Since the festival’s first edition in 1946, there have been seven animated features entered into the main competition, if my count is right, and they make for a fascinating cross-section of how the international cinema scene regarded the state of that particular art across the years. Here, in order, are those seven films.

Make Mine Music (1946)
The eighth feature made by the Disney studio, and the third of that company’s dubious “package films”, attempts to make entire features by jamming a bunch of short films into one vague thematic frame. Like any anthology, it has peaks and valleys, though the latter dominate, and the film is infinitely less impressive than its quasi-sequel Melody Time. Let us not be baffled by its Cannes slot; this was the fest’s first year & they were figuring it out, everybody loves Disney, and it’s a nice post-war feel-good effort. It won Best Animation Design, a discontinued award.

six more after the jump including Persepolis and... Shrek 2 (!?)

Click to read more ...

Friday
May222015

1979: Cannes' Golden Fosse and 'All That Jazz'

In honor of the Year of the Month (1979) and this weekend's announcement of the Palme d'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival, Glenn looks at Bob Fosse's All That Jazz.

All That Jazz is my favourite Palme d'Or winner, awarded 35 years ago. Not only that, it's my favourite film from 1979. Actually, if you really want to know, Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical musical fantasy is my favourite film of any year, period, and it's remarkable how easily I can come to that decision whenever anybody asks what my favourite movie is considering I have the Libra mentality of terrible indecisiveness.

Looking over the list of subsequent Cannes winners and it’s a remarkably odd choice. Even when juries have given the top prize to an American film, it has never been one quite so big. It's not only a relatively big-budget America studio film, but it had already been a hit with Oscar voters several months earlier than the 1980 Cannes festival at which it won (tying with Kurosawa’s Kagemusha). Unlike No Country for Old Men – directed by this year’s Cannes jury presidents the Coen Brothers – which was apparently the victim of a jury belief that it did not need the prestige of a Palme d’Or, Kirk Douglas’ jury apparently had no qualms with awarding a four-time Oscar and two-time BAFTA winner with the most prestigious prize in international festival cinema. In a strange coincidence, Fosse’s 1979 Oscar Best Picture competitor, Apocalypse Now, had won the Palme d’Or a year earlier. It was the sort of occurrence that would never happen these days and even crazier to imagine something so razzling and dazzling taking the top prize from a competition that included names like Hal Ashby, Samuel Fuller, Bruce Beresford, Alain Resnais, Jean-Luc Godard, Walter Hill and the aforementioned Kurosawa.

Mr. Bob Fosse sent me this telegram. I am very happy and proud to share the Golden Palm with Mr. Kurosawa. I thank Roy Scheider for his collaboration in the film. And I regret not having been able to return myself, to express my joy and my emotion."

more

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Thursday
May212015

Cannes Red Carpet 2: Dystopian Glamour + Illicit Flats

We return to Cannes glamour...

NATHANIEL: It has been a full week since the last Red Carpet conversation which is INEXCUSABLE, this being Cannes but the sheer volume of dresses (and I'm not talking about size though there is some of that) but quantity have made it rather daunting. So let's discuss 11 looks today.

Before we get to the lineups, I don't much care for white dresses at events unless someone is getting hitched so Zoe Kravitz is the only one out of an original multiperson white lineup I was going to do. Because I think the extension braids totally complete the look.

JOSE: Rooney Mara corners the market on bridal couture on the red carpet in my opinion, but Zoe looks really nice too! I wish she would've worn this in Mad Max instead of looking so dirty. That movie did nothing for my OCD. I wanted to hand everyone a gallon of Purell

NATHANIEL:  I love that her name in Fury Road was "Toast the Knowing".... LOL. You can't expect toast to not have that scrape off burnt layer though personally i think Zoe and her fellow rogue sex slaves looked pretty immaculate considering the white wraps and that they were riding UNDERNEATH A FUEL TRUCK.

JOSE: They needed more Valentino though! Have they learned nothing from looking glamorous in dystopia? Madonna pulls it off in Ghosttown beautifully...

MARGARET: Zoe clearly understands this, making up for it by rocking Valentino here. In white gowns, especially ones this simple, the pressure is on the hair and makeup to sell the look and she nailed it on both counts.

10 MORE LOOKS AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May212015

;)

Wednesday
May202015

Cannes Actress: Zhao Tao and Jane Fonda

The latest buzz from Cannes is that the Best Actress race is heating up. Or at least speculation is. Marion Cotillard's Lady MacBeth has yet to screen but those that have seen it early are typically wowed. But we know at this point not to expect Cannes juries to point and go "Her! Her!". If there is a Blanchett-Vanquisher out there it may well be Zhao Tao who stars in the "giddily ambitiousMountains May Depart.

