House Logo
Explore categories +

Cannes Film Festival (#110 of 210)

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Girls of the Sun, Dogman, & The Wild Pear Tree

Eva Husson’s Girls of the Sun is a politically righteous and timely film, with a strong lead performance by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani as Bahar, the leader of an all-female peshmerga fighter battalion bravely fighting ISIS in Kurdistan. But the film also has the dramatic finesse of a sledgehammer: Its most emotionally charged moments buckle under the weight of a ceaseless and manipulative score, and its disorganized and distracting flashback structure tries to contextualize the horrors and humiliations endured by Bahar but does so at the expense of narrative momentum.

Look past the film’s baggy structure and clumsy dialogue and there’s a good deal of tough, spatially coherent action direction on display. As Husson is adept at crafting artfully abstracted images in isolated moments, it’s easy to imagine the more sturdy, brisk, and visually compelling film Girls of the Sun might have been had at least 40 minutes been shaved from its running time.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Winner Predictions

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions
Cannes Film Festival 2018: Winner Predictions

Between Cate Blanchett being appointed to head the largely female jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the much-publicized march of 82 women down the red carpet at the start of the festival (representing the mere 82 women directors in 71 years who’ve competed for the Palme d’Or), many have come to predict that one of the three female filmmakers in competition this year would take the top prize. This article won’t diverge from that prediction, and of the three possibilities, Alice Rohwacher’s Happy As Lazzaro still seems like the safest bet, even with reports coming in that Blanchett teared up at the world premiere of Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Lee Chang-dong’s Burning

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: Burning

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Burning

South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong works slowly: In over 20 years, he’s directed just six films, each of which unfold patiently, sprawling out over two-plus hours and carefully tracking character development in narratives that occasionally proceed in real time. Lee tends to define his characters in relation to the specific temporal concepts that he structures his films around, such as the suicidal businessman from 2000’s Peppermint Candy, whose story is told in a reverse chronology, or the sixtysomething woman with encroaching Alzheimer’s disease in 2010’s Poetry, whose memories of the past slowly slip away. But Burning feels like the director’s most reflexive comment on the dramatic possibilities of his favored narrative form.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Gaspar Noé’s Climax

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: Climax

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Review: Climax

French provocateur Gaspar Noé’s Climax has been met with enthusiasm at this year’s Cannes—even from those who usually have little tolerance for the psychedelic horror-core aesthetic he’s been dredging since at least 2002’s Irréversible. Maybe that’s because the film, at an eminently approachable 95 minutes, aspires to a relatively more structured iteration of Noé’s anarchic chaos. It even has a fairly straightforward concept: Twenty dancers—played by 19 non-actors plus Algerian actress and model Sofia Boutella—gather in a performance space, dance, chat cattily among each other, then drink some LSD-spiked punch and descend into raving, violent madness.

The conceit here is that even when Climax’s characters are subjected to the full-tilt crucible promised by the film’s premise, their bodies’ convulsions remain dance-like. But broad concerns like concept and conceit have never really been Noé’s problem, and neither really has his style—which has always incorporated some form of choreography, and used vivid colors and a restless camera with inarguably visceral impact. What Noé’s films have so rarely evinced—and what Climax mostly certainly lacks—is the skill, imagination, and intelligence to develop concepts and conceits, to connect them with ideas that could keep the director’s vision from wearing itself out.

Cannes Film Festival 2018 Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

mk2 Films

Cannes Film Review: Yomeddine, Leto, & Sorry Angel

Egyptian-born NYU graduate Abu Bakr Shawky’s Yomeddine (or Judgment Day), the first debut feature to play in competition at the Cannes Film Festival since Son of Saul in 2015, is a different kind of exploitation film than László Nemes’s Oscar winner. It’s for anyone who’s ever looked at a person who suffered through a life-threatening illness and thought to themselves, “There should really be a quirky Sundance-style dramedy made about this.”

A road-trip movie for sympathy fascists, Yomeddine is built around non-actor Rady Gamal, a survivor of leprosy whom Shawky met while making a documentary short on a leper colony. Gamal plays Beshey, a junk collector and recent widower who, after linking up with a Nubian orphan boy, Obama (Ahmed Abdelhafiz), sets off to find the father who abandoned him as a child. The misfits get mixed up with thieves, religious fanatics, inept bureaucracies, apathetic police officers, and a trio of beggars with their own physical deformities, most of who serve to further stack the deck against them.

