Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Cannes Film Festival: Day 3

Cannes © FDC
  • Day 3 - Friday, May 16

  • Recap of the third day of the 67th Cannes Film Festival (Festival de Cannes), which runs until May 25, 2014.

    Two Compétition films were screened today:
    • From Canada, The Captive (Captives) by Atom Egoyan.

      A multiple award winner: Jury Grand Prix, FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1997: The Sweet Hereafter); FIPRESCI Prize (1994: Exotica), returns to the main competition for the sixth time in his career.

      Official Synopsis:
      8 years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing indications seem to indicate that she's still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.
    • From Turkey, co-produced with France and Germany, Winter Sleep by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

      Another frequent Cannes favorite, twice winner of the Jury Grand Prix (2002: Distant, 2011: Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), and Best Director (2008: Three Monkeys). This is his fifth time in the main competition.

      Official Synopsis:
      Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities..

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • From France, The Blue Room (La Chambre Blue) by Mathieu Amalric.

      The famous French actor-director makes an appearance in the UCR section after winning for Best Director in the Main Competition a few years back (2010: On Tour).

      Official Synopsis:
      A man and a woman, secretly in love, alone in a room. They desire each other, want each other, even bite each other. In the afterglow, they share a few sweet nothings. The man at least seems to believe they were nothing. Now under investigation by the police and the courts, Julien fails to find the words.
    • And from Austria, Amour Fou by Jessica Hausner.

      Best known for her previous film (2009: Lourdes), an official selection at Venice. She has previously been to Cannes twice but so far never in the main selection.

      Official Synopsis:
      A "romantic comedy" based loosely on the suicide of the poet Henrich von Kleist in 1811.
    Competition Film
    The Captive (Captives)
    directed by Atom Egoyan
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "I'm from a town on the west coast of Canada, and there is a very well known case there, of a boy who went missing from a park very close to where I live. Every time I go back home I still see posters and the parents are still very invested. That story is the basis of this film. "Atom Egoyan on the origins of the film.
    "If you look back at my track record, I've often gone back and forth with varying degrees of success between larger and smaller projects. You want to work with great directors, that's the bottom line. It doesn't matter if you're paid or not, you just want to work with those kinds of guys. To be in league with a guy like Atom was extremely exciting for me."Ryan Reynolds on working with Egoyan

    Critical response:
    "Captives is fascinating in its close focus on the mental scarring associated with this type of abuse, but it's also unbearably manipulative and heavy-handed."Adam Woodward (Little White Lies)
    "Leaves a strong cast flailing to keep up with a contrived and fatally unconvincing drama that makes the recent “Prisoners” look like a masterpiece in retrospect."Justin Chang (Variety)
    "Egoyan has made an edgy and contemporary psychological thriller that has resonances of such TV series as The Killing and is none the worse for that."Richard Mowe (Eye For Film)
    "Feels like a further retreat from whatever gifts once made Egoyan a filmmaker worth our attention, and it left me wondering if we'll ever see that guy again."Drew Mcweeny (HitFix)
    "This is Egoyan’s best film for a very long time. Its eeriness creeps up on you and taps you on the shoulder, and when you spin around, it’s still behind you. "Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "The director renders an already bogus story more preposterous by lathering it in portentous solemnity; misguided loyalty to competition alumni is the only explanation for the film's presence in the Cannes lineup."David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "A bold variation on genre tropes, but it demands a certain leap of faith from viewers willing to enter into the playful and perverse spirit of the game."Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)
    "Any other year, in any other context, “The Captive” would simply be another overcooked rote thriller that, like so many other films in this genre, totally loses the run of itself in the final act. But debuting In Competition in Cannes, and coming from one-time auteur Atom Egoyan, we might have expected more. "Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
    "The greater tragedy is that a filmmaker once considered a unique voice has ventured into the fog of familiarity."Eric Kohn (Screen Daily)
    Competition Film
    Winter Sleep
    directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
    Turkey, France, Germany
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "The inspiration for the film comes from three short stories by Chekhov. "Nuri Bilge Ceylan on the origins of the film.
    "I think the duty of a film director is different from that of a journalist. A director should focus more on the spectator's soul. In my films sometimes I may try to give people ideas, to nourish their soul."Nuri Bilge Ceylan on whether his film deals with current events.
    "When i first got the script it was frightening, because it was 183 pages long. It was like a New York telephone book. "Actor Haluk Bilginer on the film's dialog.

