CANNES FESTIVAL -- DAY SIX
Cannes, France -- Most of the time I face Monday with quiet dread. Not in Cannes. It's Monday, so the tourists have gone home, mostly. The tourists are gone! For the moment -- Cannes straddles two long weekends, so between the 30,000 accreditees and the weekenders, it can get a mite crowded along the Croisette. You can tell the difference because the former look pissed off and sleep deprived and the latter are oblivious to being glared at by people with cell phones surgically attached to their heads. It's actually not as bad the second weekend. The number of tourists goes back up, but the number of Festivaliers has dropped, considerably.
The politest way I've ever seen anyone say "boring": A film was reviewed in Screen this morning as "dramatically unagitated". The film will remain nameless as I've not seen it and cannot tell if it's a fair assessment.
My Brother Is An Only Chile (Daniel Lucchetti) -- Speaking of films that are dramatically agitated comes this Italian film whose English title makes no sense. The Italian title is Mio Fratello E Figlio Unico, which is "My Brother is An Only Son" -- there is a sister involved.
Screening in Un Certain Regard, it's a 60s coming of age story about two brothers coming of age in the political turmoil of 68, one a Communist, one a Fascist, which turns out to be more schematic in description than execution.
Well structured as drama-comedy-political thriller-romance -- it's got a little bit of everything working, yet never feels fragmentary or episodic -- it's a highly entertaining picture. And, I must say I didn't see the ending coming, that's for sure. Thinkfilm has it, so it will probably open North America after a turn on the Festival Circuit.
Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant) -- I don't think Gus Van Sant will pick up his second Palme d'or for Paranoid Park. First, it's too much like Elephant, without the sociological resonances that made Elephant seem a lot more important at the time than it turned out to be. It's also in that latter day Van Sant style, which places the broody protagonists of Robert Bresson's films (especially Four Nights of a Dreamer) with the long, long takes of Bela Tarr. (I'm not making this up -- when I interviewed Van Sant after Gerry, he talked about how much he loved Tarr's Satantango.)
There is a slight switch here, which is that when he's doing the long takes of his young protagonist in the school corridors, the camera leads rather than follows, suggesting that Van Sant has come to the quick realization that faces are more interesting than the backs of heads. Good performances, especially as Van Sant cast the film out of MySpace, rather than going to LA and hunting down the next Joseph-Gordon Levitt.
Unexpected fun things to do at Cannes (1) -- Go to imbd.com to look up one of the Competition films, and realize it's so new that it doesn't have an imdb entry.
Unexpected non-fun things to do at Cannes (I)-- Spend half an hour going through the rigmarole to get the film and its credits entered in the imdb.
Tomorrow: Tarantino re-spins his flop....