CANNES — The 68th Festival de Cannes is almost at an end. There is only one more competition film to screen, Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth," and then the Coen brothers-led jury will begin deliberations over what entry will win the prestigious Palme d'Or. The favorites are still "Son of Saul" and "Carol," but two relatively new entries, "Youth" and "Mountains May Depart," may steal their thunder. Tomorrow night's awards ceremony is going to be very intriguing. But more on that later...
CANNES — Even at a more civilized festival such as Cannes, it can be hard to catch every single movie in competition. There are always a few that will slip through the cracks and you can always count on the inevitable life drama moment to rear its ugly head. Unlike other festivals, Cannes has less repeat screenings across the board. That also makes things tough for one person to chronicle it all.
CANNES — Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino has already dipped his toe into the familiar genre of characters of a certain age reminiscing about the good old days with 2013's "The Great Beauty." He even won an Oscar for it. Two years later he returns to the Cannes Film Festival with "Youth," a follow-up that stands besides "Great Beauty" thematically while also presenting a decidedly different point of view.
Biopics are a double-edged sword. On one hand, carving out a larger-than-life persona on the big screen drives iconography and extends a legacy. On the other, the inherent trap of the "greatest hits" approach, a structure often leaned on just because of the sheer amount of information you can carry across, can lead to a lack of dimension, sapping the humanity out of a subject. Bill Pohlad was aware of those pitfalls when he set out to make "Love & Mercy," a cinematic portrait of Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, and he avoided them expertly.
[This review contains descriptions of graphic sexual acts.]
CANNES — The first shot of Gaspar Noé’s new drama “Love” lets you know exactly what you’ve gotten yourself into. Murphy (Karl Glusman) and Electra (Aomi Muyock) are naked on a bed. She is giving him a hand job while he fingers her. The camera does not move. There is no cut to another shot. There is no music. And then, in what will be a common occurrence, Murphy ejaculates in Electra’s hand. Noé has given you ample warning of what’s ahead. This film will not simulate sex. The intercourse will be real and it will dominate the proceedings.
Oh wow. So cinematographer Roger Deakins has signed on to shoot Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner" sequel. I'm paying attention now, folks.
As I begin writing this I'm watching David Letterman, in one of his final appearances as host of "The Late Show," walk out to greet the audience as he's done thousands of times. He's talking about the weather in New York, again, as he's done countless times. After Wednesday, he'll never walk out onto that Ed Sullivan Theater stage and shoot the breeze about the weather again. He'll never again throw it to Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra to kick off the show. The misfits, alas, will have lost their shepherd.
Industrial Light & Magic, the San Francisco-based visual effects house that has changed the course of cinema history countless times over the years, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. Wired Magazine has rounded up a who's who to discuss its impact and how the advances made there — first in a sweaty Van Nuys warehouse, and now in a swank Presidio complex — have morphed the film industry into what it is today. It's well worth your time.
CANNES — In 2001 Benicio Del Toro won an Oscar for his portrayal of a Mexican police officer attempting to take down the drug cartels in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic.” Fourteen years later he’s starring in another film about North America’s “drug war,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” and the picture makes the disheartening argument that things may have actually gotten worse.