ENJOY THE MOVIES
What does your heart truly desire? If you were asked this question on the spot, right now, would you be able to answer it? Would it be the actual, deep down truth? Or is the answer so complex and frightening that it's not easy to say without prying into the many dark twists & turns throughout our lives? George Miller's latest movie is a glorious, ambitious, one-of-a-kind creation called Three Thousand Years of Longing that explores this question (and others) by taking us on a journey with one lonely woman who is presented with this very provocation. She doesn't want to admit she is lonely, she claims to be content and satisfied being all by herself, but with time and understanding, she admits it. Deep down I wonder if it's true that we all wish for someone to be with, or something to take away that loneliness that I know we all feel. But some of us are more open to admitting this than others… And some are so afraid of always being lonely that they pretend they're totally fine with it and never confront these feelings. Perhaps meeting a Djinn could help…?
So this is what happens when you put a bunch of rich assholes on a big yacht! Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund is one of my favorite filmmakers these days - he's a genius when it comes to satire and mocking the most absurd parts of society. He makes films that say what you shouldn't say, that directly call out the bullshit, and then fling that bullshit around right back into everyone's face. Östlund already won the Palme d'Or in Cannes a few years ago with his comedy The Square, and already earned acclaim and tons of awards for Force Majuere from 2014. He's pretty much free to do whatever he wants now and his new film is titled Triangle of Sadness, which is an odd name for a film about a yacht full of rich assholes. That's because the name is a reference to the patch of skin between the eyes and the nose, most prominent in models who need to downplay their triangles of sadness. Look sharp and pretend you love capitalism, folks! All aboard.
Every year there are a handful of top notch films that premiere at major film festivals that are so impressive it's hard to believe they're the first feature film made by the filmmakers behind them. Earlier this year it was Fresh slicing it up at Sundance, directed by Mimi Cave; and last year it was The Lost Daughter, directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal (she even won the DGA Award for Best First Feature). Watch these films and they seem to be made by exceptionally talented directors with years of experience directing many other films, as they know how to craft scenes and hone the narrative at the same level as the best filmmakers out there. At this year's Cannes Film Festival, Rodeo is one of the most impressive feature debuts - joining these others as a stand out film that feels like it was made by someone who has made plenty of films before. In reality, this really is French filmmaker Lola Quivoron's feature directorial debut - and it's a gripping & exhilarating film.
"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." –Sir Edmund Hillary. Mountains are mystical, magical, and extraordinary. Some people are born in the mountains, and they never leave, unable to step away from them. Some people are born in the mountains, and leave to find their place elsewhere, yet always longing to return. Those who are drawn to their poetic majesty never forget their grandeur and immensity no matter where they are on this planet. One of the best films from the 2022 Cannes Film Festival so far is The Eight Mountains, an Italian feature (originally Le Otto Montagne) co-directed by Belgian filmmakers Felix van Groeningen (director of The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgica, and Beautiful Boy) and Charlotte Vandermeersch. It's another breathtaking, slow burn story about men and mountains. It takes its time, following boys growing into men as two friends navigate the cliffs, passages, and snowy peaks of their lives.
It's time again. The 2022 Cannes Film Festival begins this week, and I'm back in the South of France for my 12th time covering this festival. I always love being back, and even with updates and frustrations, there is nowhere else I'd rather be right now. Choosing an Opening Night film for any festival is always a daunting task. This year the Cannes opener is the French zombie comedy called Final Cut (or Coupez! in French), which just so happens to be a French remake of the beloved Japanese indie classic One Cut of the Dead. It was originally set to premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, but when that festival announced they would have to shut down their physical in-person fest due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film backed out. I had a feeling it would end up in Cannes instead, and yep, I was right. And here it is! Ready to knock the socks off of the audiences in Cannes and remind them that filmmaking is a collaborative effort.
"You'll witness… the invisible hand of God at work." Cinetic has revealed the first festival promo trailer for a new film titled Holy Spider, which is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival kicking off this week in France. This is the latest film from an Iranian-Danish filmmaker named Ali Abbasi, who earned acclaim for his excellent Swedish troll film Border that played at Cannes a few years ago (you have to see it!). Holy Spider is playing in the Main Competition this year, a big upgrade for Abassi and a chance at winning some festival awards. A journalist descends into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called "Spider Killer", who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners. The PR describes it as "gritty thriller" and it doesn't seem like there are any supernatural twists. Holy Spider stars Zar Amir Ebrahimi and Mehdi Bajestani. One of my most anticipated Cannes films this year - this looks damn good. There are some touches of Memories of Murder in here. Take a look.
