Sunday, May 26, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Award Winners

The 66th Cannes Film Festival comes to an end today with the closing awards ceremony followed by the screening of the closing film, Zulu by Jérôme Salle.

Read on for the full list of awards presented at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 11 Roundup

The Palme d'Or
  • Day 11 - Saturday, May 25

  • Recap of the eleventh and final day of competition at the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From France, La Vénus À La Fourrure (Venus in Fur) by Roman Polanski.

      Previous Palme d'Or winner in 2002 for The Pianist. This is his twenty-first feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas complains on the phone about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his lead female character-a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic-and, it turns out, erotic-energy.
    • From the UK and Germany, Only Lovers Left Alive by Jim Jarmusch.

      His eleventh feature film. A previous Camera d'Or, Short Film Palme d'Or, and Jury Grand Prix winner.

      Official Synopsis:
      Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover.
      Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister.
      Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?

Friday, May 24, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 10 Roundup

Palais des Festivals © FDC
  • Day 10 - Friday, May 24

  • We're now entering the final weekend of the festival. Including today, there are only two more days of competition left.

    Here's a recap of the tenth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From the USA, The Immigrant by James Gray.

      His fifth feature and fourth time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      1921. In search of a new start and the American dream, Ewa Cybulski and her sister Magda sail to New York from their native Poland. When they reach Ellis Island, doctors discover that Magda is ill, and the two women are separated. Ewa is released onto the mean streets of Manhattan while her sister is quarantined. Alone, with nowhere to turn and desperate to reunite with Magda, Ewa quickly falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. And then one day, she encounters Bruno’s cousin, the debonair magician Orlando. He sweeps Ewa off her feet and quickly becomes her only chance to escape the nightmare in which she finds herself.
    • From France and Germany, Michael Kohlhaas by Arnaud Des Pallières.

      Making his Cannes competition debut with his fourth feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      In the sixteenth century, somewhere in the Cevennes, Michael Kohlhaas, a prosperous horse merchant, leads a comfortable and happy family life. Victim of an injustice, this righteous and honest man raises an army and plunders cities to restore his right.
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From Iran, Dast-Neveshtehaa Nemisoosand (Manuscripts Don't Burn) by Mohammad Rasoulof.

      Winner of the Jury Prize and Best Director in Un Certain Regard in 2011 for Goodbye.

      Official Synopsis:
      Khosrow and Morteza set out on a mission to kill someone. The assassination ought to be arranged as a suicide. At the last minute however, they are obliged to change their initial plans…

Thursday, May 23, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 9 Roundup

Claude Debussy Theatre
  • Day 9 - Thursday, May 23

  • Recap of the ninth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From the USA, Nebraska by Alexander Payne.

      His sixth feature film and the second to appear in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      A poor old man living in Montana escapes repeatedly from his house to go to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his increasing dementia, his family debates putting him into a nursing home -- until one of his two sons finally offers to take his father by car, even as he realizes the futility.
    • From France, La Vie D'Adele - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour) by Abdellatif Kechiche.

      His Cannes debut. At 2h59m, it is the longest running film in competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      At 15, Adele doesn't question it: a girl goes out with boys. Her life is turned upside down the night she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself...

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From the Philippines, Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan (Norte, The End of History) by Lav Diaz.

      Not only a long title, but with a 4h10m running time, is twice the length of the next longest film in the section.

      Official Synopsis:
      A man is wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free. The murderer is an intellectual frustrated with his country's never-ending cycle of betrayal and apathy. The convict is a simple man who finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious and strange starts happening to him.
    • From Germany, Tore Tanzt (Nothing Bad Can Happen) by Katrin Gebbe.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with her debut feature.

