This week at IFC News (tomorrow, back to your regularly scheduled film news blog content):
Dennis Lim looks over the Cannes prize winners and the festival as a whole:
Was this, as many commentators have declared, the best Cannes in years? There were relatively few films I whole-heartedly loved (I counted four: "Flight of the Red Balloon," "Secret Sunshine," "Go Go Tales," "Paranoid Park"), but only the crankiest of critics would grumble about the overall quality. It’s worth noting, though, that more than half of my dozen or so favorites screened outside the competition. The Quinzaine enjoyed a reasonably strong edition: Besides Anton Corbijn‘s prize-winning "Control," high points included Serge Bozon‘s "La France," an almost Bressonian WWI movie with a cross-dressing Sylvie Testud and Belle and Sebastian-ish musical interludes; Nicolas Klotz‘s "La Question Humaine," a wry, cerebral drama that recalls Arnaud Desplechin‘s "La Sentinelle" in its view of history as a haunting (substituting the Holocaust for the Cold War); and Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang‘s erotic unhappy-marriage mood piece (and decisive return to form), "Ploy."
[W]e’re on the verge, like it or not, of a new sub-subgenre of techno-movie, and if you’ve seen "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," "Sin City" or "300," you’ve done time on Planet Greenscreen, where absolutely everything but the actors is a make-believe, crazed-art-department blitz of pixels and bits. Even if you were thrilled by these films, you have to admit there’s something missing in each of them â€” specifically, a convincing middle ground, a believable relationship between the foreground actors and the lovingly rendered background hijinks. No wonder the movies all retreat into the idealized past for their stories â€” they already inhabit a disembodied, self-conscious non-world into which viewers have a tough time entering.
Singer looks at two of Cannes’ lonely boy movies:
[Gabe] Nevins â€” who was, maybe, sorta (depends on who you ask) cast through MySpace â€” is an emotionally distant actor, but emotional distance is practically a prereq for stardom, Van Sant-style. "Paranoid Park" is less immediately shocking than "Elephant" or sorrowful as "Last Days" but in its own quiet way, it surpasses both. Van Sant’s technique is incredibly confident and he’s increasingly comfortable in this slightly avant-garde mode that’s defined his decade of filmmaking. All of his choices, right down to the way he never shows Alex’s parents on camera save for one crucial moment, feel right.
And Christopher Bonet has the list of what’s new in theaters.