Just hours before announcing the Competition and Un Certain Regard lineups, the Cannes Film Festival has presented its choices for the 2014 Short Films Competition—nine contenders for the Short Film Palme d’or—and the Cinéfondation Selection, sixteen films eligible for three Cinéfondation Prizes.
Meantime, prediction fever still runs high. The Hollywood Reporter‘s Jordan Mintzer has made a final run-through of the most talked-about candidates—dozens of them—for the big lineups and notes: “While legendary fest president Gilles Jacob will finally be stepping down after 36 years on the Croisette, general delegate Thierry Fremaux will continue programming the world’s premium art house event, which runs in its 67th edition from May 14 to May 25.”
Variety‘s Justin Chang and Elsa Keslassy are pretty sure David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, Atom Egoyan’s The Captive, Xavier Dolan’s Mommy, Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall, Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Winter Sleep, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s Two Days, One Night and Tommy Lee Jones’s The Homesman, among others, will make the cut.
Jon Favreau talks with Martin Scorsese in 2004; via Thompson on Hollywood
IN OTHER NEWS
Via Filmmaker‘s new managing editor Vadim Rizov comes word that Jon Jost intends to raise funds to make 2K transfers of the films of Mark Rappaport ahead of a retrospective to be staged by the Cinémathèque Française. You may remember that Boston University professor Ray Carney is holding copies of many of the films—but he doesn’t have the negatives.
The Notebook‘s posted a fantastic video essay (3’35”) by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin on Martin Scorsese’s After Hours (1985), “a somewhat forgotten and overlooked work in the director’s ‘80s corpus”—though, going by every conversation I’ve ever had about it, those who know it love it. At any rate: “It’s a busy, busy movie. Scorsese gets to manoeuvre, endlessly: look at how the simple act of hailing a cab becomes a strange, gestural journey for a hand floating free in space, flagging down and then connecting with the vehicle’s door handle.”
Jenelle Riley profiles Tilda Swinton for Variety, noting that she “says she doesn’t consider herself an actor. ‘I don’t know what it would take for me to feel like one,’ she says. ‘I understand it’s a strange thing to say because I do keep saying, “Yes, I’ll dress up and be in your film.” But when I hear proper actors talking about their lives and how they approach their work, I feel like I’m up another tree.'” See, for example—or rather, listen to—her guest DJ set on KCRW (10’36”).
Josef Braun revisits Nostalghia (1983), nothing that “anyone who watches any Tarkovsky film more than once knows well the way his films have of shifting with every visit—or even within a single viewing. How many times have I struggled with some aspect of these unusually personal, sensual, meandering, philosophy-smacked, sometimes downright cryptic films, only to reach the end and feel redeemed by their exalted, breath-taking visions and uncanny ability to find poetic closure? Cinema as travel: I’ve yet to encounter a Tarkovsky film that hasn’t left me feeling as though I’ve been transported, been through something.”
The 8mm Films of Vivian Maier
David Bordwell caught a lot of genre movies at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival and finds that many “mixed their familiar features with local flavors and fresh treatment, reminding me that conventions can always be quickened by imaginative film artists.”
Fargo, the TV series, has premiered on FX and Criticwire‘s Sam Adams finds that “what showrunner Noah Hawley has done is not to Xerox the Coens but copy them freehand, embellishing and reimagining the movie in a way that feels neither false to nor slavishly imitative of it.” He gathers first reviews from all over.
Time Out‘s unveiled a big one, the 100 best animated movies. Editors Dave Calhoun and Joshua Rothkopf note that “as we polled over 100 experts in the field—from directors like Fantastic Mr. Fox’s Wes Anderson, Ice Age and Rio’s Carlos Saldanha, Wallace & Gromit’s Nick Park, to critics and hardcore fans alike—it became clear that animation doesn’t just mean kids’ and family movies. Worldwide innovators have adapted the form to include action, politics, race and sex. Animation has grown up, sometimes uneasily, right before our eyes.”
