Tag Archives: Cannes

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.

Cannes Preview 2011: Women in the spotlight as directors

Nadine Labaki with a poster for her previous film, Caramel

Lynne Ramsay – back in the spotlight after too long away

It’s that time of year again. The line-up for the Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival has been announced and it is an intriguing mixture of established and new talent that looks set to make 2011 a vintage year. Apart from the usual complaints – little from Latin America or Africa and possibly too much from certain European countries – what has caught the eye is the inclusion of six women directors in the two main sections.

The four films by women in the Palme d’Or section are:

Hanezu No Tsuki, dir. Naomi Kawase (Japan)

Sleeping Beauty, dir. Julia Leigh (Australia)

Poliss, dir. Maiwenn (France)

We Need To Talk About Kevin, dir. Lynne Ramsay (UK)

In the ‘Un certain regard’ section are:

Where Do We Go Now? (Et Maintenant On Va Ou?), dir. Nadine Labaki (Lebanon/France)

Hard Labor (Trabalhar Cansa), dirs. Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra (Brazil)

Of these, the films by Julia Leigh, Maiwenn and Juliana Rojas are all first-time feature films and we look forward to hearing about them when the festival gets underway. Naomi Kawase is an established Japanese festival favourite who hasn’t really succeeded in international distribution yet. She has been previously nominated twice for the Palme d’Or and won the Festival Gran Prix in 2007 for Mogari no mori. Perhaps this will be her year?

We are most excited by the new films from Nadine Labaki and Lynne Ramsay. Labaki’s previous film Caramel (Lebanon/France 2007) has been one of our most popular postings and we are still hoping for a UK release of Stray Bullet (Lebanon 2010) in which she starred.

Most of all, however, it is welcome back to Lynne Ramsay. Ramsay first got noticed (and a prize) at Cannes in 1996 with her first film school short Small Deaths. When she won again with another short Gasman in 1998, she was able to turn that success into two lauded features, Ratcatcher (1999) and Morvern Callar (2002). At that point she looked like becoming the UK’s premier ‘art director’ making films that are great to look at, intelligent, different, moving and with something to say. But then she discovered just how crass and cruel the film business can be. She worked for four years on preparation for The Lovely Bones, only for the project to be taken away from her and handed to Peter Jackson. But Ramsay is committed and determined and she has stuck to her principles. We Need to Talk About Kevin is also an adaptation of a successful book but this time Ramsay has been working with Tilda Swinton two tough Scottish women together, quite a combination. Fingers crossed it all looks as good as we all hope it does on screen. The story of the film’s production is part of this useful piece by Andrew Pulver on the DGA website.