      Official Synopsis:
      Young Tore belongs to the Jesus Freaks, a Christian punk movement rebelling against established religion whilst at the same time following Jesus' precepts of love.
      One day, in what appears to be a miracle, Tore manages to repair a car which has broken down and gets to know the driver, Benno.
      Before long, Tore moves into a tent in Benno’s garden and gradually becomes part of his family.
      But Benno can’t resist playing a cruel game, designed to test Tore’s faith. As the violence become more and more extreme, Tore’s capacity for love is pushed to its limits.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 8 Roundup

  • Day 8 - Wednesday, May 22

  • Recap of the eighth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From Denmark, Only God Forgives by Nicolas Winding Refn.

      2011 Best Director winner for Drive returns with his second consecutive film selected to the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      Julian, an American fugitive from justice, runs a boxing club in Bangkok as a front for his drug business.
      His mother, the head of a vast criminal organization, arrives from the US to collect the body of her favorite son, Billy. Julian’s brother has just been killed after having savagely murdered a young prostitute. Crazy with rage and thirsty for vengeance she demands the head of the murderers from Julian.
      But first, Julian must confront Chang, a mysterious retired policeman - and figurehead of a divine justice - who has resolved to scourge the corrupt underworld of brothels and fight clubs.
    • From Chad, Grigris by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.

      2010 Jury Prize winner for A Screaming Man.

      Official Synopsis:
      Despite a paralyzed leg that could have barred most avenues, Grigris, 25 year old, dreams of being a dancer. A challenge. But his dreams are dashed when his uncle falls critically ill. To save him, Grigris resolves to work for petrol traffickers...
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From Mexico and Spain, La Jaula De Oro by Diego Quemada-Diez.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with his first feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      Juan, Sara and Samuel, all 15 years old, flee from Guatemala towards the USA. On their journey through Mexico they meet Chauk, a Tzotzil indian who does not speak Spanish and has no official documents. They all believe they will find a better world beyond the USA-Mexico border but they run into a harsh reality.
    • From Kurdistan, My Sweet Pepper Land by Hiner Saleem.

      His ninth feature.

      Official Synopsis:
      After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, resolves to accept a position in a godforsaken village at the borders of Iran and Turkey, an illegal trafficking Mecca.
      There he meets Govend, a beautiful young woman who has come to work as the teacher in the newly-opened school despite her twelve brothers' hostility to the idea.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 7 Roundup

Claude Debussy Theatre © FDC
  • Day 7 - Tuesday, May 21

  • We're now past the half way mark of the festival, with only ten Competition films left including today's pair. Yesterday's films were universally bashed by the critics, let's hope today's lineup fares better.

    Here's a recap of the seventh day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From the USA, Behind the Candelabra by Steven Soderbergh.

      The previous Palme d'Or winner with his 'final' film as a director.

      Official Synopsis:
      Before Elvis, before Elton John, Madonna and Lady Gaga, there was Liberace: virtuoso pianist, outrageous entertainer and flamboyant star of stage and television. Liberace lived lavishly and embraced a lifestyle of excess both on and off stage. In summer 1977, handsome young stranger Scott Thorson walked into his dressing room and, despite their age difference and seemingly different worlds, the two embarked on a secretive five-year love affair.
    • From Italy, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) by Paolo Sorrentino.

      This is his fifth time in the main competition at Cannes.

      Official Synopsis:
      Aristocratic ladies, social climbers, politicians, high-flying criminals, journalists, actors, decadent nobles, prelates, artists and intellectuals - whether authentic or presumed - form the tissue of these flaky relationships, all engulfed in a desperate Babylon which plays out in the antique palaces, immense villas and most beautiful terraces in the city? They are all there, and they are not seen in a good light? Jep Gambardella, 65, indolent and disenchanted, his eyes permanently imbued with gin and tonic, watches this parade of hollow, doomed, powerful yet depressed humanity. A moral lifelessness enough to make one’s head spin? And in the background, Rome in summer. Splendid and indifferent, like a dead diva?
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From Canada, Sarah Préfère la Course (Sarah Prefers To Run) by Chloé Robichaud.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with her first feature film.

