Tuesday, May 24, 2011

George at Cannes

My friend George the Cyclist was at Cannes again this year and he managed to see 70 movies. I am not really sure how he did that, but he loves movies enough to make it happen. Here are blurbs on some of the notable movies he saw.

Documentary by Kim Ki-Duk. He has been a recluse all this time living in a tent...overcome by the near death of an actress on his last film and also by the betrayal of two of his assistant directors. He concludes that life is sadism, self-torture and masochism.... A remarkably original film.

The Artist
A superbly crafted re-creation of a silent film [set in the time] when the silent era was drawing to a close. [It] will be a hit at film fests and on the art house circuit.

A made-to-order film for Cannes. [Filmmaker] had the formula down--a polished, arty film, with convincing performances about some young struggling writers. The film looked nice, and was a palatable film-going experience, but didn't amount to much.

An immensely pleasing, highly stylized film of honor and quiet strength. Ryan Gosling, oozing boatloads of charisma, brilliantly protrays a Hollywood stunt driver who also works in a garage and moonlights as the getaway driver for criminals.

This was a highly intelligent film with an orginal premise and an unflinching, butally honest study of academic rivalries. The moral dilemmas raised provide some of the festival's best fodder for post-film discussion.

Le Havre
Kaurasmaki the majordomo of droll...[this] will rank among the best of his films.

Hors Satan
It is another of [Dumont's] rural Flanders films with a grizzled male who is either saintly or sinister, coming to the aid of the wayward.... I have friends who think Dumont is repugnant and others who think he can do no wrong. This film will not change the regard of any of them.

Von Trier does not disappoint and Dunst goes though a range of enough torments to be a worthy award winner.

A generally understated Austrian feature that managed to be quite engrossing and compelling. [Main characters] takes his [ten year old] hostage on outings and lets him come out of the basement for meals. The tension doesn't necessarily build, just the curiosity of how this will end.

Miss Bala
A film about a young beauty pageant contestant who inadvertently falls into the clutches of a high-powered drug gang and is forced to do their bidding. The film does not sensationalize or go overboard on the violence. [An] honest and original film.

Tree of Life
As the film gradually swept over me and settled into a semblance of a narrative... Malick won me over. This was High Art, a film that lovers of cinema will be happy to see again and again, not only to fully fathom it, but to appreciate it more and more.

We Have a Pope
French stalwart Michel Piccoli plays a just-elected Pope who doesn't care to accept the position. [S]urpsingly thoughtful movie from the often goofy Moretti.

We Need to Talk About Kevin
This is a film that justifies those who like to limit their daily intake of films to three or four at the most per day, to fully absorb and recover from each. This is a film that might take an entire festival to recover from.

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