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.
    Competition Film
    Nebraska
    directed by Alexander Payne
    USA
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "It just seemed like the right thing to do for this film. It's just how I read it and saw it. This modest austere story seemed to lend itself to black and white."Alexander Payne on shooting in black and white.
    "I've worked with many geniuses, but the difference between Alexander Payne and all the others. The others all pushed you to the edge and make you make those risky choices. They have a butterfly net to catch you and then throw you back up. This man goes down to where you are, picks you up in his arms, brings you back to the edge and says let's make magic."Bruce Dern on working with Payne
    "I never would have thought of him in a million years, but he auditioned well and I just believed him. He communicates a ready sincerity and sweetness and also damage that I thought would be good for the character."Alexander Payne on the unlikely casting of Will Forte.
    "(Jack) Nicholson is probably the best partner I ever had in a movie, but Will is right on his shoulder. You know, if I could hook him and Laura up, I'd be perfect in life, because at the end of the movie I felt I had a son."Bruce Dern on working with Will Forte.

    Critical response:
    "Fits nicely alongside his other low-concept, finely etched studies of flawed characters stuck in life’s well-worn grooves."Scott Foundas (Variety)
    "The humour just adds a gloss to its main thrust, which is a tribute to America’s heartland and the generations who came, worked, and ultimately, the film suggests, lost this terrain."Fionnuala Halligan (Screen Daily)
    "Payne’s insistence on shooting in black-and-white enriches the film artistically; the story is set in a world that still, both in the cinematic and collective memory, exists in black-and-white."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Follows preplanned route map just too faithfully for us to take it fully to our hearts."Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
    "There’s a sense here of lives largely squandered that feels more genuine than anything in Payne’s last several films; he finally nails that conflicted tone he’s been after, which might be either optimistic defeatism or defeatist optimism."Mike D'Angelo (The AV Club)
    "At its best, it shows Payne's capacity for a melancholic humanism that captures a consumate mixture of tragedy and comedy."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
    "This is a resounding return to form for Payne: there are moments that recall his earlier road movies About Schmidt and Sideways, but it has a wistful, shuffling, grizzly-bearish rhythm all of its own."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "How much empathy and affection you detect in "Nebraska"'s gallery of bitter old coots will affect how warmly you respond to it."Guy Lodge (In Contention)

    Competition Film
    La Vie D'Adèle - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour)
    directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
    France
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "What we do in filming is just like a photographer taking a photo. We try to find the best framing. The camera is at quite a distance. I use very long lenses because I don't want the camera to be too close. The close-ups capture subtle expressions that you don't see in life. This is what I love about cinema."Abdellatif Kechiche on the use of close-ups.
    "Even in my previous films, I always wonder what my characters have become, what they've done with their lives. I have imagined all sorts of additional chapters in the life of Adele, I don't know if they will some day exist or not, but I very much like the idea of pursuing it."Abdellatif Kechiche on the possibility of a sequel.
    "I was very interested in working with Abdelatif. There's a wonderful truth about him and in his films which are so realistic. I always had the feeling that I had great difficulty acting in a natural way, but thanks to Abdel I think I did succeed in forgetting that there was a camera."Léa Seydoux
    "Léa has tremendous ability in portraying emotions. She truly vibrates on the set. I think she's in fact very much at ease in front of the camera. She knows how to make the most out of the situation."Abdellatif Kechiche

    Critical response:
    "What makes it special is Kechiche’s attenuated naturalism, coupled with performances by Léa Seydoux and extraordinary newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulous that capture these two young women in all their muddled complexity. "Mike D'Angelo (The AV Club)
    "It's not exactly surprise when things go awry, but by the time the arguments begin, Kechiche has crafted such a believable world that it's hard not to get wrapped up in the stakes at hand."Eric Kohn (Indiewire)
    "What you get in these performances is intelligence, emotion and physicality, and when they come together as combustively as they do here, what you get is something extremely rare - a film that catches the messy, hot complexity of life and love."Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)
    "I really can’t remember seeing two characters fall in love with one another as convincingly as Adele and Emma do here."David Cox (Film4)
    "It’s a simple, even predictable story, yet textured so exquisitely and acted so forcefully as to feel almost revelatory."Justin Chang (Variety)
    "It’s a drama in which the flickering of eyes, a blink, or a twist of the mouth can say more than lines of dialogue."Barbara Scharres (RogerEbert.com)
    "A passionate, poignantly handled love story which, despite an unhinged 3-hour running time, is held together by phenomenal turns from Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, in what is clearly a breakout performance."Jordan Mintzer (The Hollywood Reporter)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan (Norte, The End of History)
    directed by Lav Diaz
    Philippines

    Critical response:
    "Diaz has a reputation as a hard director, but Norte has grace, humanity and narrative verve aplenty, along with intellectual clout"Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)

    Un Certain Regard Film
    Tore Tanzt (Nothing Bad Can Happen)
    directed by Katrin Gebbe
    Kurdistan

    Critical response:
    "Has the jumpy camerawork, tight domestic focus and self-consciously dark subject matter that often signify a youthful debut."Stephen Dalton (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "The sheer nastiness of the film’s descent into the dark side will be difficult for many to take; by comparison, Funny Games looks like a teddy bear’s picnic."Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
See our other #Cannes2013 coverage:

11 comments:

Bonjour Tristesse said...

The reviews for Nebraska have me intrigued. The casting decisions are surprising, might think A Payne could attract bit more star power, but I think his previous work shows he has an eye for casting the right actors for the right roles.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I'm surprised by the mixed reviews the film has but I do love Alexander Payne's films and how he uses actors who seem to be lost in obscurity and rise them back up. I think this will win the Palme D'or since Spielberg is obviously a sentimentalist.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Tore Tanzt sounds like the kind of psychological mess I'd usually enjoy. I could look out for that one.

Sorry for not stopping by in a while, I've been busy-ish and I haven't been doing much more than skimming. Not great for these Cannes posts!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Lovely to see Blue is the warmest color get some enthusiasm. Actually, its great to see some enthusiasm! The critics have been so "blah" this year.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I think from the sounds of it, he got the casting right. Have to say I wasn't very impressed with The Descendants, but I'm actually looking forward to this one.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It's a tough one to call, there are a few that could pass the Spielberg test, but I'm thinking either The Immigrant or The Past will win it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

That one sounds very disturbing, and I'm quite looking forward to it.


And, no need for apologies my friend, we all get busy.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

It is exciting to see the glowing reviews. However, that's exactly the kind of response you'd expect from a group comprised of mostly male critics, after seeing two extremely attractive young French actresses going at it in explicit closeup for three hours... Of course it could still be an excellent film worthy of all the praise, but it's something to consider.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I didn't care for The Descendants either, a bit overrated and contrived. Sideways and About Schmidt are road movies and both in my top 100, so that bodes well for me liking Nebraska.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Oh how hideous! But I bet you're 100% right. Nice call in the wake of the Lauzen paper and the decline of female movie critics. I thought it was illegal for heterosexual males to colonize lesbianism outside of porn? ha ha ha - maybe I dreamed that. :) I will be interesting to see what the glbt community think of it.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Well, it won the Palme. I'm happy I was wrong :)

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