Film Festival Reports

Film Festival Reports

Cannes

CANNES 2022: DE HUMANI CORPORIS FABRICA BY VÉRÉNA PARAVEL AND LUCIEN CASTAING-TAYLOR

By Monica Delgado

Premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight, as part of the 75th Cannes Film Festival, De humani corporis fabrica by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor is an immersion in the world of a group of French public hospitals and morgues. Cesarean sections, prostate operations, cornea prostheses, spinal cord repairs, mastectomies, and other topics that are reserved for the view and work of medical personnel, are extracted from their natural space to become a process of observation before new spectators.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: R.M.N. BY CRISTIAN MUNGIU

By Monica Delgado

After Graduation (Bacalaureat, 2016), Cristi Mungiu returns to the screens in R.M.N. with a story that works as a social allegory about racism, classism and fascism, which is set in a Transylvanian commune. Describing the characteristics of the seed of fascism, or even more, the very nature of that social and political defect, is the emotional material with which the filmmaker builds the sensitivity of a racialized society -and that racializes- from within Europe and also as part of the periphery. More than talking about the origin of a type of fascism, Mungiu approaches a sociological thesis, by showing an x-ray of a multiethnic and diverse people, who have suffered exclusion throughout the history of Europe, and who are capable, also of exercising violence on others. In Mungiu’s fiction, there is no mercy in the act of ethnic contempt.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: BROTHER AND SISTER BY ARNAUD DESPLECHIN

By Monica Delgado

With more than a dozen films to his credit, Arnaud Desplechin has made it clear at Cannes 2022 that his desire to make movies is going through a bad time. What he captures in Frère et soeur (Brother and sister) shows wear and tear, but also perhaps the decision not to develop what the film suggests, advances or outlines, leaving between the lines as a practical exercise for the viewer.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: HOLY SPIDER BY ALI ABBASI

By Monica Delgado

As with Boy from Heaven, also in official competition at the 75th Cannes Film Festival, Holy Spider is a 100% European production based on an Islamic reality. If in Boy from heaven, the Swede of Egyptian origin Tarik Saleh explores the interior of religious power from its formative levels, in Holy Spider, the Iranian living in Denmark Ali Abbasi formulates a story about a serial killer of sex workers in Mashhad, the second largest city in this Muslim country. Both themes would probably be censored in the countries to which they refer, and that filmmakers with the possibility of making them abroad is an opportunity to discuss issues of social and political fundamentalism (although of course, always with concessions very much in tune with the thematic fashions of the moment in festival spaces like this) and from a moral perspective of the West.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: BOY FROM HEAVEN BY TARIK SALEH

By Monica Delgado

This is a film about some events in Egypt, but it is not produced by that country. Made with capitals from Sweden, Finland and Denmark, Boy from Heaven, the fifth feature film by the Swedish filmmaker, of Egyptian descent, Tarik Saleh is a political thriller about a young son of a provincial fisherman who, thanks to a scholarship, enters the theological university of Al-Azhar in Cairo, where boarding students are trained to be mediators of Sunni Islam. After his admission and acclimatization to the new life, Adam is tangentially affected by the death of the Great Imam, who runs the institution, and with it he will be immersed in a network of conspirators for religious power, which is equal to political power in that country.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: TCHAIKOVSKY’S WIFE BY KIRILL SEREBRENNIKOV

By Monica Delgado

We are already in the sixth day of the Cannes festival and the film Tchaikovsky’s Wife, by Russian filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, already looks very old in the course of it. On the one hand, because of the way the filmmaker takes to extrapolate a historical drama to the screen in relation to other films seen these days, and on the other, because of a certain decadent look, even more so towards the end of the film, which at this point heights looks outdated and very, paradoxically, of qualité.

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Cannes

CANNES 2022: WAR PONY BY RILEY KEOUGH AND GINA GAMMEL

By Monica Delgado

After a few days in this 75th edition of the Cannes Festival, it has been difficult to find a well-rounded film (such as Scarlet by Pietro Marcello, seen in the Directors’ Fortnight, which we will write about soon). Although War Pony, the first feature film by actress Riley Keough and producer Gina Gammell and presented in the official section Un Certain Regard, is not a successful film, it contains a look that is followed with considerable interest, around a couple of characters in work and family crisis; a teenager and a young man who live in Pine Ridge, a territory of South Dakota. Both characters, who do not know each other, make up the two narrative lines that the directors choose to show the portrait of a community, perhaps marked by commonplaces, such as drug trafficking, poverty and social exclusion. Although, the ‘coming of age’ touch and some decisions in the editing and staging mean that the result is not negligible.

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Film Festival Reports

OBERHAUSEN 2022: IT GREW FUR AGAIN, LOST IT, DEVELOPED SCALES, LOST THEM BY GITTE VILLESEN

By Monica Delgado

A short film with a suggestively long name was one of the most successful among those selected for the competition (along with the works of Los ingrávidos, Lior Shamriz, Jan Bujnowski and Dalibor Martinis, which I will comment on in other posts). It grew fur again, lost it, developed scales, lost them (2021), directed by the Danish artist Gotte Villesen, is an essay film that explores two imaginaries that emerged from two works of feminist science fiction.

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