      Official Synopsis:
      Sarah is a gifted young middle-distance runner. Her life changes when she’s offered admission to Quebec’s best university athletics program, in Montreal - far from her suburban Quebec City home. Sarah doesn’t have her mother’s financial support for the move, or any support at all: her mother worries that leaving will be bad for Sarah’s health and life. But Sarah is stubborn, and moves to Montreal anyway, with her friend Antoine. Though barely out of their teens, they get married because they want the best scholarships and loans. Marriage turns out to be completely different from what the naïve 20-year-olds expected. Sarah doesn’t want to hurt anyone with the choices she makes, it’s just that she loves running more than anything else.
    • From France, Les Salauds (Bastards) by Claire Denis.

      A film many expected to appear in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      Captain on a container-ship, Marco Silvestri is called urgently back to Paris. His sister, Sandra, is desperate… her husband has committed suicide, the family business has gone under, her daughter has gone adrift. Sandra accuses the powerful businessman, Edouard Laporte responsible. Marco moves into the building where Laporte’s mistress lives with his son.
      What Marco hadn’t foreseen are Sandra’s shameful, secret manœuvres… and his love for Raphaëlle which could ruin everything.
    • From Argentina, Wakolda by Lucía Puenzo.

      Official Synopsis:
      Patagonia, 1960. A German physician meets an Argentinean family and follows them on the long desert road to Bariloche where Eva, Enzo and their three children are going to open a lodging house by the Nahuel Huapi lake. This model family reawakens his obsession with purity and perfection, in particular Lilith, a 12 year-old with a body too small for her age. Unaware of his true identity, they accept him as their first guest. They are all gradually won over by this charismatic man, by his elegant manners, his scientific knowledge and his money — until they discover they are living with one of the biggest criminals of all times.

Monday, May 20, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 6 Roundup

  • Day 6 - Monday, May 20

  • Recap of the sixth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From Japan, Wara No Tate 藁の楯 (Shield of Straw) by Takashi Miike.

      The second appearance in the main competition for this prolific director.

      Official Synopsis:
      "Kill Kunihide Kiyomaru, and I will pay you 1 billion Yen". This is the ad placed in all the main newspapers in Japan. In placing the ad, the powerful multi-billionnaire Ninagawa puts an irresistible price on the head of the man he believes to be his granddaughter's killer. Realising he has become a target for millions of people, Kiyomaru turns himself in at the Fukuoka Police Station. Four officers are dispatched to bring Kiyomaru back to Tokyo, risking their own life, but now any number of assassins lie in wait on the 1.200km journey. The trip becomes a hellish chase, with potential killers at every turn. Will the police get Kiyomaru to Tokyo to face justice, or will justice of a different nature prevail?
    • From France, Un Château en Italie (A Castle in Italy) by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi.

      Making her Cannes debut with her third feature film. Also the only female director in the main competition this year.

      Official Synopsis:
      Louise meets Nathan, her dreams resurface. It's also the story of her ailing brother, their mother, and the destiny of a leading family of wealthy Italian industrialists. The story of a family falling apart, a world coming to an end and love beginning.
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From Palestine, Omar by Hany Abu-Assad.

      Official Synopsis:
      Omar is accustomed to dodging surveillance bullets to cross the separation wall to visit his secret love Nadia. But occupied Palestine knows neither simple love nor clear-cut war. On the other side of the wall, the sensitive young baker Omar becomes a freedom fighter who must face painful choices about life and manhood. When Omar is captured after a deadly act of resistance, he falls into a cat-and-mouse game with the military police. Suspicion and betrayal jeopardize his longtime trust with accomplices and childhood friends Amjad and Tarek, Nadia’s militant brother. Omar’s feelings quickly become as torn apart as the Palestinian landscape. But it’s soon evident that everything he does is for his love of Nadia.
    • From the USA, As I Lay Dying by James Franco.

