Cannes Update: A World of Discovery, Criticism & Great Cinema
by Alex Billington
May 16, 2010
I haven't been able to sit down and write an actual blog about the Cannes Film Festival since I arrived last week. It's now the evening of Day 5 and I'm absolutely amazed that five days have already whizzed by so quickly. This festival is grueling and exhausting, both physically and mentally, because there's so much going on non-stop, the time difference is killer, and it's just a challenge to keep up with the site and all the films. But that said, I'm having a great time, and although I haven't enjoyed every film I've seen so far (more on that below), I still love coming here to discover and enjoy films from all over the world every single day.
Although I love Sundance, there's really no other festival like Cannes because it truly is the film festival for the entire world. There's no other festival where I can see a Ridley Scott film one night, hop over to a crazy Korean film the next night, then Oliver Stone's Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps as well as a terrible British J-horror flick (Hideo Nakata's Chatroom) the next day, and then catch the new Mike Leigh film (Another Year), Woody Allen's latest film (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), then the Quebecois film Les Amours Imaginaires all in one day. And earlier today I saw that killer tire film Rubber, a Dutch video game film, and a crazy Japanese mobster film. Sure, other festivals have lots of world cinema, but that is some crazy variety.
I haven't loved all of the films I've seen so far and I have different tastes than most, so I didn't like the Mike Leigh film at all (despite the immense praise it's getting from critics) and I hated Chatroom (as I mentioned before). Films I've really enjoyed are Les Amours Imaginaires and Takeshi Kitano's Outrage, but there's not much more that has really impressed me this year. I liked Wall Street 2, but I was expecting to really like it, and I loved that sci-fi film Monsters, but it was part of the market and not even in the official selection. I didn't even really like Rubber much and I was looking forward to that, so it was kind of a let down as well.
I'm not sure why I haven't enjoyed more films at Cannes this year or why the line-up isn't as exciting as last year's (we had Quentin Tarantino, Lars von Trier, and Terry Gilliam!), but hopefully I'll still find more great films. In the morning I'm catching Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful, which I have very high hopes for, and later in the day I'll be seeing Stephen Frears' Tamara Drewe with Gemma Arterton. Later in the week we've got the late festival addition Route Irish directed by Ken Loach, which some are saying might be the big Palme d'Or contender. I'll definitely do my best to keep everyone updated on all the latest from Cannes, so stay tuned. And to wrap up, here's one of my favorite "ticket request" signs I found outside of the Palais.