Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Cannes Film Festival: Day 7

Cannes Red Carpet © FDC
  • Day 7 - Tuesday, May 20

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

    Two Compétition films were screened today:
    • Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit) by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne (Belgium, France, Italy).

      The two-time Palme d'Or winning Belgian duo (1999: Rosetta, 2005: The Child) return to Cannes with a feature starring Marion Cotillard. Their first film with an international star in the lead role.

      Official Synopsis:
      Sandra has only one weekend to visit her colleagues and - with the help of her husband - convince them to sacrifice their bonuses so she can keep her job.
    • Still the Water (2つ目の窓) by Naomi Kawase (Japan).

      This is the fifth trip to the Croisette from the Japanese director, and her fourth time in the main selection. It's shot on Amami Oshima, a tropical island south of Japan.

      Official Synopsis:
      On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.

    In the Un Certain Regard section:
    • Titli by Kanu Behl (India).

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

      Official Synopsis:
      In the badlands of Delhi's underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, plots a desperate bid to escape the 'family' business.
    • Lost River by Ryan Gosling (USA).

      The American filmmaker also competes for the Camera d'Or with his first feature film as a writer-director. A modern day fairytale starring Christina Hendricks and Iain de Caestecker.

      Official Synopsis:
      Set against the surreal dreamscape of a vanishing city, Billy, a single mother of two, is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery if their family is to survive.
    • The Salt of the Earth by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado (France).

      A look at the life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, as revealed to us by his son Juliano, and by celebrated German director Wim Wenders.

      Official Synopsis:
      During the last forty years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever changing humanity. He has witnessed the major events of our recent history ; international conflicts, starvations and exodus… He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of the wild fauna and flora, of grandiose landscapes : a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet's beauty.
    Competition Film
    Two Days, One Night (Deux Jours, Un Nuit)
    directed by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne
    Belgium, France, Italy
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "I think that solidarity is something that must be built. It is not a natural born right. It's a moral commitment. I think we can still have solidarity today, and that's what we try to depict in the film."Luc Dardenne on the theme of solidarity.
    "We really wanted to work with Marion. We initially met her when we co-produced Rust and Bone, and we told her we were interested in working with her, and she told us the same thing. We instantly got along. Afterwards, we went home to change the screenplay with Marion in mind. "Luc on the unusual choice to work with an established movie star.
    "We like to work with women. When we started out, someone told us that we could work with actors, but never succeed with experienced actresses. It's something that we've never forgotten."Jean-Pierre Dardenne on female characters.
    "I love complex roles. I see these women as truly fighting for survival, and they discover hidden things within themselves. That's what interests me about the human condition. I'm deeply moved by people who manage to cope despite their circumstances. "Marion Cotillard on her recent roles.
    "I've always dreamed of an adventure with directors who could lead me to the deepest finest details of a character. I've always known that there is a great amount of work involved in acheiving the perfection of their films. Also Jean-Pierre and Luc make their films for audiences, they make their spectators experience certain feelings. You cannot call their films, simply art-house films."Cotillard on the Dardennes.
    "In fact, to portray the truth while giving the impression of improvisation, requires a huge amount of work. Nothing is improvised in this film."Cotillard on improvisation.
    "With the Dardenne brothers, the idea of rehearsals is fundamental. We try several different takes, in order to find the right balance of movement. I believe that it is essential to their way of making films."Actor Fabrizio Rongione

    Critical response:
    "Within their circumscribed world, the Dardennes once again find a richness of human experience that dwarfs most movies made on an epic canvas."Scott Foundas (Variety)
    "While its radical, but nevertheless bravely optimistic, message is not as powerful as the most hard-hitting works in the Dardenne brothers’ filmography, it still has the luxury of being showcased loud and clear by the world’s most prestigious film festival."Domenico La Porta (Cineuropa)
    "While it may lack the breathless dramatic energy of earlier works like La Promesse or L’Enfant, this is still a powerful, finely scripted issue movie, made all the more incisive by Marion Cotillard’s raw performance"Lee Marshall (Screen Daily)
    "Grips from start to finish with its candid account of a situation that for many will be relatable. "David Rooney (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "Cotillard's best work since "La Vie En Rose" unquestionably ranks as her most credible turn."Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
    "This is another hugely admirable entry in the Dardenne canon: nothing all that new, perhaps, but as thoughtful, humane and superbly composed as we have, very fortunately, come to expect from them. A third Palme is not out of reach."Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
    "Cotillard is predictably immense in the lead, managing to bring subtle variation to the deliberately repetitious narrative which in turn exhibits the refinement of her tack as well as a process of realisation that her endeavour might just be entirely selfish."David Jenkins (Little White Lies)
    "Two Days, One Night is well made, and Cotillard and the rest of the cast give assured performances, but its optimism is desperate"John Bleasdale (Cine-Vue)
    Competition Film
    Still the Water (2つ目の窓)
    directed by Naomi Kawase
    Japan, France, Spain
    Quotes from the press conference:

    "It's an intersting question because, I found my roots when I first went to the island in 2008, I actually discovered that one of my great-great-great-grandmothers was a shaman. So perhaps I inherited something from this ancestor."Naomi Kawase on the shamanistic nature of her work.
    "I believe that this is the most sophisticated film I have made in terms of the performance of the actors, from a technical stance, and the breadth of topic addressed. I believe this is a major piece of work for me. One can dream of a prize or award, but what really matters is the fact that this film exists, It's full of our knowledge and expertise, and that we enjoyed making it. It's very moving to have the film viewed by people from around the world. But, we're not at the Olympic games."Kawase on being Japan's hope for the Palme d'Or.
    "Actually, I can hardly believe I'm in Cannes. I never imagined it, and thanks to the character, and to the opportunity given to me by Naomi."Actress Jun Yoshinaga
    "This is not only my first time at Cannes, but it's also my first time ever in a film. It's been one big discovery. I'm still questioning whether I'm actually here. I've heard that Cannes is always rainy, but did you see? Today is a magnificent day. It feels so lovely to be here with everyone."Actor Nujiro Murakami

    Critical response:
    "Kawase delivers a striking meditation on what are clearly deeply personal themes, underscored by a profoundly moving death that gives the film its heart and soul."Fionnuala Halligan (Screen Daily)
    "While retaining some of Kawase's favorite themes -- the meaning of life and death, the unseen umbilical cords between mother and child and the power of nature over human civilization -- Still the Water elects to spell all this out through its chunky dialogue, in an ironic reverse of the mumbling, obscure symbolism which sunk the director's previous film, Hanezu."Clarence Tsui (The Hollywood Reporter)
    "A spectacle for the senses, which, if there is any justice, will be remembered as one of the greater films of the competition. "Nikola Grozdanovic (The Playlist)
    "With its woozy voiceover and fascination with the beauty and violence of nature, Kawase's film most resembles the works of Terrence Malick. "John Bleasdale (Cine-Vue)
    Un Certain Regard Film
    directed by Kanu Behl

    Critical response:
    "This first feature directed by documaker Kanu Behl strikes a nice balance between irony and social realism."Deborah Young (The Hollywood Reporter)
Un Certain Regard Film
Lost River
directed by Ryan Gosling

Critical response:
"Ryan Gosling’s heavily-hyped directorial debut turns out to be an over-cooked affair that lacks much needed wit and humour to go alongside its self-aware art intentions."Mark Adams (Screen Daily)
"A visual and aural sensory bath that shows some real flair but feels madly derivative at every moment."Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)
"Given the talent assembled, the emptiness at its center only makes it feel like more of a waste."Oliver Lyttleton (The Playlist)
"Rather than making his own movie, Gosling has composed a messy love letter to countless others."Eric Kohn (IndieWire)
"The result is cinema you don’t watch so much as absent-mindedly scroll through, wondering when an idea or an image worth clicking on will finally show up. "Robbie Collin (The Telegraph)
Un Certain Regard Film
The Salt of the Earth (Le Sel de la Terre)
directed by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Critical response:
"Doesn’t reveal so much as gracefully confirm that the empathy and humanism that make Salgado’s photojournalistic work so special are also a part of the artist’s outlook on life."Boyd van Hoeij (The Hollywood Reporter)
"What audiences cannot fail to notice, once again, is the director’s exceptional eye for black-and-white, combining his own sensitivity to the form with the influence of Sebastiao’s work"Jay Weissberg (Variety)
The 2014 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14-25, be sure to return for our daily coverage!

Screening Tomorrow at #Cannes2014 (Wednesday, May 21):
  • The Search by Michel Hazanavicius (In Competition)
  • Goodbye to Language by Jean-Luc Godard (In Competition)
  • Fantasia by Wang Chao (Un Certain Regard)
  • Snow in Paradise by Andrew Hulme (Un Certain Regard)

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


Unknown said...

It's good to hear that the Dardenne Brothers once again deliver and the hope that Marion Cotillard wins the Best Actress prize. I think I want to see Lost River just to see how bad it is. I love Ryan Gosling and I was one of those that actually liked Only God Forgives.

Unknown said...

I'm still intrigued by Still the Water despite the mixed reviews. It looks stunning and critics seem to confirm that and I'm down with watching something atmospheric like this.

Lost River looks like a disaster and that could be fun. The clips I have seen look... not so good. I wonder how much critical venom comes from Gosling's rise and rise to the top.

Unknown said...

Truly, the Dardenne Brothers never disappoint.

And I too enjoyed ONLY GOD FORGIVES, will probably also check out LOST RIVER when the opportunity arises.

Unknown said...

I'm not too familiar with Kawase, but STILL THE WATER looks sublime. I think its worth seeing for the unique location alone.

That's a good point about Gosling, sometimes critics do love a good dogpile.

Unknown said...

I feel the Dardenne's have done enough films about children and teens for the time being, so it's refreshing to see Marion Cotillard in the lead role.

Unknown said...

I feel the Dardenne's have done enough films about children and teens for the time being, so it's refreshing to see Marion Cotillard in the lead role.

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