      Official Synopsis:
      Based on the acclaimed novel by William Faulkner, AS I LAY DYING follows a family through their turmoil-filled journey to bring their mother to her gravesite.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 5 Roundup

Grand Théâtre Lumière © Brian Solis
  • Day 5 - Sunday, May 19

  • Things are moving along quickly now, one third of the way through. Yesterday we had what appears to be an early favorite for the Palme d'Or emerge, but there are still a dozen contenders left to go. Let's see how today's films fared with the critics.

    Here's a recap of the fifth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From the Netherlands, Borgman by Alex van Warmerdam.

      His Cannes debut. Also the first Dutch film in competition since 1974.

      Official Synopsis:
      Borgman’s arrival in the tree-lined avenues of an exclusive residential area is the beginning of a series of unsettling events around the carefully constructed facade of a wealthy couple, their three children and their nanny.
    • From the USA, Inside Llewyn Davis by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen.

      The previous Palme d'Or winning duo's eighth time in competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      The life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961.
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From Cambodia and France, L'Image Manquante (The Missing Picture) by Rithy Panh.

      Official Synopsis:
      For many years, I have been looking for the missing picture: a photograph taken between 1975 and 1979 by the Khmer Rouge when they ruled over Cambodia...On its own, of course, an image cannot prove mass murder, but it gives us cause for thought, prompts us to meditate, to record History. I searched for it vainly in the archives, in old papers, in the country villages of Cambodia. Today I know: this image must be missing. I was not really looking for it; would it not be obscene and insignificant? So I created it. What I give you today is neither the picture nor the search for a unique image, but the picture of a quest: the quest that cinema allows.
    • From the Philippines, Death March by Adolfo Alix Jr..

      Official Synopsis:
      Bataan. 1942. Thousands of Filipino and American soldiers were forced to march in the blistering heat amidst disease, starvation and maltreatment by the displeasured and disgusted Japanese guards.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival - Day 4 Roundup

Cannes Palais des Festivals et des Congrès
  • Day 4 - Saturday, May 18

  • There's been plenty of excitement off-screen at Cannes, with gunfire and a late night jewel heist happening right on the Croisette. Fortunately nobody was hurt. Let's hope the films take back center stage today.

    Here's a recap of the fourth day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From the USA, Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian) by Arnaud Desplechin.

      The French director's fifth time in competition. He returns with an English language drama starring Mathieu Amalric and Benicio Del Toro.

      Official Synopsis:
      At the end of World War II, Jimmy Picard, a Native American Blackfoot who fought in France, is admitted to Topeka Military Hospital in Kansas - an institution specializing in mental illness. Jimmy suffers from numerous symptoms: dizzy spells, temporary blindness, hearing loss... In the absence of any physiological causes, he is diagnosed as schizophrenic. Nevertheless, the hospital management decides to seek the opinion of Georges Devereux, a French anthropologist, psychoanalyst and specialist in Native American culture.
    • From Japan, Soshite Chichi Ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son) by Kore-Eda Hirokazu.

      This is Kore-Eda's third film selected to the main competition at Cannes.

      Official Synopsis:
      The moving story of a man who finally faces himself when he encounters an unexpected wall for the first time in his life.
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From France, Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski.

      Official Synopsis:
      Gary is young, agile, a quick learner. He's one of those who's never been promised anything. After a succession of odd jobs, he's taken on at a nuclear power plant. There, amongst the reactors and their high doses of radioactivity, he finally finds what he's been looking for: money, a team, a family. But the team also includes Karole, Toni's wife, with whom he falls in love. Forbidden love and radiation slowly contaminate Gary. Each day is menacing.
    • From Hong Kong and China, Bends by Flora Lau.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with her directorial debut.

      Official Synopsis:
      BENDS straddles the Hong Kong-­-Shenzhen border and tells the story of ANNA, an affluent housewife and FAI, her chauffeur, and their unexpected friendship as they each negotiate the pressures of Hong Kong life and the city’s increasingly complex relationship to mainland China.

