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Cannes 17

What an exhilarating experience. Tangerine director Sean Baker has premiered his latest film, titled The Florida Project, at the Cannes Film Festival and it’s truly worthy of the standing ovation it received. It contains some of the best performances I’ve seen on screen this year, from very young kids and the talented Willem Dafoe, with a drifting story about childhood and poverty in modern America. The title The Florida Project refers to Disney’s domain in Orlando. When Disney first started buying up land and planning Disney World, they referred to it as “The Florida Project.” The film is about the many “hidden homeless” living near Disney, and follows a wily group of very young kids living in motels who run around all day causing trouble. From the moment the film begins, you know you’re in for something very unique, very special. While there are adults, including the single mothers taking care of the children, The Florida Projects focuses entirely on the …

The master provocateur returns again and he’s definitely going to rattle some cages with this film, there’s no doubt about it. Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos has unveiled his latest film at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, titled The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and it’s some seriously creepy, unsettling stuff. I don’t want to give away too much, but the film is a Kubrickian psychological horror about a family which plays out in the most chilling, disturbing way. It will get under your skin, it will make you feel icky, it will upset you, and test your limits. Some people are going to hate this film, just hate it, while others are going to love it, and laugh with it, and enjoy every second of it. But that’s the skill of a great filmmaker – making you feel things that maybe you don’t want to feel, and challenging you to either accept or reject the ideas they’re presenting. The Killing of …

Sometimes there’s a film that is so delightful, so cheerful, full of so much optimism and happiness and joy, that it completely changes your mood. You can be upset, or tired, or whatever, and by the end of this film you’re so happy. Nothing will take that happiness away. Everything you just saw was perfect and wonderful. That’s how I felt with this film at the Cannes Film Festival, called Visages, Villages, which translates to Faces, Places in English. The film is a documentary made by 88-year-old filmmaker Agnès Varda and the 34-year-old French photographer known as “JR”. They not only directed it, but it’s about their unlikely friendship and collaboration on a road trip around France taking photos of people they meet along the way. Faces, Places is a simple film and that’s part of the joy of it. At some point, Agnès and JR met and became friends. He knew her films, she knew his photographs. Eventually they decided …

Oh my goodness, I love Ruben Östlund. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorite filmmakers. Not only for the way he shoots his films – the iconic cinematography, the music used throughout, the way he blocks his scenes – but also the way he tells such radical, hilarious, brutally honest stories about our society (and all the problems with it). I flipped for his last film Force Majeure, which I also caught at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. Östlund’s latest feature film is a brilliant satire called The Square, set around a modern art museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The film mocks not only modern art and the entire art world, but pretty much everything else in society, including our perceived notions of helpfulness, free speech, shameless publicity tactics, the internet and “going viral”, and our seemingly good intentions as people in this world. There’s so much commentary packed into this film that it’s hard to understand and interpret everything in …

I’ve never seen anything like this film before, and we may never see anything like it again. Okja is the latest feature from Korean writer/director Bong Joon Ho, and it’s another completely original story from his brilliant mind. Okja is a fascinating mix of many different things: it’s anti-capitalism, anti-meat, yet it’s also an animal rescue adventure film. It’s a satire, yet also a thriller; it’s playful, it’s weird, but lovable. At the center of it all is the story of a young Korean girl named Mija whose best friend is a big, mutant “super pig” that a corporation gave her uncle to raise for a competition. When they come to take it, she runs off to try and find and bring her home. If this film doesn’t make you a vegetarian by the end, I don’t know what will. I confess that I am a huge Bong Joon Ho fan, I love every last one of his films, even Snowpiercer. …

Do you remember what it was like to be a kid? That boundless sense of wonder, that feeling that everything could be magical? Trips to museums or big cities were the most spectacular experiences, and even though sometimes things were tough at home, you had your friends to cheer you up. Wonderstruck, the latest film from Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven, I’m Not There, Carol), is about that sense of wonder that kids have. It is, in a way, a movie for kids, about kids, but it is still enjoyable for adults as well. Especially those adults who can still remember that kid inside of us, even if he’s hiding somewhere in a dark corner. The film interweaves two storylines following two deaf kids as they escape their homes and travel to New York City. Wonderstruck is a very ambitious film. Haynes takes on the especially unique challenge of combining two stories set in two different times – one in 1927, …

“The most amazing thing is that every single person who sees a movie, not necessarily one of my movies, brings a whole set of unique experiences. Now, through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time.” (–Steven Spielberg) With the world the way it is right now, why should we care about movies? Why does anyone want to hear about cinema when there’s so much bad happening all around, when there’s so much else to worry about? As I make my way to the 70th Cannes Film Festival, I have an answer to this question that has been on my mind for a few weeks ever since a quote first popped up on Twitter. And it’s a vital reminder of how important it is to still give time to cinema, art, & entertainment no matter what. This is my …

Every year, cinephiles wake up early to catch the announcement direct from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 70th Cannes Film Festival taking place this May they’ve revealed a fascinating selection of films premiering. The selection includes new features from Todd Haynes, Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, two new films from Hong Sangsoo, François Ozon, Lynne Ramsay, Noah Baumbach, Bong Joon-ho, Takashi Miike, and Yorgos Lanthimos. I’m most excited to see Okja, the new creature feature from Bong Joon-ho, as well as John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls At Parties. And of course it’s all about discovering and experiencing whatever Thierry Frémaux has decided to play. Full list found below. Here’s the complete selection of 2017 films directly from Cannes, including the director for easy reference. COMPETITION (18 FILMS): 120 Beats Per Minute – dir. Robin Campillo The Beguiled – dir. Sofia Coppola The Day After – dir. Hong Sangsoo A Gentle Creature – dir. Sergei Loznitsa Good Time – …

She dances, she laughs, she lives! This year marks the 70th year of the annual Cannes Film Festival in the South of France. With less than two months until the film festival kicks off, Cannes has revealed the official poster for this year and it’s another stunner. I’m always excited that they put this much focus on the poster, mostly because it’s a reminder that the festival is coming soon. “Full of joy, freedom and daring, just like Claudia Cardinale dancing on its official poster, the 70th Festival de Cannes (17-28 May), promises a celebration in passionate red and sparkling gold.” The poster is a Photoshopped version of a photo of actress Claudia Cardinale dancing on a roof – we’ve embedded a tweet fading between the real photo and the poster. Here’s a look at the Cannes 2017 poster made by Bronx agency in Paris + graphic designer Philippe Savoir: #Cannes2017 L’affiche avec Claudia Cardinale pic.twitter.com/DdvjOAs82X— cannes70 (@cannes70) March 29, 2017 “Who better …