Would you wait in line for over an hour in the pouring Mediterranean rain, drenched and dripping by the time the doors open up, just to see the new Coen Brothers film? If you love cinema, the answer to that is an undeniable yes. And yes, me and about two thousand other members of the press huddled underneath umbrellas of all shapes and sizes to wait in a torrential downpour just to catch the very first screening ever of Inside Llweyn Davis. That's Cannes for you. Cinema fiends and movie lovers ignoring the bad weather just to be there for more cinema. Rain or shine, we're all here to see films, all day, every day until the end.
Ah yes, the Coen Brothers. We all know them. We all love them. They've made some of finest films cinema has to offer. But what if they did something a bit different? Inside Llewyn Davis, while unquestionably a Coen Brothers film, is a breath of fresh air from the filmmaker brothers. It's not as dark or deeply moving as No Country for Old Men, nor is it at overly joyful as Burn After Reading, it falls somewhere inbetween, an engrossing exploration of a musician named Llewyn Davis living in New York in the 1960s. It's a perfect period piece and a dark, but fun, earnest, entertaining film that I thoroughly enjoyed every last second of.
In mid-February of last year I went, by myself, to a screening of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi's A Separation and fell for it completely, a masterpiece. A month later the film went on to win the Oscar, and Farhadi started working on his next feature, which I knew I had to see. Premiering at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival is Asghar Farhadi's The Past, a French film dealing with a series of complex relationships between two families in Paris. It's further proof that Farhadi is an absolute master of human dynamics, relationships and performances that expertly captures the complex, deep layers that exist between all of us in this world.
This seems to be the year of the exaggerated "American dream" and excess along with it being highlighted in films. Besides Spring Breakers and Pain & Gain, one of the other exposes on excess is the latest film from Sofia Coppola, titled The Bling Ring. I've been anticipating this ever since the first trailers and caught the first premiere of it at the Cannes Film Festival. Unlike Spring Breakers, the film doesn't have any depth, or nuance, or dark humor, it's nothing but a hollow, lightweight portrayal of excess and a group of vacuous teens obsessed with it. Yea, there's fun underage larceny going on but that's about it. There's not much else.
Cannes Year 5. I'm still amazed that I'm here in Cannes, for my fifth year, kicking off yet another festival in the middle of the summer. Every morning when I wake up and look out the window and realize "I'm living in France for two weeks!" there's an instant giddiness that kicks in - the exact burst of energy I need to wake up for successive 8:30AM (ugh so early!) screenings almost every day for the next 10 days straight. I wrote an effusive article last year about why I love this festival and this town and don't feel the need to repeat it, but I can't help but write something to mark the beginning of the 2013 fest. Now let's go watch some films!
The 2013 Cannes Film Festival is getting into full swing, and our own Alex Billington is already in France, ready to cover the latest out of the international film festival. And that means some films are getting the buzz started. The first trailer for James Franco's As I Lay Dying just showed up, and now an intriguing sci-fi film called The Congress, starring Robin Wright, has just debuted a trailer. The story is a loose adaptation of Stanislaw Lem’s The Futurological Congress from 1971, and follows a version of Wright who has sold Hollywood the digital rights to a younger version of her entire being. This looks like a really cool sci-fi story with some poignant social commentary on Hollywood and maybe the future of cinema. Watch!
One of my most anticipated films playing at the Cannes Film Festival coming up this month is Nicolas Winding Refn's latest, Only God Forgives, once again starring Ryan Gosling. It already reminds me of 2011, where I caught the world premiere of Drive in Cannes (my review), also starring Gosling directed by Refn. This time the two head to Thailand for a bloody revenge film about a kickboxer and a gangster named Chang. With the festival only a week away, marketing material has started to arrive, and The Playlist found the full director's statement and some new photos in the press notes for the film. It's worth a read because Refn admits comparisons between Only God Forgives and his past films and discusses the original concept.
The 66th Cannes Film Festival official selection was just announced. A total of 53 films are featured in four categories: Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition plus Special Screenings (including Midnight Screenings). The festival kicks off on May 15th next month and lasts for 12 days until May 26th. I will be attending for my fifth straight year in a row and always love returning to this fest. It was previously announced that Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby in 3D will open the festival, but there's plenty more to see, including The Bling Ring, James Franco's As I Lay Dying, Only God Forgives & others. Full list below!
We're almost a month away from the start of the 66th Cannes Film Festival, meaning the official selection is going to be announced soon. In advance of that announcement, they've revealed the film chosen to close the festival on May 26th - Zulu, starring Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom, directed by Jérôme Salle (seen above). It's well known that closing night films are usually the more weaker fare, but this sounds interesting nonetheless. Cannes also released a first look photo (seen below) of Bloom and Whitaker along with details on the film playing at the festival this May. Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby will kick things off May 15th.
"A Head-Turning Poster." I love it. Ever since I've been attending the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France (this will be my 5th year) their poster art and fest identity has improved year after year. While I wasn't the biggest fan of the Marilyn Monroe art last year, this one brings it right back with an eye-catching, "head-turning" poster that fits the festival perfect and simultaneously gets me excited for the screenings to come. For the 2013 fest, Cannes has unveiled artwork featuring Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, photographed during the shooting of the aptly named A New Kind of Love, by Melville Shavelson (in 1963).
"Gatsby - he had an extraordinary sense of hope." This isn't so much about the film as it is the talent it'll bring to the Croisette. The festival has officially announced that Baz Luhrmann's new 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby will be the opening film of the 66th Cannes Film Festival this May. This gives them the opportunity to bring in the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Jason Clarke and maybe Carey Mulligan for the premiere, which will be shown in 3D on Wednesday, May 15th, to kick off the fest. The funny thing is, this opens in theaters in the US on May 10th, a few days before this event. Woops!
Though he didn't win the Oscar this year (Lincoln did end up with two anyway), Steven Spielberg is still one of the world's greatest filmmakers. So much so that Cannes has chosen Spielberg to be the president of the jury at the 66th Cannes Film Festival taking place in France in May this summer. "My admiration for the steadfast mission of the Festival to champion the international language of movies is second to none. The most prestigious of its kind, the festival has always established the motion picture as a cross cultural and generational medium," he said of the honor. He'll lead the jury choosing the Palme d'Or at the festival.