Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cannes Report

Hey dudes,

Here's the reason I'm in Cannes:
- I have a short film on the Short Film Corner
- To learn the market - Cannes is the most important international film market, and I'm learning quite a bit about the business of movies, and the most valuable bits about how you can actually sell your blood sweat and tears at the end of the day.
- To make contacts with those who could fund my blood sweat and tears, or those who could contribute blood or sweat to my existing pile.

And I'm also here for adventures, and to see films. Here are the films I've seen - (so far the dominant themes of the market at Iraq war, bad economy, 3D, and there's LOTS of puppy films):
- Police Dog Dreams - a Japanese film about a little girl and her dog and their dreams to be a police dog team. F'ING AWESOME. I have the poster. and it is AWESOME.

- a 3D presentation from Korea with robots and dinosaurs. the robots outshine the dinosaurs by far. 3D offerings are EVERYWHERE. audiences - get ready for your eyes to be exposed to this comeback technology from the 80s and let your mind explode with extra dimension (I think it's just a trend that will last 2 years max!)
- Main Street - great cast (Ellen Burstyn, Orlando Bloom to name a few) but we left after 30 mins into the film. BAD EDITING. TERRIBLE EDITING. Shots were misused, it should have started way later in the first scene, the opening montage was boring and repetetive. Could be great if it was edited properly
- Every Day - Liev Schreiber, Helen Hunt, Carla Gugino. Bad writing. Liev not right in this part (though a good actor), and Helen Hunt's hair was overdone which was a weird and mal-fitting choice. Left after 30 mins
- Company Men - Great film, Academy Contender - Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper. Strong acting, good story - VERY UNINTENTIONALLY SEXIST - Women were never portrayed in relevant roles, in real life women are executives and there were none. We should have seen a female lead along with the men, also there was a token black role - cheesy and the black dude isn't as real a character as the white leads. And the one female business woman had to get naked which wasn't necessary and that actress should have had to do that to tell this story. HOWEVER it was a moving, scary examination of corporate downsizing and layoffs. Ben Affleck's story ark was so extremely true to life, and this will strike a real nerve with those of us deeply afraid of the impact of this economy.
- Tamara Drewe - A really fun film made by Stephen Frears who knows what he's doing. The end is hokey, but otherwise it's great fun and will do well. Great ensemble cast.
- Of Gods and Men (Des Hommes Et Des Dieux) - French film about monks in a monastery in Algeria facing up against violent terrorists while trying to support the village they inhabit. We saw this one on the proper red carpet last night! So fun. The film is absolutely beautiful and moved me to tears. Very well acted. Loved those old men monks! Was so moving to see the actors and director receive a long standing ovation at the end of the film. The most brilliant scene is at the dinner table where we spend time with each character as we experience quiet moments with each as they evoke their viewpoint and experience. One criticism is the overuse of the technique to stay on shots a long time - he should cut a lot of shots shorter (even though its clearly a style choice) because it is being overused, and he will lose the audience and they will be bored or their minds will wander. He needs to keep the long shots in the important moments we need to feel most, and cut some landscape shots, etc because its taking away from the film! It's quite a moving experience a la Schindler's list (but very different style wise from that film)

Other happenings:
- got to see a panel with Doug Liman! He's such a competent director, I admire him so much! Hope to catch Fair Game. Will write about what he had to say about fair game - and the fact that he DP's many of his own films! - later
- Stephen Baldwin is poking around. I think his kids made short films here
- Saw Javier Bardem walk into his press conference!
- Visited Grasse. Got rained on :(
- So far the highest scoring films in the festival are Mike Leigh's Another Year - and 2nd highest is the film I saw, Of Gods and Men. Biutiful by Innaritu and with Bardem scored very very low! Worst score so far is yakuza film Outrage by Kitano- and Kiarostami's film with Juliette Binoche got mixed reviews.

Ok bye now.

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