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Posts tagged “Cannes

Good Time (2017) Trailer

A little delayed but I’ve been reading up on some of the winners and curios from this years Cannes, and alongside the new Lynne Ramsay, Sofia Coppola, Haneke and Yorgos Lanthimos queasy sounding The Killing Of A Sacred Deer this seems to be another ‘must- see’, apparently proving that Pattinson can actually act;

I, Daniel Blake (2016) Trailer

Congratulations to Mr. Loach and his team, I’ve not really been following Cannes but anything inspiring strong political debate on the fucked up illusion of ‘austerity’ nonsense gets my support. Here’s a flavour;

Following certain film critics as I do the inevitable x,y, and z was robbed seems to be the usual reportage, while grudgingly admitting that the winner was a good picture. C’est la vie….

Dog Eat Dog (2017) Teaser

What’s this, hot out of Cannes we have a) a new Paul Schrader movie that b) actually has received a wealth of positive buzz, unlike, say his last decade of efforts? Colour me excited;

Anything based on Eddie Bunkers novels will always clock into the Menagerie interest vault, so I’ll be instructing my narks on the street to keep their eyes peeled for a London release later in the year. Alongside the news that Scorsese will finally team up with De Niro, Pesci, Al Pacino (really? Blimey) and the gang for one final crime film and I’d judge this as a positive week…..

The Art Of The Dissolve….

A quick but effective technical post as it has been a slow week movie watching wise, although I did watch Tak3n which has been an instructive instrument in appreciating all that is horribly wrong with modern franchise movies – what a wretched and insulting waste of money, time, ideas and shells. I guess I should be celebrating the chance to go and see Gasper Noe’s latest orgy which is (vaguely NSFW) perverting some London screens, I’m just not sure I can summon the amorous strength. We shall see, but until then, some techniques;

The Art of the Dissolve from Kevin B. Lee on Vimeo.

In any case this is a nice little cinephile burst, the modern master of offensive has some good taste it seems, and in fact there is a whole series of these musings….

Carol (2015) Trailer

Announced as a London Film Festival Gala premiere today and followed up with this rather short trailer, next year’s best actress competition starts here;

This film devastated Cannes in the best possible way, with some muttering that it’s Todd Haynes merciless masterpiece. Me, I’m rather more excited at the prospect of a LFF screen talk with him, or Cate Blanchet or Rooney Mara as they are all confirmed as attending the festival in October.

Sicario (2015) Trailer

Hot off a storming Cannes reaction, Denis ‘Yes I am confident enough to take on a Blade Runner sequel’ Villeneuve exercises his action muscles with what some have called Michael Mann’s best film he hasn’t yet made;

This is one of the half-dozen must sees from Cannes 2015 that I am feverishly scanning release dates for, and hoping for autumn LFF premieres. I’ve been grimly fascinated with the last decade of the hideous Mexican drug war, and this looks like an appropriate movie primer…….

Macbeth (2015) Trailer

By the pricking of my thumbs, a Fassbender and Cotillard this way comes – yeah I know another MI5 preview dropped today, but I’m trying to ween myself off posting multiple trailers of the same damn film. Instead its heartening to see some of the well lauded Cannes crowd starting to fire up their marketing engines, and this looks suitably devilish;

Like I said I do like the Scottish play the most out of my somewhat limited knowledge of the shaker of spears, but that’s quite a volatile mixture of leads which deserves a big-screen visit – it’s bound to be among this years LFF squadron…

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.

Cannes Carnage 2014

cannesSo the crimson hued carpet has been rolled up for another year, I can’t say I’ve been following events with a forensic French-trained eye, but I do always make some time for some postcoital analysis of the films to watch and the breakthrough texts which demand further investigation. The best write-up I’ve downloaded is the always reliable Jonathan Romney which has a couple of amusing moments, and his championing of one film has got me specifically excited for a movie I’d heard nothing about and which as far as I can see has received relatively little coverage elsewhere – now that’s the work of a skilled critic. I think I’ll give Grace Of Monaco  a miss considering the total annihilation the film has received, I do like to make my own mind up as you’ll see from my list below but what little I’ve read illustrates that worst of combinations – a ‘bad-bad’ movie as opposed to a ‘so bad its good’ movie. If that makes sense. Finally, just to be a philistine and non-patriotic Judas I couldn’t care less about Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, all his bloody films look like BBC dramas anyway although I am passingly fond of the artist on which the film is based, I’m also struggling to find much of substance of John Boorman’s Queen & Country which seems to have had a uneventful unveiling. So here then is a very short list of the films I’ll be seeking out here in the UK over the coming months, distribution permitting;