    Critical response:
    "A richly engrossing and ravishingly beautiful magnum opus that surely qualifies as the least boring 196-minute movie ever made."Justin Chang (Variety)
    "The 3½ hour running time takes no prisoners even among art house audiences and demands a commitment to attentive viewing that, despite the film's sometimes terrible longeurs, pays off in the end."Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Ceylan’s film is a monologue and a relentless one, leaving no room for us to interpret or engage with the material he presents."Jessica Kiang (The Playlist)
    Un Certain Regard Film
    The Blue Room (La chambre blue)
    directed by Mathieu Amalric

    Critical response:
    "While this appropriately brief film unravels its enigma at a tidy clip, it gathers neither enough heat, nor quite enough of a chill, to linger in the bones."Guy Lodge (Variety)
    "The Blue Room weaves both methodically and subtly a beautiful and cruel variation on the classic boundary of love and hate."Fabien Lemercier (Cineuropa)
    "A clipped, fragmented piece of cinematic modernism, shuffling its time frames in a staccato narrative that makes for a tense, involving experience from start to finish."Jonathan Romney (Screen Daily)
    "Takes a cue from both classic Hollywood noir and the time-shuffling narratives of the late Alain Resnais, telling a familiar story in ways that can feel compellingly new."Jordan Mintzer (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "A pungent tale of infidelity and (possible) murder, gently filleted from a Georges Simenon novel."Xan Brooks (The Guardian)
Un Certain Regard Film
Amour Fou
directed by Jessica Hausner

Critical response:
"The great talent of director of photography Martin Gschlacht and the pictorial sense of the composition of Jessica Hauner’s shots, in particular her mastery of depth of field, give the film a magnificent sense of stylised realism which makes Amour fou an accomplished work of art."Fabien Lamercier (Cineuropa)
"A dryly amusing and characteristically layered reflection on the absurdity of what humans call love."Justin Chang (Variety)
"There is an attention to detail and manners that is quietly absorbing."Allan Hunter (Screen Daily)
"Visually, Hausner and her regular crew have painstakingly recreated the interiors of the time and her ace cinematographer, Martin Gschlacht, frames everything in rigid, tableaux-like fashion, with the resulting visual classicism suggesting the oppressive and straitjacketed environment the characters are so desperate to leave behind."Boyd van Hoeij (The Hollywood Reporter)
The 2014 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14-25, be sure to return for our daily coverage!

Screening Tomorrow at #Cannes2014 (Saturday, May 17):
  • Saint Laurent by Bertand Bonello (In Competition)
  • Wild Tales by Damián Szifrón (In Competition)
  • Run by Philippe Lacôte (Un Certain Regard)
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby by Ned Benson (Un Certain Regard)
  • White God by Kornél Mundruczó (Un Certain Regard)

See our other coverage of the 67th Cannes Film Festival:


Unknown said...

I've heard some mixed reviews about Winter Sleep which isn't surprising since Ceylan isn't for everyone but I wanna see it.

Atom Egoyan... what the hell happened? I know he's been on a slump but.... fuck... what is wrong with him? I guess it's time to hang it up.

It's good to hear about The Blue Room and Amour Fou.

Unknown said...

Winter Sleep sounds a bit self-indulgent, I'm still curious about catching up with it eventually, based on my enthusiasm for his last film.

Unknown said...

Yeah, definitely expected those mixed reviews and am still excited about WINTER SLEEP.

Agree about Egoyan. He hasn't done anything worthwhile in such a long time, I was hoping for a return to form.

Unknown said...

Hehe, even the title gives off that impression, but Ceylan has earned my respect from his past work too.

Unknown said...

I'm definitely excited about Amour Fou, loved Lourdes when I watched it a couple of years ago.

Unknown said...

I'm not as excited about the premise of Amour Fou, but Lourdes, that was a cool little film, and it was the first time I really noticed Léa Seydoux.

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