From Shannon M. Houston at Paste: “10 Women Directors to Watch in 2014.”
Trailer for Obvious Child with Jenny Slate
“Plenty of teen films exist about the archetypal angsty American youth (John Hughes is of course the master), but there’s also a breed that addresses a different type of high-school experience, one that’s darker, more turbulent, and sometimes lewd or even sinister.” For Film Comment, Laura Kern writes up a big batch of these, all them “currently available for VOD viewing in the safety of your home.” One of them’s right here.
New York. “For nearly 50 years, Marco Bellocchio has been one of the cinema’s great poets of rebellion and escape—from family, from the Italian bourgeoisie and from the conformism and hypocrisy they represent,” writes Mike Hale at the top of a New York Times piece on Marco Bellocchio: A Retrospective, opening today at MoMA and running through May 7.
Also in the NYT, Nicolas Rapold: “The artists Tacita Dean and Mary Frank might not make the most obvious pair, but they share space—and explore it—in a portmanteau program at Film Forum.” Through April 22. More from David D’Arcy at Artinfo.
A few recommendations in the L (we’re saving two for later): Samantha Vacca on François Truffaut‘s The Last Metro (1980, tomorrow, Film Forum), Steve Macfarlane on John Boorman’s Point Blank (1967, through Friday, MoMA) and Elise Nakhnikian on Ernst Lubitsch‘s Trouble in Paradise (1932, this weekend, IFC Center).
Teaser for Takashi Miike‘s Over Your Dead Body with Ebizo Ichikawa and Kou Shibasaki (no subtitles)
Chicago. “A few days after I watched Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin,” writes the Reader‘s Ben Sachs, “I revisited Mamma Roma (1962) at the Pier Paolo Pasolini retrospective currently underway at the Gene Siskel Film Center. I found the films complemented each other rather nicely—both hinge on the perverse spectacle of a world-famous actress playing off a cast of everyday people.” Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Eyes of a Poet is on through May 15.
London. Opening today and on view at Whitechapel Gallery through June 22, Chris Marker: A Grin Without a Cat “offers a rare opportunity to engage with a broad cross-section of Marker’s protean productions, including a never-before-seen version of La Jetée with an alternative opening sequence,” writes Sukhdev Sandhu. “For co-curator Chris Darke, who frequently corresponded and also worked with Marker, the show reveals the ways in which the artist’s ‘central subject was intelligence, a very particular, astute intelligence that’s also full of political acuity, humor and lyricism.'”
IN THE WORKS
The Playlist‘s Kevin Jagernauth reports that Abdellatif Kechiche’s followup to Blue Is the Warmest Color will be La Blessure, “based on the book La Blessure, la vraie by François Bégaudeau (who wrote the novel that inspired Laurent Cantet’s excellent The Class). The film will tell the coming-of-age story of a fifteen-year-old, but unlike the book which is set in France, Kechiche will relocate the story to Tunisia, with filming to take place in North Africa.”
From Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr: “An adaptation of the Michael Punke novel The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge, [Alejandro] González Iñárritu’s next film will star [Leonardo] DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a 19th century fur trapper who gets mauled by a grizzly bear, and then is left for dead by cohorts who rob him. When he survives, he is as pissed as a bee-stung bear and sets out on a treacherous journey to exact revenge on those who betrayed him.”
Fleming also reports that Adam McKay may direct Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in Border Guards, a comedy about “two hapless but earnest friends who decide to give purpose to their lives by protecting America’s borders from illegal immigrants.”
Viewing. “Film archive British Pathé has released its entire collection to YouTube, making more than 85,000 rare 20th Century videos available to the public,” reports Sky News. “History enthusiasts are now able to browse more than 3,500 hours of some of the most significant moments of the last century.” Via Cinephilia and Beyond.
Listening (32’09”). The second episode of Karina Longworth‘s You Must Remember This is all about Frank Sinatra’s “40-minute song cycle about life, love, death and visiting outer space.”