Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Festival de Cannes 2007

Well, my first Cannes Film Festival is over. On Sunday high winds swept in from the Mediterranean & whisked the circus away. It was a blast. Whomever first had the idea to invite the world film industry to a small(ish) town on the French Riviera for 10 days of non-stop movies & parties under the sun in glorious surroundings deserved the Legion d'Honneur. If only they had had the foresight to arrange better parking!

The highlight of the festival was seeing Martin Scorcese give his Masterclass. Quentin Tarantino was in the audience & as he arrived everybody went wild taking photos as he took his seat, the French LOVE this guy!

Best film of the festival for me was CONTROL, the Ian Curtis/Joy Division bio-pic by Anton Corbijn. It won the Best European Film award in the Director's Fortnight & made a star of Sam Riley who plays Curtis.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cannes movies

With 200,000 people in Cannes for the festival attending the screenings has proven to be quite a trial. The red carpet premieres are only open to those with invitations & the requisite black tie suit. I opted for the more accessible 'day after' screenings but this entails standing in line for an hour or more in the baking sun with 300 other fatigued film fans. There is a profound respect amongst the French for cinema & it's great to be part of an enthusiastic, vocal audience.


The best movie by the Coen brothers in years. Nail-biting suspense as Josh Brolin's modern-day cowboy is relentlessly hunted by Javier Bardem's ruthless hitman Anton Chigurh. One of the all time great cinematic bad guys.


Conventional thriller from James Gray worth seeing for smokin' hot Eva Mendes & Joaquin Phoenix on even better form than in WALK THE LINE.


More teen-angst from Gus Van Sant. Skater kid's slacker lifestyle complicated by parental divorce, virginal girlfriend & accidental murder!


CRAP!! So disappointed in this, the Weinsteins really must stop indulging Quentin. DEATH PROOF is his weakest movie & at times just plain boring. The film was presented in a longer cut to the GRINDHOUSE version to gain some kind of respectability as a stand alone piece (inexplicably making it into the Official Competition) but I have a feeling it probably works better doubled up with Robert Rodriguez's PLANET TERROR?


Harmoy Korine's latest has a commune of celebrity lookalikes on a Scottish farm, sky-diving nuns, Samantha Morton as Marilyn Monroe, Diego Luna as Michael Jackson & Werner Herzog in an acting role. Perfect!


As the Opening Night film the 'Wongster's' English language debut had a great buzz but proved to be a total snooze-fest! Notable only for Darius Khondji's exquisite photography & solid performances from David Strathairn & especially Natalie Portman's sassy poker ace.

Anton Korbijn's first feature kicked off the Director's Fortnight in style. His biopic of Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis brought the house down & deserves much success. One of the festival's best so far.


I was enthralled by ZODIAC's intricate puzzle solving & tight narrative construction. Fincher's best film to date & career best performances from all involved, even Charles 'Roger Rabbit' Fleischer!


Michael Moore's latest docu-rant lambasts the US healthcare 'industry' & posits the 'free' systems offered by the UK, Canada, France, Cuba as ideal models. The only free healthcare available on US territory is apparently for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay!


Dream-like, recreation documentary film ZOO is the warming tale of a man who loved his horse TOO much! A contoversial subject dealt with in style & good taste.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Animated movies at Cannes

'Un Monstre a Paris' isn't due for release until 2009 but the producers are so excited they put a MONSTER sized poster up on the Croisette.

It looks even better at night with the back-lighting.

These life-size models are sitting outside the Carlton Hotel.

This is the English name for the feature version of famous French character 'Lucky Luke'.

What is 'DRAGON HUNTERS'? never heard of it!

This can only BEE one movie...

The Carlton's facade has been 'TRANSFORMED'.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Radio Silence

Last weekend I popped back to London for the first exhibition of Gerby, Crookie & Stef. They are three of the best artists in town & I'm proud to call them my friends. The work on show was first rate & catching up with old friends at the party was great fun. I hadn't seen everyone in almost a year & they were suprised by my 'orange' appearance & my 'tarzan' French!

Photos above courtesy of animator/paparazzi Ed Roberts. Look out for his blog SOON!!

There was a diverse range of work on display. Individually these three artists are dynamos but together the effect was stunning!! Congratulations guys & good luck for the future.