Friday, May 17, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival: Day 3 Roundup

  • Day 3 - Friday, May 17

  • Recap of the third day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until Sunday May 26, 2013.

    Screening In Competition today:
    • From France, Le passé (The Past) by Asghar Farhadi.

      His sixth feature and his Cannes debut. High expectations all around for this, the follow up to his Berlin Golden Bear and Academy Award winning A Separation (2011). A French drama starring Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, and Ali Mosaffa.

      Official Synopsis:
      Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.
    • From China, Tian Zhu Ding (A Touch of Sin) by Jia Zhangke.

      A previous winner of the Venice Golden Lion, Still Life (2006); this is his third film in the main competition at Cannes.

      Official Synopsis:
      Four people, four different provinces. A reflection on contemporary China: that of an economic giant slowly being eroded by violence.
    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From France, L'Inconnu du lac (Stranger By The Lake) by Alain Guiraudie.

      Official Synopsis:
      Summertime. A cruising spot for men, tucked away on the shores of a lake. Franck falls in love with Michel. An attractive, potent and lethally dangerous man. Franck knows this, but wants to live out his passion anyway.
    • From Italy, Miele by Valeria Golino.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with her directorial debut.

      Official Synopsis:
      Miele is the story of Irene a 30 years old girl who helps suffering people.Terminal patients who want to make shorter the struggle with death, people whose suffering injure the dignity of an human being. One day a 70 years old man in good health, who simply thinks to have lived enough, asks her to help him.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival: Day 2 Roundup

© FDC / Guillaume Thierry
  • Day 2 - Thursday, May 16

  • Recap of the second day of the 66th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until May 26, 2013.

    Two competition films were screened today:
    • From France, Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful) by François Ozon.

      His fourteenth feature and second time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      A coming-of-age portrait of a 17-year-old French girl over four seasons and four songs.
    • From Mexico, Heli by Amat Escalante.

      His third feature and first time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      Estela is a 12 year old girl who has just fallen crazy in love with a young police cadet who wants to run away with her and get married. Trying to achieve this dream, her family will have to live the violence that is devastating the region.

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • Opening the section from the USA, The Bling Ring by Sofia Coppola.

      Her fifth feature film. It stars Emma Watson, Katie Chang, Israel Broussard, Claire Julien, and Taissa Farmiga.

      Official Synopsis:
      In the fame-obsessed world of Los Angeles, a group of teenagers take us on a thrilling and disturbing crime-spree in the Hollywood hills.
    • Also from the USA, Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler.

      Competing for the Camera d'Or with his 2013 Sundance Grand Prize winning debut feature.

      Official Synopsis:
      "This is the true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

2013 Cannes Film Festival: Day 1 Roundup

The 66th Festival de Cannes opens today and all the big names and faces are set to gather on the Croisette for twelve days of cinematic festivities.

All the action begins this evening starting with the Opening Ceremony, hosted by the star of last year's festival closer Thérèse Desqueyroux, French actress Audrey Tautou.

Tonight's ceremony will be followed by the European premiere of Out of Competition opening film, The Great Gatsby by Australian director Baz Luhrmann.

Mistress of Ceremonies: Audrey Tautou

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Cremator (1969)

The Cremator • Spalovač mrtvol (1969)
The Cremator • Spalovač mrtvol (1969)
Czech New Wave
Genre: Horror • Drama • Comedy
Director: Juraj Herz
Starring: Rudolf Hrušínský, Vlasta Chramostová, Jana Stehnová, Miloš Vognič
Language: Czech
Duration: 95 min.
Rating: 8.6
Prague, the late 1930s. A period of tense atmosphere and widespread fear. Where diligent and devoted family man Karel Kopfrkingl takes the opportunity to advance his career at the crematorium.