CANNES - Most likely in sheer desperation at having to say anything at all about Colin Farrell dud "Dead Man Down," veteran critic David Thomson recently turned his review into a plea to Hollywood casting directors to make bolder, braver, weirder choices -- to throw gender and other demographic demarcations to the wind and let familiar screen stars become other people entirely. "We need to revolutionize casting," he wrote, "often enough to live up to our sense of ourselves: that we are not one fixed persona -- we contain multitudes."
Ari Folman's 'Waltz With Bashir' follow-up opens Directors' Fortnight at Cannes
The actress's directorial debut goes on sale at the Cannes Film Market this week
The story of how Truman Capote's first novel, "Summer Crossing," came to public light is surely as interesting as the love story within its pages. To Capote, it wasn't worthy of publication, so he trashed it. A housesitter at Capote's Brooklyn Heights abode recovered it, along with a number of other works, but merely held onto it. And for 50 years, "Summer Crossing" was thought lost. When the housesitter died, his nephew discovered them and tried to sell them at Sothebys' auction, but they were eventually sold to the New York Public Library and the novel was finally published in 2005.
Un Certain Regard opener is worthy of a Competition slot
CANNES - “For a moment, a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans got to rule the world.” In all likelihood, pop princess Taylor Swift wasn't thinking of the Bling Ring when she penned these lyrics to “Long Live,” a sweetly non-specific 2010 ode to that fleeting invincibility that any teenager claims at some point between her first kiss and her first crisis of purpose. After all, had Swift been one of the fashion-conscious female stars targeted by this band of thieves in, well, expensive Japanese selvedge denim, her sense of generational self-awe might have been tainted with rueful concern – a line that Sofia Coppola's brisk, funny, unexpectedly substantial study of a tabloid diversion walks with considerable grace.
Sleek shock value but little substance in another take on the Mexican drug war
CANNES - Telenovela has never seemed more inviting than it does in a brief scene midway through "Heli," which plants our gormless title character in front of an unseen television set blaring the busy hubbub of Spanish soap opera, its shrill dramatics amplifying the violent silence that courses through Mexican director Amat Escalante's third feature. This kind of deadpan reference to more conservative forms of Latin culture is a note often played in new Mexican cinema, ascribing authenticity to a film's worldview by way of absurd contrast -- though reality is as flattened in "Heli" as it is heightened in telenovela.
She'll join 'Walk the Line' co-star Joaquin Phoenix in the film
It's been a rocky couple of weeks for Reese Witherspoon. Everything looked nice and peachy as the wonderful "Mud" starring the actress was set for release. Then on April 19, she was arrested in Atlanta following a dispute with a police officer. Soon enough the infamous "do you know who I am" video made its way out and everyone naturally took their shots.
Well, while it may have been a rocky couple of months, nothing turns it around like booking a gig on a Paul Thomas Anderson movie. And according to Deadline, Witherspoon has done just that, landing a role in the director's upcoming "Inherent Vice," adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel set in 60s/70s Los Angeles.
It's not a world premiere, but Luhrmann's latest lends the Croisette some glitter
CANNES - The first press screening of the Cannes Film Festival is traditionally, in not-particularly-French parlance, a bit of a bunfight: always in the Salle Debussy, the smaller of the festival's two showcase screens, it tends to fill up fast with fevered, not-yet-red-eyed journalists scrambling for the last available seats with a workable sightline, while outside, the snaking queue of lowly yellow and blue badgeholders nervously hopes there'll be any seat at all for them. (Lest you think I'm sneering, I'm one of them: for me, at Cannes, blue clearly is the warmest color.)
Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at this month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off today. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Steven Soderbergh with "Behind the Candelabra.")
Get ready for Gosling, Damon, Timberlake, Cotillard, Swinton and more
The annual migration to the South of France has begun. As you read this a global film audience is converging for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and this year's red carpet extravaganza features a number of highly anticipated titles for film lovers on both sides of the Atlantic. All eyes will be on new flicks from Joel and Ethan Coen, Roman Polanski, Sofia Coppola, James Gray, Steven Soderbergh, Alexander Payne, James Franco (that boy just can't take a vacation) and Nicholas Winding Refen among others.
Both Guy Lodge and Gregory Ellwood will be covering the event HiFix and In Contention from opening night film "The Great Gatsby" (a good $50 million of few of you might have caught it last weekend) to Jérôme Salle's closer "Zulu" (a film that far less of you will likely see). As a kick off to our coverage, check out Lodge and Ellwood's most anticipated films in the story gallery embedded in this post. Then, vote on which movie you're most interested in hearing about in the poll below.
Continuing our cheat sheet for the Cannes Competition
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at this month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Roman Polanski with "Venus in Fur.")
Is it a bad idea or is Peckinpah no longer off limits?
Will Smith recently revealed that he turned down Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning western "Django Unchained" because his character "wasn't the lead" and didn't get to "kill the bad guy." It was, in a word, movie star logic.
And that's fair enough. Even if there are those of us who think a movie like that is just what a guy like Will Smith could use at this point in his career, his career is his own. But I guess he still had a hankering for the wild west (if "Wild Wild West" didn't beat it out of him, that is), as he is reportedly eying a remake of Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch." But, well, it's not that simple…