"Unemployment is driving me crazy." Totem Films has revealed an early festival promo trailer for a Finnish film titled The Woodcutter Story, originally Metsurin Tarina in Finnish. This is premiering soon at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Critics' Week sidebar section of the fest. If you follow Finnish cinema, this is the feature debut of the writer of The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki. Pepe the woodcutter's life in his idyllic Finnish village is torn apart over the course of a few days, but he is seemingly fine with it all. As though he knows some profound truth about existence. Very interesting. It's "a film that is very comical and very serious, metaphorical and plot-driven at the same time," the director says. "To me cinema is poetry. This is also where my background is: I started out as a poet when I was 23. Any poetry – be it literature or cinema – is a contemplation on the language." The film stars Jarkko Lahti, Iivo Tuuri, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Katja Küttner, Marc Gassot, Ulla Tapaninen, & Armi Toivanen. Yeah this looks great.
"She's the goose that lays golden eggs." Les Films Du Losange in France has revealed the first look festival trailer for the film Rodeo, which is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival playing in the Un Certain Regard category. The quick one-line description: "Lola Quivoron's turbocharged debut feature following one woman's journey through the thrilling and clandestine world of urban stunt bike gangs." The film marks the feature debut of a French filmmaker named Lola Quivoron. Julia – a young misfit who is passionate about riding – meets a crew of dirt riders who fly along at full speed and perform stunts. She sets about infiltrating their male-dominated world, but an accident jeopardises her ability to fit in. Newcomer Julie Ledru stars as Julia with a cast of unknowns and locals. At first glance, this reminds me of the US indie film Charm City Kings, similarly about dirt bike gangs in Baltimore. This might end up being a badass film festival discovery.
"The closer you look, the harder you fall." CJ Entertainment has unveiled a full 80-second teaser trailer for Decision to Leave, the brand new film from acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook. We featured a much shorter Korean teaser last week. The film is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival next week in the Main Competition. A detective investigating a death in the mountains meets the dead man's mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing. The title is (perhaps) a reference to one of the relationships - the Korean translation is more clear: 헤어질 결심 means Decision to Break Up. The film stars Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Go Kyung-Pyo, and Lee Jung-Hyun. The more we see from this, the better it looks. This trailer perfectly ends with the gut punch back-n-forth dialogue: "Am I such a pushover?" "Am I so wicked?" Ahhhh this looks so good. Glad to have Park Chan-wook back in cinemas again. This trailer does have English subs.
Time for a first look! CJ Entertainment has revealed a short teaser trailer for Decision to Leave, the brand new film from acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook. This is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in just a few more weeks, playing in the Main Competition section. A detective investigating a man's death in the mountains meets the dead man's mysterious wife in the course of his dogged sleuthing. The title is (seemingly) a reference to their relationship - the Korean translation is more clear: 헤어질 결심 means Decision to Break Up. Beyond this basic synopsis, not much is known about what happens. But as always with Park Chan-wook, we're probably in for a twisted surprise. The film stars Tang Wei, Park Hae-il, Go Kyung-Pyo, and Lee Jung-Hyun. There's not much to this first teaser, but of course there's some captivating shot in this. Especially the two shots of each of them standing in front of the ocean. Bring it on.
Xenix Film has revealed an official trailer for the French indie drama titled Brother and Sister, originally Frère et Soeur in French. This is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival later this month playing in the Main Competition, before opening in French cinemas. The story revolves around a brother & sister who are nearing their fifties - Alice is an actress, Louis was a teacher and a poet. They no longer speak to one another and have been avoiding each other for over twenty years, but the death of their parents will force them to cross paths. Melvil Poupaud and Marion Cotillard co-star as the titular brother and sister, with Golshifteh Farahani, Cosmina Stratan, Patrick Timsit, Benjamin Siksou, and Max Baissette de Malglaive. This looks like a very emotional story about a family and the challenging dynamics between two siblings that don't like each other. There's no English subtitles available yet, but you can get the gist anyway.
"What remains of his loves, what remains of his good days?" MK2 and ARP Sélection have revealed the first official trailer for Don Juan, a new French film from actor / filmmaker Serge Bozon. It is premiering at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the main Cannes Première section, as a centerpiece highlight of the fest even though it's not in competition. Not to be confused with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's other Don Jon film from 2013 (which is really worth a watch). Tahar Rahim (a Cannes regular) stars Laurent, who is jilted on his wedding day and subsequently embarks upon a wild quest for pleasure. However, none are lured by his singing. All the while, he is preparing to star in a play where they end up casting his ex-fiancée in the role opposite of him. Also co-starring Virginie Efira and Alain Chamfort. It looks like Efira also plays all the other women he tries to seduce. This looks sweet! Might be worth a watch following its unveiling in Cannes.