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.
    Competition Film
    Wara No Tate 藁の楯 (Shield of Straw)
    directed by Takashi Miike

    Critical response:
    "The real shame is that the man responsible for some of the smartest, most insane, exuberant, boundary-pushing Japanese movies of the past decade has brought the story to life with such flat, joyless direction. "Brian Clark (Twitch)
    "Never recovers impetus after a shaky opening and incessantly repeats the same tired conservations, just in several different settings with numbing regularity."John Bleasedale (CineVue)
    "Perhaps the most interesting thing about Shield of Straw is not its Palme d’Or-winning potential (which is zero), but whether it will catch the eye of any Hollywood executives at Cannes who are in the market to remake something foreign."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "Sleek and engrossing, though awfully drawn out and short on psychological complexity, this is a straight-up police action thriller that adheres to a very familiar Hollywood template."David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Feels out of place in Cannes competition, but would be right at home on local megaplex screens or in the hands of exotic thriller distribs abroad, where it’s ripe for a more energetic remake."Peter Debruge (Variety)
    "How it got into competition at Cannes, particularly in a year of such strong competition, is a mystery. An action film that induces narcolepsy in its audience is no action movie at all. "Jo Ann Titmarsh (Flickering Myth)

    Competition Film
    Un Château en Italie (A Castle in Italy)
    directed by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi

    Critical response:
    "Sometimes playing it safe is the more dangerous route, and we wish that Bruni-Tedeschi had challenged herself to step out of the uber-privileged French/Italian haute bourgeoisie milieu where she clearly feels most comfortable."Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
    "Once again follows the personal trials of beautiful bourgeois characters in and around the performing arts world, touching on themes of mortality and middle-aged panic in a mostly breezy, intelligent style."Scott Foundas (Variety)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    directed by Hany Abu-Assad

    Critical response:
    "All the actors have an easy confidence that’s vital for their frequent closeups, underscoring their humanity rather than their function as illustrations of a well-known conflict."Jay Weissberg (Variety)
    "The plot starts to get entangled in its own twists, some of which are predictable, others a bit farfetched, but Abu Assad navigates confidently around the potholes, keeping the story tightly knit."Dan Fainaru (Screen Daily)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    As I Lay Dying
    directed by James Franco

    Critical response:
    "As I Lay Dying is by no means an easy watch, but it’s certainly easier to watch than the book is to read."Catherine Bray (Film4)
    "A rarified art film all the way, one that will divide even brainy students and specialized cinema types, this is by a long way the best of the eight features the mind-bogglingly prolific actor-director-writer had made and is, as such, a big surprise."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Franco’s aesthetic choices result in a ponderously paced slice of Southern Gothic that becomes something of an endurance test."Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
See our other #Cannes2013 coverage:


Unknown said...

Not too keen on any of these today. Still loving the coverage!

Unknown said...

Great coverage BT!
How interesting and exciting that James F has such a good write up. I'm a fan of his, so I'm pleased to see him doing so well.

Unknown said...

Reviews for Shield of Straw in Japan have been mixed but even before reading the press comments here I think we both agreed that it was unlikely to win the Palme d'Or. As I Lay Dying does look enticing.

Nice round-up!

Unknown said...

Me either. I'll probably end up watching Shield of Straw at some point, but my expectations for it were never too high to begin with.

Unknown said...

Glad you're enjoying the coverage Lisa. As for Franco, I'm afraid he does nothing for me.

Unknown said...

Thanks, Jason. I was going to ask you what the Japanese critics said about it. I know it opened there earlier this month.

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