Cannes is finally over, the awards have been given out (the Dardenne brothers, who’d a thunk it?), everyone is trickling on home and the gaze of thousands of journalistic eyeballs that were unblinkingly focused on hours of films turn away (to what, though? "Madagascar"? Visine?).
Though it’s merited some dead-on criticism, now that the New York Times‘ odd excursion into pseudo-blogging is over, we’re kind of sad. Possibly because it got kind of good at the end, what with Manohla name-checking Greencine Daily (David, did you blush?) and venting intelligently about Anne Thompson’s extremely frustrating Hollywood Reporter column on how US distributors don’t want to touch most of the Cannes films — it’s a familiar tale of Americans not having any interest in and not appreciating the auteurs who live here, that their films aren’t accessible enough, etc. Manohla responds:
Well, if these films are not "accessible" it is only because the American media and the American movie industry are together failing both film culture and the movie audience.
In another entry, she loves "Princess Raccoon" (which will be showing at the New York Asian Film Festival next month, yes!), despite Tony’s somehow falling asleep during the film. Actually, we’ve been enjoying the back and forth in these last few entries, in which both members of our intrepid duo have finally had time to read the other’s updates and address them, in approved Gray Lady style, as Mr. Scott and Ms. Dargis. A great improvement over whingeing about a lost cell phone.
Whatev. The aforementioned duo team up ("take the form of…an exhausted critic!") for a final, straightforward round-up back in the good old paper section of the New York Times. Other worthy, more opinionated takes: Jonathan Romney in the Independent on how all his expectations were proven wrong; Roger Ebert on "sweet dictator" Emir Kusturica‘s declaration of this festival as "a little bit less good" than expected, with many enigmatic quotes from the director; David Gritten in the Telegraph on the unavoidable undercurrent of political commentary in almost every film:
A colleague told me this week that he had lost count of films
containing scenes with a TV in the background, showing George Bush
speaking about Iraq. You get his point: such scenes are quick, easy
signifiers of a film’s relevance, as is the endless use of ethnic music
to signal a worthy, serious moment.
Peter Ford in the Christian Science Monitor writes about Hiner Saleem’s "Kilometre Zero" as a kind of anti-"Fahrenheit 9/11." And, via the BBC, the unnamed Mongolian shepherd dog in "The Cave of the Yellow Dog" wins that most coveted prize, the Palm Dog.
+ 58th Festival de Cannes Awards (Official site – PDF)
+ Cannes Journal (NY Times)
+ Cannes auteurs face hard-sell in states (HR)
+ Two Belgians Win Top Prize for Second Time (NY Times)
+ Don’t believe everything you read… (Independent)
+ Cannes verdict: A bit less good? (RogerEbert.com)
+ Glamour and terror on the Croisette (Telegraph)
+ No ‘Fahrenheit,’ film depicts Iraq war as liberation (CS Monitor)
+ Palm Dog prize for mystery canine (BBC)