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It had to happen, just when you thought you were finally free of them... they pull you back in! Yes, this morning Father Geek awoke to... yet another report from our Euro-crew on... CANNES! Well folks festivals that are bigger than life show lots of flicks and generate lots of deal making and that equals lots of news, some naturally late breaking. This report is a case in point. Check it out, they're talking about some good movies here...

Well... I know this comes a bit late... I know some of you are tired of reading about Cannes.... This is the last EURO AICN report on Cannes, Edgard here promises... the Festival ended a few days ago, since then everybody as seen images of Bjork and Lars Von Trier being happy... Personally, I am now really curious to see that movie... I love BREAKING THE WAVES, I thought THE IDIOTS was lame... we will see... meanwhile I have some more reviews from Grozilla in Cannes, the last movies he saw there... the delay is my fault, I was away and could not finish the translation in time, so forgive me people... You will find here a review from THE YARDS which I am also waiting for (I loved LITTLE ODESSA)... And also Eva is back for a (happy) announcement on her short film.

Here's Grozilla's reviews (with some news at the end):


A novice photographer who takes picture of dead people can't stand looking at corpses. So he'll start to "stage" his pictures. This polar is a really nice surprise discovered during the film market in a theatre with only 5 persons. Very well paced, with a great photography and very good ideas, this artistic thriller might pass unnoticed to the buyers. Of course there's no star and tons of ideas not really politically correct. I met the director, Hamlet Sarkissian (what a name !) who told me the film had cost only 300 000 $ !!!!! Without being a masterpiece, this film competes well with most of the "soft" thrillers produced by New Line and Miramax. Even if sometimes the intrigue goes in too many directions, or if the effects are a bit too much, CAMERA OBSCURA (do not mistake it for "La Chambre Obscure", a French film presented in another selection in Cannes) introduces us to a very talented director who makes up for all the Brett Rattner, Gregory Hoblit & co..., and to a wonderful cameraman. Dear buyers, hurry up or else you will miss real talents !


Austrian director Michael Haneke stays in the same direction : to give to the viewer this "heavy" feeling that is the bad European conscience about the world's moral decline. I did not ask him anything. If this director is usually captivating and efficient on the form - even if here he repeats himself with a structure very close of 71 pieces of a chronology - I can not stand his "lessons giver" attitude while his message is one of the most reactionary that I know. Besides it's a bit hard to get some morality lesson at 8.30 am. This showing schedule was probably not the most appropriate with this kind of film.


Rumour gave this film as the eventual "heir apparent" of Lars VonTrier for the Palm. Roy Andersson is the man who changed Scandinavian commercials with an absurd and caustic wit. He took 4 years to make this film composed of 46 static shots working always the same way : a character in the foreground and some agitation behind. I did not understand why people from the press were laughing all the time (two men push a car, the theatre cracks up in laughs; a guy is sitting for 30 seconds without saying a word; laughs again). Andersson would like to be the equivalent of a Gary Larsson, but we are very far from it. In the Nordic cinema, you will prefer, and by far, films from Aki Kaurismaki or films from the Dutch Alex Van Warmerdam, also very well structured but less cold, more human. "Songs from the 2nd floor" looks more like an anthology of not funny jokes disguised an IKEA catalogue. Instead of a big absurd film, you get a simple altered movie. Interesting if you are curious, but not as a Palme d'Or.