That's the latest from the reknowned Jia Zhangke, a regular at the fest for whom Zhao Tao is a recurring player (Still Life, Platform, A Touch of Sin). Mountains is Zhangke's fourth try at the Palme and though he usually comes away empty-handed, his last attempt A Touch of Sin (2013) took Best Screenplay. Despite the jury completely changing each year Cannes somehow has an Oscar-like sense of momentum wherein you generally move up the ranks as to which prizes you take; longevity wins the Palme. (It's not as simple as that of course but there can be a weird cumulative coronation effect.)

So that makes the Palme race: Hungary's Son of Saul vs. USA's Carol vs China's Mountains May Depart? (Or am I forgetting something that's been similarly ecstatically received?) Typing them out that way it makes Cannes sound like the Olympics of the movies, only annual instead of bi-annual. And maybe it is?

In other Canne actressy news, our friend Kyle Buchanan says that Jane Fonda walks away with Paolo Sorrentino's Youth which stars Michael Caine as a retired film composer.  I'm hearing that Fonda's role is very showy (an old combative muse to Harvey Keitel's director character), but quite small. Nevertheless I couldn't help but immediately picture both Grace (Jane) and Frankie (Lily) as Oscar nominees this year in Supporting (for Youth) and Lead (for Grandma) and how much media fun would that be? Sorrentino had a major Cannes sensation and eventual Oscar winner with his last film The Great Beauty. This one is in English which naturally will give it a leg up with Oscar voters if it opens this year but it's already more divisive which can be a problem. Still love/hate divides are tough to predict with awards. All you sometimes need is the right people on the love side to turn the critical tide around. And anyway when this mixed review called it 'elegant fun' I just thought... doesn't that describe a lot of well received prestige films?

But just to remind us that she's already one of the immortals (with 2 Oscars, multiple classic films, and celebrity outside of acting as well, the legend is assured) here is Jane Fonda looking amazing on the cover of W --  their oldest cover girl ever.

Here's an interesting bit on self-awareness from the W interview

One day on the set of On Golden Pond, a film that she coproduced so that she could costar with her father, the legendary actor Henry Fonda, she was fixing her hair when Katharine Hepburn (who played her mother in the film) pinched her cheek and demanded, “What do you want this to mean?” “It was 1981, and I didn’t know what she was talking about,” Fonda recalled. “Back then, I didn’t give my looks a fare-thee-well, and that bothered Katharine. She said to me, ‘This is what you present to the world. What do you want it to say about you?’ Her question has been lodged in my psyche ever since. I now think what Katharine meant was awareness of a persona. She wanted me to consider how I wanted to be seen. Now I pay attention to how I present myself to the world. I realize that it matters.”

 

Monday
May182015

Inside Out at Cannes: the critics approve

We have a new Pixar film!

Two years after Monsters University failed to actively offend or actively entertain most of the world, the studio's 15th feature, Inside Out premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival today. The consensus of critical opinion is that it's a strong work if not quite among the studio's best. While nobody I've found has tried to compare it to the recent run of not-that-greats including Cars 2 and Brave, it seems fair to assume it's a return to form.

Here's a quick tour of some of the reviews so far, in descending order of enthusiasm:

"...promises to forever change the way people think about the way people think, delivering creative fireworks grounded by a wonderfully relatable family story."
-Peter Debruge, Variety


"This is a humane and heart-wrenchingly beautiful film from Docter; even measured alongside Pixar’s numerous great pictures, it stands out as one of the studio’s very best."
-Robbie Collin, The Telegraph


"It hasn’t anything as genuinely emotionally devastating as Up, or the subtlety and inspired subversion of Monsters Inc. and the Toy Stories which it certainly resembles at various stages. But it is certainly a terrifically likeable, ebullient and seductive piece of entertainment."
-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian


"It can feel didactic in a way that the let-the-pictures-tell-the-story elegance of "Toy Story" and Docter's own "Up" never did... However, once the gigantic machine is up and running, these issues mostly fall away like booster engines from a space rocket."
-Jessica Kiang, Indiewire


"It’s an audacious concept, and Docter’s imagination, along with those of his numerous collaborators, is adventurous and genially daft enough to put it over."
-Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Those of us stuck hundreds of miles from the Croisette have to wait a while yet to make up our own minds - Inside Out hits the States on June 19. These early reviews have done a mostly good job of calming down the little voice inside my own head that's been terrified that Pixar would be stuck in a gear of high-achieving mediocrity for the rest of time, though "hey, this is a fun and good movie!" isn't quite the overriding level of passion that the studio used to produce from film after film after film.

The Voice Cast in Cannes

Still, it augurs well that, at a minimum, we're going to have a pretty snazzy piece of creative and moving entertainment at this time next month. It's a great feeling to actually be looking forward to a Pixar movie for a change, and not nervously counting down to the release date while praying "please don't suck". "Not one of their all-time masterpieces" will be good enough to get through these last few weeks of waiting!