Cannes Lineup Includes New Films by Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard, and More

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Lineup Includes New Films by Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard, and More
Cannes Lineup Includes New Films by Spike Lee, Jean-Luc Godard, and More

This morning, the lineup for the 71st Cannes Film Festival was revealed. Among the most high-profile titles to make the cut: David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake, Spike Lee’s BlacKKKlansman, Lee Chang-dong’s Burning, and Jean-Luc Godard’s Le Livre d’Image. As previously announced, Asghar Farhadi’s Everybody Knows, also in competition, will kick off the festival on May 8, and Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story will screen out of competition on May 15, 10 days before the film hits U.S. theaters. (The Director’s Fortnight and Critics Week selections will be announced at a later date.) Only 18 titles were announced to be competing for the prestigious Palm d’Or, and as that number is usually in the low 20s, it’s likely that more titles will be added to the official lineup in the upcoming weeks.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Winner Predictions

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Winner Predictions

Sony Pictures Classics

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Winner Predictions

The Cannes Film Festival isn’t the Oscars, but there’s still a certain formula that often defines the recipients of its first-place-finishing Palme d’Or. These films, in recent years especially, tend to have a sense of importance about them (Fahrenheit 9/11), frequently due to their sociopolitical awareness of the world (The Class), or of specific societal ills (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days). Very occasionally, the Palme goes to a bold, experimental, and divisive vision from a well-liked auteur (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), but more often it’s awarded to a film in the lineup that the most people on the Cannes jury can probably agree is good (I, Daniel Blake).

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: Based on a True Story

Sony Pictures Classics

Cannes Film Review: Based on a True Story

Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story, contrary to its title, isn’t: It’s a fiction film about a successful author who avoids her past and an eerily obsessive fan who pushes her to write the “hidden book” her previous work seemed to promise. Of course, Polanski’s film is also transparently about the director himself—as well as about his co-writer, French filmmaker Olivier Assayas. And there’s an almost incredible arrogance to that.

Polanski surrogate Delphine (Emmanuelle Seigner) is enjoying great success with her new autobiographical novel but also burned out from the promo tour. Elle (Eva Green)—whose name, as is often commented on in the film, literally translates to “Her”—is a supposed super-fan who ingratiates herself into Delphine’s life as a “good listener” before gradually moving into the author’s flat and taking over her work, deleting slanderous Facebook posts, responding to emails, and even attending a face-to-face gig in her place. Elle also impresses on Delphine the importance of “reality” and tries to dissuade her from writing the fictional book she’s pitched to her publisher.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: You Were Never Really Here

Amazon Studios

Cannes Film Review: You Were Never Really Here

In the six years since her last feature, We Need to Talk About Kevin, which also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, Lynne Ramsay seems to have come very close to figuring out a mode of experimental but psychologically lucid filmmaking that almost completely eluded her before. You Were Never Really Here, adapted from a Jonathan Ames novella of the same name, is every bit as oblique as its lengthy title makes it sound. It’s a character study conducted primarily through an aesthetic vision: Heavy-for-hire Joe (Joaquin Phoenix) stumbles through his daily existence in an expressionistic haze of prescription drugs and disturbed memories, his mind flashing on images of childhood abuse and former lives as a military soldier and an F.B.I. agent.

Cannes Film Festival 2017 Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute

Comments Comments (...)

Cannes Film Review: 120 Beats Per Minute

The Orchard

Cannes Film Review: 120 Beats Per Minute

Robin Campillo had a breakout moment at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with 120 Beats Per Minute, which has been widely tipped as the film to beat for the Palme d’Or. It’s only Campillo’s third film as a director, following 2004’s They Came Back and 2013’s Eastern Boys, but as a writer he’s already penned one Palme d’Or winner: Laurent Cantet’s 2008 docudrama The Class, which relied heavily on the real-life dynamic between a teacher and his racially diverse students. Inspired by Campillo’s true-life experience as a member of AIDS activist group ACT UP Paris in the 1990s, 120 Beats Per Minute feels like a close cousin to The Class, as it similarly spends much of its runtime on lengthy debates between a close-knit community’s various members.