1. “Cannes: Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan Wins Palme d’Or.” Variety’s Justin Chang reports on this year’s winners.
“French auteur Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan, an intimately observed, mostly Tamil-language drama about a makeshift family of Sri Lankan refugees in Paris, was the unexpected winner of the Palme d’Or at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night. ’Thank you, Michael Haneke, for not making a film this year,’ Audiard said as he accepted his Palme—a reference to the fact that the Austrian helmer of The White Ribbon and Amour had beaten him for the Palme his last two times in competition, with 2009’s A Prophet (which won the Grand Prix) and 2012’s Rust and Bone. Audiard appeared onstage with his lead actors, Antonythasan Jesuthasan and Kalieaswari Srinivasan, both of whom made their screen debuts in Dheepan.”
2. “Todd Haynes’s Film Carol Draws Attention at Cannes.” Manohla Dargis caught up with the filmmaker a few days after the film’s black-tie premiere.
“To a degree, Carol is a narrative of the closet, with all the ghastly repression that suggests, yet the closet is a space that both Highsmith and Mr. Haynes complicate. Part of the frisson of the romance is how Carol and Therese find each other independent of a gay community and in opposition to their designated gender roles: Carol is married and Therese has a boyfriend who’s eager to wed her. The women choose each other, and their choice is by turns dangerous and exciting, hidden and open, and conveyed in a relay of looks, a discreet graze of a hand, a private smile. What contemporary audiences may have a hard time understanding, Mr. Haynes said, is that in the early 1950s, two women living together was less scandalous than an unmarried man and woman living together.”
3. ”’Four-walling’: How film-makers pay to see their work on screen.” ’Four-walling’ means paying to have your film play in a cinema in order to get a review—and until yesterday, the New York Times frequently obliged.
“Despite the prevalence of the business model, many people regard four-walling as something to be ashamed of—a sort of shortcut to theatrical distribution lacking the prestige of the real thing. Many of the film-makers contacted for this piece agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity, expressing concern that the association would have consequences for their reputations down the line. ’There’s a perception that if a movie was four-walled,’ one director told me, ’it’s because it wasn’t good enough to get programmed at an ordinary movie theater. If a movie is four-walled, it’s just a vanity project.’ In the eyes of the ordinary moviegoer or industry representative, some feel, paying to have a film screened is tantamount to cheating.”
4. “Cannes Diary, Day 9: Seriously? Vengeance, Depardieu, and Huppert.” Below, some thoughts from Grantland’s Wesley Morris on Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan.
“My jaw dropped at the violence. For one thing, it’s grisly and expertly done. For another, where did this come from? Audiard certainly lays the groundwork for the action-thriller the movie snaps into, and Jesuthasan barely has to change the gears of his intensity to pull off his end of the switch. But the abruptness of it gives you whiplash. That this sequence is able to go on for as long and as dangerously as it does without external interruption is either an indictment of French law enforcement or the laws of screenwriting or both. It feels like a severe overcorrection for the argument in A Prophet that dominance of the French crime world represented a major achievement for the country’s Arabs. As folklore, that movie was exhilarating; as politics, appalling. That applies here, too. Audiard’s sense of showmanship and his comfort with provocation make him fun to watch. He’s testing your morality—not frivolously, either. Still, that button-pushing can also make him exasperatingly arrogant. He doesn’t need to be right as long as he’s cool.”
5. “How Hollywood Taught Rebel Wilson To Lie About Her Age.” Rebel Wilson isn’t the first Hollywood star to fabricate details of her past. But the reason she did so speaks volumes of the industry’s logic concerning what sort of bodies should appear on-screen.
“While various corners of the internet were generating outrage over Wilson’s fudging of her age, Maggie Gyllenhaal told The Wrap, ’There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood ... I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55.’ Earlier this year, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Patricia Arquette satirized their ’Last Fuckable Day’ in a skit for Amy Schumer, articulating the unspoken but overarching logic of Hollywood: that ’in every actress’s life, the media decides when you finally reach the point where you’re not believably fuckable anymore.’ Somewhere, apparently, before the age of 37.”
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