Winter Sleep – I think you should always make an effort to see the Palme d’Or winner from a cineaste perspective, although I must admit that the prospect of a three and a quarter hour Nuri Bilge Ceylon movie – a director with whom I’ve never particularly connected – doesn’t exactly inspire me with hope. Still, we shall overcome, I’ll also keep an eye out for the Godard which sounds like quite the hallucinatory cinematic experience…

Lost River – Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut has been widely slated but I must admit my interest is still piqued, although that trailer is not at all promising. At the very least the work of the increasingly brilliant cinematographer Benoît Debieis should be worth the price of admission alone, call me an shallow, image obsessed ingrate if you like but any film shot by the same guy behind Spring Breakers and Enter The Void is worth a look in my book….

Captives – As a huge fan of Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter any film which is being compared to his finest hour strikes me as essential viewing, even if the subject matter sounds somewhat distasteful. The time fractured narrative should cause some mental gymnastics but I’m up for the challenge, a intellectual equivalent of maintaining constriction in the frosty light of a bleak and numbing winter if that trailers anything to go by…..

The Tribe – This is the one that Romney has specifically convinced me to see. Shot with non-professional deaf actors in the Ukraine in sign-language without any subtitles this sounds challenging to say the least, I just love the idea of a film without the usual visual aides and props are not available, yet the film is so powerful that it still communicates what by all accounts is an incendiary look at a youth subculture in crisis.

Maps To The Stars – Any new Cronenberg gets  splattered onto my hit-list regardless of subject matter, genre or collaborators, this scathing Hollywood satire sounds like it might be in the same exalted league as The Player, The Bad & The Beautiful with maybe the corrosive cruelty of Sunset Boulevard. Among all the gloom, economic depression and political corruption invested across this portfolio something with a little humour, no matter how sour, might be welcome.

Two Days, One Night – I’ve never been thoroughly seduced by the Dardenne Brothers and their post neo-realist pictures, but I must admit the entire premise of their hugely acclaimed has me brimming with excitement. Another terrific performance from Marion Cotillard doesn’t hurt either, and the political allusions to this nausea inducing age of austerity should prove to be social dynamite. The title reminds of the kitchen-sink dramas of the UK of the 1960’s such as Saturday Night & Sunday Morning….

Leviathan – This sounds like a big one, a seriously dense political allegory which wades into deep and complex waters – Russian corruption, political cruelty, the theatrics of the state puppet masters in juicing the system at the expense of the innocent. Certainly a film which one needs to be in the requisite mood to immerse oneself, until then I’m also hiring Andrei Zvyagintsev’s previous film The Banishment as a little aperitif…..

The Rover – And finally a film which has received largely mixed reviews, but those more aligned to genre cinema away from your Film Comment and Sight & Sound’s of the film world have recommended this dystopian ozzie grimfest. Having recently traversed the Mad Max trilogy on Blu I reckon a return to all things dystopian would be a fun trip, and David Michod seems to be one of the more interesting filmmakers to emerge from ‘down-under’ for quite some time. I think this has been picked up for US distribution next month, the UK is due for August…..


