Camera d’Or: Corneliu Porumboiu‘s "A Fost Sau NA Fost?"
Safe to say that no one saw that coming, even if, as Roger Ebert writes, "It is apparently true that Sam Jackson told somebody there were going to be ‘big surprises’ when the awards were announced, and there were." Kenneth Turan at the LA Times notes that "jury president Wong Kar Wai said Loach’s powerful story of Irish rebels in the 1920s battling first the British and then one another was the unanimous choice for the top prize after a screening that left the jury speechless."
At the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw concludes that this was just an unexceptional Cannes, and that "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" (and we must say this: What a fucking title.) "although warmly and respectfully received…did not set the Croisette aflame." And the New York Times‘ two-headed Cannes monster puts it flatly: "[Loach] has won several prizes, but never before the Palme d’Or. This year he got lucky."
We? Really have nothing here. All carefully phrased hindsight aside, there’s no denying that "The Wind That Shakes The Barley" got a resounding "meh" from the majority of the American press when it premiered. So is Ken Loach just getting his lifetime achievement award? Who can discern what thought processes went on in the multinational mind-meld of our beloved WKW, Lucrecia Martel, Samuel L., a trio of diva actresses and, uh, those other jury members?
Who cares! It’s over, and while we do wish something truly intriguing-sounding (like "Pan’s Labyrinth" â€” squee!) had won, we’ve got no beef. It’s Cannes. We were hardly competing in an office poll (though we’d love to â€” next year, folks, let’s do it). The only thing everyone can agree upon is that the out-of-competition films were far more interesting than any in: "Clerks II," "Borat," the "Dreamgirls" teaser, "Shortbus," the restored "Cabiria" and Douglas Gordon‘s "Zidane: A 21st-Century Portrait."
At the Hollywood Reporter, Anne Thompson surveys how "Cannes gives, and Cannes takes away," and how some films may be worse off for their high profile, poorly received festival premieres. At the Christian Science Monitor, Robert Koehler talks to various filmmakers on the fringes of the festival, trying to get their film seen.
And in exciting business news, Tartan’s apparently picked up "Red Road," "Election" and "Election 2," according to indieWIRE and Grady Hendrix‘s Kaiju Shakedown. No distributor yet for the new Palme d’Or winner, however.
+ FEATURE & SHORT FILMS AWARDS (Festival-Cannes.fr)
+ Cannes #10: Guessing games (RogerEbert.com)
+ ‘Wind’ shakes the jury (LA Times)
+ ‘Zizou! Zizou!’ (Guardian)
+ Ken Loach’s ‘Wind That Shakes the Barley’ Wins Top Prize at Cannes (NY Times)
+ To studios in Cannes: Don’t trip on red carpet (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Crashing the Cannes party (Christian Science Monitor)
+ Tartan Gets "Red Road" (indieWIRE)
+ Election Gets US Distributor (Kaiju Shakedown)