Wednesday 22 May 2024

Cannes 2024 - Misericordia by Alain Giraudie

Alain Guiraudie took the festival by storm in 2013 with his Stranger by the Lake shown at Un Certain Regard yet his following films failed to make as much as an impact, even when he was upgraded to the competition for his Restez Vertical (2015).

His latest offering, Misericordia, is a return to form with a work that is deceptively low-key yet captivating, blending elements of psychological drama and subtle surrealism, with more depth than it first appears. Within its setting of a seemingly tranquil and unremarkable village, Guiraudie meticulously constructs a web of carnal desires, slowly revealing the hidden emotions of the characters under their jovial facades, with a slow pace of life punctuated by many social visits invariably involving an aperitif. 

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Cannes 2024 - The Shrouds by David Cronenberg

In The Shrouds, prominent businessman Karsh (Vincent Cassel), inconsolable since the death of his wife Becca (Diane Kruger),  invents a revolutionary and controversial technology that allows the living to monitor their deceased loved ones in their graves. 

While the synopsis sounds very David Cronenberg indeed, those expecting graphic horror and the kind of gasp inducing moments delivered in his most celebrated films will be sorely disappointed. With its glacial pace, a tone that verges on the detached at times but with a surprising humour at other times, very dialogue heavy in some parts but with a lowkey dreamlike quality in others, this feels very him while still a departure from his usual style in some ways.

Thursday 16 May 2024

Cannes 2024 - Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola

Seeing Francis Ford Coppola's passion project, Megalopolis, in gestation for decades, finally being made and screening here in competition in Cannes seems so surreal and is also such a massive gamble, given the scrutiny and exposure the festival offers.

In Megalopolis, an ambitious architect, Cesar Catilina (Adam Driver), sees his utopian plans of transforming New Rome following a disaster challenged by the scheming of the city's corrupt mayor Franklyn Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito) and his daughter Wow Platinum (Aubrey Plaza).

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Cannes 2024 - The Second Act by Quentin Dupieux

For many years the Cannes Film Festival seemed to struggle to find an exciting opening film and there were several "quality" period dramas that baffled everyone. On a completely unrelated note we are celebrating the ten years anniversary of Grace of Monaco opening the festival ten years ago. Yet recently the festival has decided to have some fun, with comedies such as The Dead don't Die and even the hilarious zombie horror remake Coupez! taking this prestigious slot. After a diversion back to period drama with Madame du Barry last year, in 2024 it was time to laugh again.

Sunday 28 May 2023

Cannes 2023 - Awards and comments


A jury lead by Ruben Östlund, twice Palme d'Or winner and a controversial figure among some was bound to deliver some surprises and perhaps some upsets. Yet the surprise is that the jury has largely delivered their awards to the expecting films even not quite in the order we all expected. Compared to some infuriating awards in some past years (the 2016 edition!), it is a really pleasing list of awards

Saturday 27 May 2023

Cannes 2023 - Last Summer by Catherine Breillat

After a ten years absence, controversial French filmmaker Catherine Breillat is back with the remake of a recent Danish film, Queen of Heart by May el-Toukhy and whose premise proves that she has not lost her willingness to provoke! One has to wonder what pushed her to adapt a film that is just about four years old if it was not to add her own unique touch push the boundaries even further so it is safe to say Last Summer was received with a certain trepidation in Cannes.

Cannes 2023 - Strangers by Night by Alex Lutz

Alex Lutz is not well known outside France but he has built a varied and interesting career after making a known for himself on TV on a well known comedic show called Le Petit Journal. Taking on mainly some comedic roles in films, he also won the French Film Award for best actor for the more dramatic Guy in 2018. He is in Cannes to present Strangers by Night that is the Un Certain Regard closing ceremony.