Cannes 2014 Schedule Announcement

Cannes2014The worlds most prestigious film festival announced its programme this morning so I thought it would be prudent to throw a few thoughts together. Before we get into that you might be wondering why the Menagerie hasn’t dipped his toes – or rather made an offer to dip his toes – in the Côte d’Azur (I have been approached to do so) and the simple answer is what makes the world go round – money. I have reviewed possibilities in the past and as you’d expect it is catastrophically expensive, I’d be more than happy to spring for the airfare but vomiting 300 Euros and upward a night for a hotel is simply impossible, not to mention the lost earnings I suffer as a self-employed dude. I’ve also heard tales of a simply hellish schedule, arising at 5am and queuing for six or seven hours for a slim chance of getting into even a mildly anticipated movie, although there would be a sense of continental sophistication and, well, superbadass coolness to be among the first 200 people to see the next Malick film or whatever I’m not sure it’s really worth the effort. That said I can’t help think it must be experienced at least once, if only for the personal pride in being awarded accreditation (the assessment process is notoriously rigorous, with specific attention directed to the quality not quantity of applicants previous work), as in the field of film criticism it really doesn’t come much higher does it? The chance to bathe in film history such as this titanic trio on stage together from 1983? I dunno, we’ll see how it goes assignment wise this year and what rainy day coffers we can accrue, until then here’s my initial pick of the bunch for this years programme;

Not the most surprising choice for opening night as this project oozes Cannes credibility – sophistication, class, a few frames of prestigious cinema history, a character study rather than North American pyrotechnics. I’m a little lukewarm on the project as Grace Kelly isn’t really featuring in my favourite actresses pantheon, but for a sense of cinema history and I assume some Hitchcock references – I assume the fireworks at 1:05 is a sly nod to this – so this will be hunted down, eventually….

A film about oblique power in Russia? How timely. Andrei Zvyangintsev is something of a Cannes veteran with both his earlier works Banishment and Elena previewing to solid acclaim, it sounds as if his new feature Leviathan could garner a hat-trick of praise. Can’t say I’ve seen either of his movies but I hope to rectify this shortly, the short of his I’ve posted above certainly

This was announced as well, both projects presumably being in production for a couple of years at a minimum, then they get released against a political back-drop that is growing more and more worrying in Eastern Europe – you’ve gotta love those coincidental intersections of life and art….

From Russia to America, I can’t say I particularly gravitate to wrestling movies, and I’m not sure I can take Steve Carrell’s ‘take me seriously as an actor’ looking appearance here, but with Annapurna as the production company behind this I’m quietly confident that this will hold its own in the ring – they have quite the robust production pedigree.

At the spritely age of 83 Godard continues to prove that the old masters are still in operation, and with the latest film his first foray into 3D it should be fascinating to see what inevitable meta-commentary he will make of the format, and the current state of the art form – I doubt he’ll be entirely salubrious….

Showing out of competition is Zhang Yimou’s latest collaboration with his muse Gong Li, not much to glean from that short trailer but I thought I’d throw it into the mix to demonstrate the global reach of the schedule.

A new Argento, but not the one you’re thinking off. I’m very pleased to see Asia back behind the camera, her previous film The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things was a sleeper which I rented and was quietly blown away by, can’t believe it’s already a decade old. No trailer yet so above is a quick look at her previous effort, there are fifteen female directors featured at this years festival (out of 49 official entries) with a total representation of both genders across 28 countries. Sounds a little more equitable than most festivals….

I’d be doing this post a Gallic injustice if I didn’t mention some of the French material on offer, with new films from Oliver Assayas (Sils Maria), Michel Hazanavicus follows up the Oscar triumphs of The Artist with a distinct shift in subject matter with the severe sounding Serbian war picture The Search, and current new artesian hope Xavier Dolan has his fifth feature Mommy in competition. He is 25 and has already made, distributed and exhibited five pictures. Le Bastard….

How have I not heard about this until now? Jesus, I think I’m slipping in my advancing years. David Michod’s follow-up to his ferocious Animal Kingdom is already being compared to another famous Australian exploitation classic which I won’t insult you by naming, this looks pretty intense, no?

I should also mention Deux Jours, Une Nuit by Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne featuring Marion Cotillard, from the UK both cinematic institutions Mike Leigh (Mr. Turner) and Ken Loach are in attendance (the latter with I think his last film Jimmy’s Hall before his recently announced retirement), Ryan Goslings directorial debut Lost River, the aforementioned Cronenberg Maps To The Stars and plenty more besides which I don’t have the time to reference here – Bradshaw’s crafted a more comprehensive round-up here. Now we’ve got some web-spinning, by which I mean writing, to weave after this afternoon’s cinema visit…..