Film Festival Reports

Our coverage on the latest film fests.

CANNES 2018: SHOPLIFTERS BY HIROKAZU KORE-EDA

By Mónica Delgado

Shoplifters carries, in a lesser scandalous and miserabilistic tone, some components that are usually liked by juries, eager for political correctness and attentive to a cinema that reflects the moral and economical poorness that humanity is living. We know that in different film festivals, topics are favored in contrast to aesthetics or formal proposals in cinema. A vastly virtuous, creative, original, or merely asking about the cinematographic language, may be left out of certain value judgments because it doesn’t talk about refugees, femicide, people trafficking of fratricide wars. Thus, the “urgency” is awarded, necessary films that arrive just in the precise moment to soften consciences or put in agenda some news-worthy topics assumed in their mise in scene, appealing to the fake “art-house”.

CANNES 2018: THE WILD PEAR TREE BY NURI BILGE CEYLAN

By Mónica Delgado

It seems that a particular film was left for the end of the projections here in Cannes: an intimate film which describes from a different angle the usual universe of Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan. With the same existential worries, and again, like in Winter Sleep, the lead character is a writer, here young and arrogant, that will be able to find answers to his different questionings about his role in the world, coming and going to his hometown.

CANNES 2018: CAPHARNAÜM BY NADINE LABAKI AND AIKA BY SERGEI DVORTSEVOY

By Mónica Delgado

Nadine Labaki’s Capharnaüm and Sergei Dvortesevoy’s Aika, both in the Official Competition in Cannes, are Siamese films, both recurring to miserabilism and misery-porn, linked with contempt to their characters, something essential for their vision of drama. There’s no commotion or empathy for the spectator outside of cruelty or misery as an elements of melodrama for these directors: they will make you cry portraying beaten children, babies sold to mafias, or young girls raped and pregnant. The misery is seen as the only way to touch and achieve a response from the spectator which other mechanisms could never achieve.

CANNES 2018: KNIFE + HEART BY YANN GONZALEZ

By Mónica Delgado

In one side, Yann Gonzalez Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le Coeur) is a total stylistic bet, that harks back to seventies’ Giallo, in its fetishism of black gloves and knives. In the other, it is an affirmation of the inevitable relation between cinema and its consequences in reality, naïve as it sounds. The film, that carries the stylized atmospheres of Gonzalez’ previos works, it’s forged through a succession of murders by a serial killer who uses a phallus-kind knife. The victims are actors from different gay porn films, directed by Anne Pareze, a neurotic filmmaker (magnificently played by Vanessa Paradis), who little by little unveils where she takes the inspiration from her films.

CANNES 2018: DOGMAN, BLACKKKLANSMAN, IN MY ROOM

Por Mónica Delgado

We’re arriving at the final days of Cannes, and Dogman, from Italian Filmmaker Matteo Garrone arrived this morning, a film which takes some element of Gomorra, but staying away from the Camorra and other mafias to center in a character involved in the petty criminal underworld. The start of the film presents Marcello, a dog groom who also deals drugs (despite the kindness with which Garrone portrays him), and who makes every effort to provide with drugs to his neighborhood friend, Simone, who becomes his cross to bear and greatest torment.

CANNES 2018: BURNING BY LEE CHANG-DONG

By Mónica Delgado

Eight years have passed from Poetry, and now Lee Chang-dong now recreates freely a brief tale from Japanese writer Haruki Murakami  to trace two situations of action: the romantic drama (boy meets girl), with some motifs of adolescent love and a thriller where its climax acquires dostoievskian dimensions.

CANNES 2018: THE LOAD BY OGNJEN GLAVONIC

By Mónica Delgado

In his documentary Depth Two, Serbian filmmaker Ognjen Glavonic exposed the horror of the Kosovo war, lived at the end of the nineties. The documentary arises from an investigation he was making precisely for the argument of The Load, his first feature film. In that documentary, premiered at Berlinale, Glavonic showed through testimonies in voice over, the finding of a refrigerated truck with 55 corpses of Albanian civilians, killed by the Serbian army and tossed in a big mass grave. This indignation finds his fictional part in The Load, projected in Quinzaine de réalisateurs.

CANNES 2018: CLIMAX, APOCALYPSE AFTER, MANDY, CÓMPRAME UN REVÓLVER

By Mónica Delgado

A hysterical Young girl convulses in the hallways of a dance school and becomes an occasional Isabelle Adjani in Possession. Nicholas Cage portraying an avenger who deals with some beings from the afterlife taken from Hellraiser, or maybe a porn woman filmmaker that could’ve easily made a mix between Behind The Green Room under the influence of Kenneth Anger’s shorts. Cinema of references has the ability to achieve some creativity sparks from pastiche or parody, although the sensation of déjà vu is permanent. We find this particular quality in a group of films seen in the parallel sections of Critics’ Week and Quinzaine des réalisateurs.

CANNES 2018: LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT BY BI GAN

By Mónica Delgado

The conception and perception of time that the young filmmaker Bi Gan proposed in his first feature Kaili Blues, is prolonged in an oneiric state in his new work, presented in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. A disperse search of a woman becomes a treaty on memory and how is it conceived, as an illusion, nightmare or, as one of the characters says in a part of the film, as dreams that couldn’t come true. In long day’s journey into night, Bi Gan returns in a formidable way, to some motifs of his last feature: time and the unavoidable figure of the clock, interior that shelter ghost or stylized beings, and a character that returns to look for a being of the past from the uncomfortableness of that something which can’t be caught.

CANNES 2018: HAPPY AS LAZZARO BY ALICE ROHRWARCHER

By Mónica Delgado

Like in Le Meraviglie, Young Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher chooses the fantastic tone for a social parable, but here as a critique of capitalist estates, represented by the hand of an old monarchy that turns farmers into slaves trapped in time. The view of this world of simulations and all shires in a century of changes in the work field, is written from the point of view of a young man, free of all evil, the Lazzaro of the title, that becomes the scapegoat of the being that will concatenate in an imaginative way two times and spaces in an arcade of alienation without utopias.

CANNES 2018: THREE FACES BY JAFAR PANAHI

Por Mónica Delgado

In Three Faces, Jafar Panahi takes some motifs from Abbas Kiarostami’s cinema as a way of making an homage. Like in the themes of his colleague’s films, Panahi stablishes a clash or interrelation between social classes, in a confrontation of the illustrated world and the rural world, but here about conceptions and prejudices about the role of women and the possibilities of development and freedom in the current world. Regarding his mise in scéne, the winks to The Wind Will Carry us or Through the Olive Trees are inevitable, through some panoramic shots that allows us to explore the landscape, the roads and precarious highways, and the characters that walk from far away.

CANNES 2018: LE LIVRE D’IMAGE BY JEAN-LUC GODARD

By Mónica Delgado

In Le Livre d’Image, Godard not only elaborates an essay on image and words about the inevitable repetition (as a key concept) and the role of memory in that matter, but he also gives an outstanding offer about materiality of cinema from the digital format, which dilates or exorcises it.