Thursday, May 21, 2009

62nd Festival de Cannes 60s Love Fest

Festival de Cannes began May 13 and goes on through May 24. While I did attend the last two years (see Film Festival reViews website for Cannes 2007 and 08) wasn't able to make it there this year but have been keeping up with the updates from a lot of sites including the Festival newsletter that I have been getting all along. There are a few familiar names and directors I've seen and have been following that are in competition.

Big Cannes premiere for director Ang Lee's TAKING WOODSTOCK. The trailer is out and I think it will get the audiences into the theaters just for the nostalgia of the 60s music, counterculture, free love and being a hippie even if you never were one. Jane Campion's BRIGHT STAR on a torrid, romantic interlude between the poet John Keats and a young woman, Fanny, told from her point of view. Spanish director Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz came to cannes with VOLVER in 2006 and are back this year with BROKEN EMBRACES (LOS ABRAZOS ROTOS).

I look forward to Andrea Arnold's film FISH TANK, an intimate family situation about a rebellious teenager having to deal with her mother's new boyfriend. After winning the 2006 Jury Prize with RED ROAD, I met up with Andrea at the New Directors/New Films 2007 and we talked about her twisting, winding way that ends up smack against a wall. I remember seeing her squirm in her seat not knowing how the audience will react to her film. I thought it was intensely gripping as she sets her characters in situations that find a way to go wrong.

The best part of the Marche du Film is the Short Film Corner (added to the Cannes film market in 2003) promoting emerging filmmakers with opportunities to be seen and make professional contacts during Festival de Cannes. Films must be less than 35 minutes, produced after January 2008, not previously screened in the Short Film Corner and only one film per filmmaker per year. Over 1,900 were submitted in four categories: narrative, documentary, animation and experimental mostly from france, U.S and the UK totaling more than 1,400. They digitize the film submissions and are made available for individual or two-person viewing during a two-hour period. There's also a Buyers Corner and three mini screening rooms with seats for 3-9 persons. A great opportunity for an entrepreneurial filmmaker out to get their film in front of the right person. All filmmakers with short films should be there.

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