After all, it's just a ride….

Menagerie’s Cannes 2015 Programme

cannes2015Movies? Oh they’re dead, nothing but American franchise fodder strangling the multiplexes ain’t they? Well no, not if you look beyond the latest spandex and chrome clad spectacle they’re not, as the international film community gets into its 2015 swing with the worlds oldest and most prestigious festival – Cannes. I did toy with the notion of attending this year but I couldn’t commit before the application deadline, I’ve committed to make more of an effort next year although I do have plans for a watery foreign film jaunt this year – watch this space. With my finger on the pulse as always a mere three weeks after the final programme announcement here is my personal pick of the pack, I eagerly await the further word on Fury Road although rest assured early rumors are incandescently positive, but like I said I’m boycotting that last trailer for fear of decelerating my  delirium. So while I focus my attention on a few fairly ambitious weekends of UK movie watching which alongside my pre-booked events must also include a visit to this which opens tomorrow after 35 years of neglect, come hither and let’s take an amble through the croisette’s coming attractions now that I’ve had the chance to fully review the programme;

Yakuza Apocalypse, Takaski Miike 2015 – We’ll start with the obvious, with our old friend the timid Japanese slow-coach Miike Takashi who churns out yet another Yakuzi drenched bloodbath which gets a ‘special’ screening – whatever that means.  Have I mentioned this thought before? Have I transmitted my contention that I probably have Japanese cinephile kindred who are as exasperated of the frequent emphasis of their indigenous cinema on the brothels and pachkino organized crime dens of Shinjuku and Shibya and loath those ‘cool’ post Reservoir Dogs medium shots of the criminal marching toward the camera as that continual weeping sore of mockney East End crime films that my country suffers with birds and shooters and fackin’ kants made by slumming upper middle-class hacks like Guy Ritchie and Matthew ‘Yes I have directed party political broadcasts for the Tory party’ Vaughan? That sentence could probably use a full stop somewhere, but the Coalition sold them all. A-ha. Satire. Vote on Thursday kids.

Macbeth, Justin Kurzel, 2015 – After Snowtown turned stomachs back in 2010 I wondered what happened to Kurzel, it seems like he’s following in the non-intimidating footsteps of Polanski and Welles with his take on the Scottish play. I’m not the worlds biggest fan of Shaky but I do like this play, its pretty nasty with lashings of  sword scrapping, histrionic harpies and mystical crones which is a little more up the Menagerie alley than privileged royals exchanging witty fripperies. Plus I got a B+ on a GCSE essay on this book {beams proudly} so I’m looking forward to this. A dense cast with Fassbinder and Cotillard making a menacing pair of power mad murderers, no trailer yet so Polanski’s gory take on the tale is linked above. They showed 15 year olds this movie at my school which explains a lot doesn’t it?

Son Of Saul, Laslo Nemes, 2015 – Well now here’s a guaranteed laugh-riot, Eastern European miserablist Bela Tarr’s protégé with his debut film about – wait for it – two days seen through the eyes of an Auschwitz inmate in 1944. Apparently this fictitious character works in one of the crematorium. I can’t think of much else to say so I think I’ll just go for a little cry.

Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015 – If you’ve seen the darkly hilarious Dogtooth then you know what to expect, and if you haven’ then you must rectify the situation immediately. Any twisted mind which can produce such blackly satirical comedy that would make Bunuel proud is always worth watching. I’ve heard it’s about ‘forced breeding and animal human hybrids warped through the genre eyes of a rom-com’ – huh. Again no bloody trailer which is getting quite exasperating, thus above is a reminder of his break through film.

Carol, Todd Haynes, 2015 – He’s been absent from the screen for a long eight years, although I can strongly recommend his acclaimed HBO series Mildred Pierce from a few years back. Haynes seems to be heading back to Sirk and Fassbinder territory with this adaption of a Patricia Highsmith novel, this should be more of a glitzier period piece affair with Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchet in tow.

Journey To The Shore, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2015 – Although he has moved away from his J-Horror roots Kurosawa (no relation) continues to produce the odd piece here and there despite some setbacks and funding failures. What is quite irritating is that I’m fairly sure that his last two films (the last one trailed above) have received no distribution outside Japan, so a festival is the only shot of seeing his movies on the big screen. I have no idea what this new film is about but his name is enough to garner my interest.

Louder Than Bombs, Joachim Trier, 2015 – Y’see this is what film festivals are all about. I’d never heard of Trier when I saw his film Oslo August 31st at the LFF a few years ago, and I immediately seized on his evident, slightly melancholic talent as someone to watch. This is his first English language film starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne and Isabelle Huppert –  this could be a breakthrough.

Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier, 2015 – Ah, excellent, Saulnier hasn’t wasted any time following up his critical darling Blue Ruin and with the Coens as jury presidents he might be in with some fellow support given the darkly comic flavor of his debut. Crikey, I forgot how much work these lists posts can be, this must the first I’ve constructed in ages. The new films from Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust & Bone),  Hirokazu Kore-eda (After Life, Like Father Like Son) and Hou Hsiao-hsien (Millenium Mambo, Café Lumière) are also essential.

Love, Gaspar Noe, 2015 – Another enfant terrible whom has been quiet, knocking one out in the world cinema corner. Well, after the brain bruising excess of Enter The Void maybe you wondered where the pint-sized terrorist would go next? Well why not make a three-hour, 3D hardcore porn film by the sounds of things? I’m calling this now and mark my words, this will be cited ad-nauseum as his take on Terry Southern’s sexual satire Blue Movie which Southern was inspired to write after discussions with Kubrick on the Dr. Strangelove set, to the point where he actually dedicated the novel to ‘the great Stanley K’. No trailer yet, so a quick look back to the excess of his previous phantasm of excessive style and severity.

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