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.
    Competition Film
    directed by Alex van Warmerdam
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "It has something to do with the fact that I'm getting older. Some people get milder when they get older but I have the feeling I'm getting more and more nastier. In that sense I'm a little bit disappointed about how nasty the film has become."Alex van Warmerdam on the tone of the film.
    "I wanted to show evil as normal people, not creepy people or zombies, but normal people you could meet at the supermarket."Alex van Warmerdam
    "I'm glad we didn't reheasrse a lot because everything existed then and there, and I think that's the best way."Actress Hadewych Minis

    Critical response:
    "It's certainly dark, sterile and deadpan, along with pretty much every stylistic choice in the movie, but also whip-smart, inventive and often very surprising."Brian Clark (Twitch)
    "Textually rich if ponderously slow in the last thirty minutes, Borgman entertains you to the fullest while giving you much to chew on."Alex Griffith (Next Projection)
    "An obsidian black comedy with a surreal and genuinely vicious 'eat the rich' ethic that might just pinch a prize."John Bleasdale(CineVue)
    "A quirky study of the unrelenting grip of evil, the film is beautifully made, though stronger in its intriguing setup than its muddy resolution."David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Stitch together a Bunuellian satire of the bourgeoisie with the enigmatic unease of a Michael Haneke drama and the absurdist humour of Roy Andersson and you begin to have the measure of Borgman."Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
    "A sly, insidious and intermittently hilarious domestic thriller that is likely to remain one of the most daring selections of this year’s Cannes competish. "Guy Lodge (Variety)
    "A playful icy cocktail, which confirms in the beam of Cannes' powerful projectors the status of a cult author."Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa)

    Competition Film
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    directed by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "Obviously it's important and a challenge when you have a specific character. We were screwed until we met Oscar. "Ethan Coen on casting
    "We think about actors a lot when we write. Sometimes we write parts with actors in mind. You think about who's the right actor for the character, and also wouldn't it be more interesting to see something you haven't seen them do. "Joel Coen on casting
    "I have met a ton of people during my time in the music industry. There are many talented people who never get heard. The most important thing is to not get caught up in the rat race. "Justin Timberlake on success and failure
    "I'm very nervous of singing in front of people. But we all met and T-Bone and Joel and Ethan have an amazing ability to make you feel completely comfortable. "Carey Mulligan

    Critical response:
    "Above all, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is a revelatory showcase for Isaac, who sings with an angelic voice and turns a potentially unlikable character into a consistently relatable, unmistakably human presence."Scott Foundas (Variety)
    "While music permeates the film, viewers expecting a film a clef featuring lightly fictionalized versions of embryonic music all-stars will have to make an adjustment."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "An ode to art for art's sake, “Inside Llewyn Davis” is the most innocent movie of the Coens' career, which in their case is a downright radical achievement."Eric Kohn(IndieWire)
    "The success or failure of the film resides on Oscar Isaac, and he absolutely wears the Coens' precise dialogue and tone like a glove, and delivers a melancholy, worn performance that's equally funny as well."Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlist)
    "A top-to-tail delight and the strongest movie to play in competition so far."Jamie Graham (Total Film)
    "For such a modest film, Inside Llewyn Davis is as rich as anything the Coens has done before. "David Cox (Film4)
    "The very talented Isaac imbues Llewyn with just the right amount of crassness to make him an interesting character without making him unlikeable."Ryland Aldrich (Twitch)
    "That the Coens are able to move swiftly and seamlessly between the pathos and the satire gives the film depth without taking away from any of its unforced ease in the storytelling."Barbara Scharres (
    "The film can sometimes meander a bit, bringing on supporting characters that are colourful without being especially memorable, but taken as a whole the movie’s seemingly lackadaisical storyline compassionately but also humorously reveals how he became the artist that he is, successful or not."Tim Grierson (Screen Daily)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    L'Image Manquante (The Missing Picture)
    directed by Rithy Panh
    Cambodia, France

    Critical response:
    "The director has said that in order to turn the page, you must first write it, you can't turn a blank page. With this film, we can say that his mission is accomplished."Céline Louis ( [translated from French]
    "To his own powerful memory-driven narration, Panh alternates increasingly elaborate scenes of his clay figures in the camp environment with sequences of archival footage or those in which his cartoon-like figures are juxtaposed against filmic backgrounds. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. "Barbara Scharres (
    "A deliberately distanced but often harrowing vision of a living hell."Neil Young (The Hollywood Reporter)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    Death March
    directed by Adolfo Alix Jr.

    Critical response:
    "by the time it grinds its way to an inevitably bleak conclusion, “Death March” has long since exhausted its ideas and the expressive potential of its daring but ineffectual stylistic devices."Justin Chang (Variety)
    "It is best appreciated almost as a dance of seething, scrambling, stumbling bodies, to the cacophonous chorus of groans, pleas, and exploding shells."Barbara Scharres (
See our other #Cannes2013 coverage:


Unknown said...

I'm happy that the Coen Brothers have deliver another winner. I'm just amazed at the fact that they've been around for a while and yet have often delivered the goods.

Unknown said...

Awesome that new Coens' movie is good, the critical response seems excellent so far.

Unknown said...

I can't wait for Borgman - it looks great! Its on at the Syd film fest and hopefully I'll get to it there. Death March looks really interesting as well.
I'll see the Cohen bros film because I love them and their writing so much, but the combination of Dylan and Timberlake makes me yawn. I mean it just seems so cheezy... Timberlake in a film about the early 60's folk scene! My god - the only thing missing is Marcus Mumford! Oh wait! He's there too! Thank God Oscar Isaacs is there to add a bit of down-n-dirty otherwise the trailer would look like a commercial for authenticity!

Unknown said...

Yeah, they are so consistently good, it's scary.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to see it. Looking forward to seeing Carey Mulligan swear like a sailor.

Thanks for visiting, BTW, I love the Mellie avatar.

Unknown said...

Yeah Borgman looks very appealing, in that disturbing way. Very much looking forward to catching that.

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