Cannes Preview 2013

Indian Cinema's birthday card from Cannes – a screening for 'Bombay Talkies'

Indian Cinema’s birthday card from Cannes – a screening for ‘Bombay Talkies’

Cannes started today and the media frenzy that surrounds the festival seems to get greater each year. The Guardian‘s film editor Catherine Shoard has written a piece which perhaps reflect a mood amongst mainstream newspapers – focusing on celebrities, glamour and whether Cannes can predict Oscar contenders or offer sneak previews of Hollywood product to come. Fortunately, the festival organisers have done a pretty good job in attracting a more diverse range of films and filmmakers this year. There are perhaps too many American independents and French productions but that’s seemingly inevitable. At least one of those French productions is directed by Asghar Farhadi and another by Abdellatif Kechiche; the single female director in competition, Valeria Bruni Tedschi comes under a French banner and Arnaud des Pallières is unknown to me. François Ozon and Arnaud Desplechin count as ‘usual suspects’. It’s good to see a Dutch and a Mexican director both returning after previous Cannes outings and there is a semblance of recognition for the importance of East Asian cinemas with the presence of Kore-eda Hirokazu, Miike Takashi and Jia Zhangke. Nicholas Winding Refn and Roman Polanski should stir things up  and the Americans are all reliable performers. Paolo Sorrentino is almost a Cannes fixture and it’s good to see the return of  Mahamat Saleh Haroun as the sole African representative – I hope he wins another prize.

Here is the full competition line-up:

Now I’ve run through the list it looks encouraging. Strangely though, some of the leading women in film seem to have been placed in ‘Un certain regard‘ where you’ll find Claire Denis and Sofia Coppola amongst eight female directors. Again it looks an interesting selection. Still no South Asian directors in the two main strands however, but the rise and rise of Anurag Kashyap continues and he features in the Special Screenings selection with the portmanteau film Bombay Talkies (which includes other segments by Karan Johar, Zoya Akhtar and Dibarkar Banerjee) a film presented as a ‘birthday card’ to ‘100 Years of Indian Cinema’. Kashyap’s own film Ugly shows in the Directors’ Fortnight and he also turns up as one of the producers of Monsoon Shootout (UK-Netherlands-India) by Amit Kumar and showing ‘Out of Competition – sounds like an interesting little film, a police drama set in Mumbai. Kumar is an FTII graduate and has worked with Asif Kapadia who is also an exec producer. I hope this gets a UK release.

2 responses to “Cannes Preview 2013

  1. I have now seen ONLY GOD FORGIVES directed by Nicolas WINDING REFN – a film that pairs the director with the star of his earlier success Drive. It struck me mainly as a pastiche of a David Lynch film: Lost Highway is far superior. At the end there is a thanks to Alejandro Jodorowsky, which explains a lot. It is set in Bangkok and involves kick boxing, drug dealing and family vendettas. The cinematography and soundtrack are excellent, but the plotting and direction seem pretentious. The talented cast are left to emote in scenes where motivation seemed completely lacking. I was entertained partly because it made me giggle at times. The violence is cartoon like.
    More worrying, the film treats Bangkok and its people in a very stereotypical fashion, bordering on the racist. And there is more than a whiff of mysogyny.

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