For the last 5 years, James Gray has been polishing up his second film after LITTLE ODESSA. Another family story taking the sacrosanct structure of the Greek tragedy. Leo (Mark Wahlberg) comes out of jail for a car robbery he did not commit. He comes home. His mother (Ellen Burstyn) is sick, his aunt (Faye Dunaway) has remarried with the boss of a railroad company (James Caan) who offers him a job. Leo finds again Willie (Joaquin Phoenix) whom he did not give away for the robbery and his cousin Erica (Charlize Theron). The railroad company is shrouded in corruption. Willie kills an employee and says Leo is guilty... Gray says he took inspiration from ROCCO ET SES FRERES (Rocco and His Brothers) and LA BETE HUMAINE (The Human Beast). Personally I saw more the shadow of "On the Waterfront" and the light of "The godfather". Which is already something good. "The Yards" keeps referring with respect to Coppola's film, with the beautiful photography very close of Vittorio Storraro's (if I remember well from the mob trilogy) or with the description of a family about to collapse. The is no doubt, "The Yards" is a working-class version of "The Godfather" . And that's one of the best idea of the fillm : trying to give some "aristocracy" in a working-class family. Having chosen James Caan as the father figure is certainly not innocent. When he sits in his big chair, the face half in the shadow, you could think he just took Marlon Brando's seat. A bit like if Gray had decided to give revenge to the Corleone brother murdered in the first "Godfather". The parallel keeps growing when "The Yards" can be seen as a transition between two generations : Mark Wahkberg is definitely a good actor, not overacting, and could be seen as young De Niro; Charlize Theron, at last in a great role, could replace Diane Keaton. But it's mainly Joaquin Phoenix who's amazing, and showing the strenght of a new Pacino. "The Yards" is then a very convincing film from an artistic point of view, Gray being an incredibly good director of actors, and just a good director of a beautifully shot film (thanks also to Harris Savides' photography). The only thing missing in "The Yards" it's a real inspiration; the film seems so controlled, so well directed that it finds itself prisoner of a too known story. "The Yards" could have been a big mob saga from this beginning of the years 2000; but is instead stuck by this comfortable directorial line which defines the all movie (when it should have been free to abandon itself to tragic lyrism). "The yards" is at the same time too ambitious and too classic to be rewarded here in Cannes.


At the beginning of the screening of the new film from Wong kar Wai, viewers were asked to be indulgent with the film's sound as it was not mixed yet. A certain modesty as the sound was finally really good. Modesty is the feeling that covers "In the mood for love". Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, two neighbours, find out that their respective wife and husband are having an affair. Far from the shining style of his earlier movies, Wong Kar Wai chooses for a delicate and polite kind of cinema, allowing only some "blazingness" in the photography and sets. "In the mood for love" is a song's title for crooner. It sticks perfectly to this film, "nuanced and floating". Cheung are Leung perfect as models of uprightness. Exactly like the film, beautiful jewel case which never forgets to be like a jail (you can't count the many shots of the couple seen through bars). We are here in a glamour from the 60's. It has charm, it has often many ideas (the adultery man and woman are never seen, just heard). But I like more by far the Wong Kar Wai of "Chungking express" or "Fallen Angels", more passionate than here in this nice romantic story.

Some news now to conclude :

*Raoul Ruiz will direct Laetitia Casta in "Une âme forte" (from Giono); the story of a woman who looks for adventure. Shooting starts in October.

*Sarah Levy ("Du bleu jusqu'en Amérique") prepares her second film : a thriller like "Le Limier", so far titled as "Dix p'tits blêmes".

* The new film from Emir Kusturica is a clip for Unza Unza, one of the songs of No Smoking, the rock band Kusturica plays with.

* Victor Nunez ("Ruby in paradise") will adapt "La brava" from a Elmore Leonard novel.

* Steve Buscemi will meet Elizabeth Hurley in "Double whammy", a comedy on the media when a kid finds a gun lost by a cop in a shooting and becomes a national hero. Tom DiCillo directs.

* Cannes superstar. Two films are using the Festival in their story : "Murder at the Cannes film festival" with Bo Derek smells strongly like a "Z" TV film. It was shot for most of it in Vancouver ! And Fréderic Comtet ("Doggy Bag") used the Festival to get some shots for his next film "Rendez-vous au ciel".

And now Eva finished the Cannes Film Festival with a happy ending :

FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING, the twenty-nine minute short film from writer/director Peter Sollett and producer/editor Eva Vives, has been awarded first place honors at the 53rd Cannes International Film Festival, Cinéfoundation Section. The award, presented by Festival Delegate General Gilles Jacob, includes an invitation for their upcoming feature-length film to screen in Cannes. As announced during the festival last week, FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING will have it's U.S. television premiere on the Sundance Channel. The film has also been licensed for broadcast by Canal+ France, Canal+ Spain and Channel 4 Television, England.

FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING chronicles the sexual awakening of a twelve year-old boy growing up on New York City's Lower East Side. Utilizing non-professional actors FIVE FEET HIGH AND RISING takes a cinema verité inspired look at sexual innocence and discovery.

For more information e.mail or visit

Well that's it for Cannes 2000... I promise.. this was our FINAL report on Cannes... Hope next year I can be there myself to get some sun among other things...

Thanks again to all our collaborators who were there and took time for writing us, reviewing films and reporting on the Festival. My apologizes again for the delay of this report...


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