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Cannes Roundup

Posted by: Matthew Turner 29/05/2009 @ 15:12
Subject: Film

Films seen so far this year: 158
Films seen last week: Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience, Fermat's Room, Fugitive Pieces,  The Commitments, Obsessed, 12 Rounds, Coco Before Chanel, Rudo & Cursi, Looking for Eric

Cannes Roundup
So another Cannes has come and gone and the interesting thing is that the high profile films (see previous blog) seem to have under-performed, with most receiving mixed reviews at best. The big prizes went to Michael Haneke's WWI film White Ribbon (the fact that Jury President Isabelle Huppert starred in Haneke's The Piano Teacher is surely just a happy coincidence), which picked up the Palme D'Or, Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank, which shared the Jury Prize with Park Chan-Wook's vampire flick Thirst and Philippine director Brillante Mendoza, who picked up Best Director for his film Kinatay. The acting awards went to Charlotte Gainsbourg for her role in Lars von Trier's controversial Antichrist and Christoph Waltz, who critics unanimously agreed was the best thing about Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (still hate that spelling).

Meanwhile, film website indieWIRE has done a terrific job creating a Cannes roundup of the best films / directors / performances according to various critics and bloggers with Jacques Audiard's prison drama The Prophet emerging as the clear winner. Similarly, Rotten Tomatoes picked their 10 Must-See Cannes movies, highlighting Up, Broken Embraces, Drag Me To Hell, Fish Tank, I Love You Philip Morris and Lee Daniels's Precious as well as all the films mentioned above. So no out-and-out masterpieces this year (with the possible exception of The Prophet), but plenty to look forward to nonetheless.

Trailerwatch: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
This is quite possibly the most hilariously insane trailer you'll see all year. I confess that when I first heard Werner Herzog was remaking Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (with Nic Cage, no less), I was somewhat sceptical, but it turns out it's less of a remake and more of a reimagining, hence the lengthy Port of Call New Orleans subtitle. The trailer, at any rate, is a work of genius. It's teeming with great Nic Cage lines (current favourite: “You don't have a lucky crack pipe?”) and moments that are so ludicrous that several people thought the trailer couldn't possibly be real when it first appeared. Best bit: a clearly high Cage cracking up after the “His soul is still dancing” line at the end. Or maybe it's the bit where he pulls a gun on the old lady. No, wait, maybe it's the (possibly) hallucinatory iguanas. Or the bit where he attempts to arrest a perp while simultaneously getting off with a prostitute. Let's face it, it's all gold.

Top 10 Films On Release This Week (as recommended by me):
Two new entries this week, with Sam Raimi's glorious Drag Me To Hell screaming into first place and old school action flick 12 Rounds exploding into the top ten. Meanwhile, Let the Right One In is entering its second run so don't miss the chance to see it on the big screen, if you haven't already.

1. Drag Me To Hell
2. Sounds Like Teen Spirit
3. Star Trek
4. Synecdoche, New York
5. Let the Right One In
6. Coraline (3D)
7. I Love You, Man
8. 12 Rounds
9. Blind Loves
10. Encounters at the End of the World

DVD of the Week: Martyrs (out now, RRP £15.99)
This week's DVD of the Week is Pascal Laugier's Martyrs, a French horror film about a disturbed young woman (Mylene Jampanoi) seeking revenge for a horrific ordeal in her past. It's fair to say that the film's extreme violence means that it most definitely won't be for everyone, but it's a must-see for horror aficionados. Without giving too much away, the girl's revenge quest turns out to be just the beginning of the story and what emerges is an extraordinary, powerful and genuinely horrifying drama. It received plenty of knee-jerk reviews on its theatrical release and was wrongly dismissed as “le torture porn Francaise”, but this is a film you should see and make up your own mind about.

Extras include a superb 85 minute Making Of documentary that sheds light on the astonishing make-up effects and seperately filmed interviews with both director Pascal Laugier and make-up effects supervisor Benoit Lestang, who sadly committed suicide before the film was released. You can also read our exclusive interviews with director Pascal and stars Mylene Jampanoi and Morjana Alaoui here and here.



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