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CANNES FESTIVAL, competition closes with Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here”

Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by Lynne Ramsay

Joaquin Phoenix is in full beast mode in Lynn Ramsay’s “You were never really here,” a head-scratching drama whose action begins in Cincinnatti, curiously, and moves to New York City. Phoenix is muscular, wears a scowl for much of the film, a glint of evil in the stare. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this film: a sexually-deviant governor, murders with a hammer, underage ... more >

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THE PRE-FORECAST

There are still two movies left to watch in this year's program but here are the movies, thus far, that I believe should win this year, and the prizes they should deserve: PALME D'OR The Square (directed by Ruben Oestlund) BEST DIRECTING Michel Hazanavicius ("Le Redoutable") BEST ACTRESS Diane Kruger, "In the Fade" BEST ACTOR Louis Garrel, "Le Redoutable" GRAND PRIX "120 beats ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL, Diane Kruger the surefire winner of the acting prize for “In The Fade”? We say yes!

A film about sorrow and justice
Diane Kruger and Numan Acar
Directed by Fatih Akin

The characters in director Fatih Akin’s movies are flawed, they use drugs, they take a contrarian approach to life, they survive life rather than live it (and they listen to fantastic music). While studying the humanities in college Katja (Diane Kruger, in a very strong performance) enjoyed the instant gratification of chemicals and fell for her drug dealer, the virile and handsome Nuri ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL, Safdie Brothers aim for Palme D’Or with GOOD TIME

New York City breaks bad again
Robert Pattinson and Benny Safdie
Directed by Josh and Benny Safdie

A24, an independent film studio, is like Weinstein or Focus but for the millenial set: their films are possessed of an edge and an immediacy, to say nothing of quality, that isn’t seen very often these days in the film market. "Good Time," which debuted this morning, is the latest title to come out of this studio. In this new film directed by Ben and Josh Safdie about a bank robbery gone wrong ... more >

Christopher Doyle (photo: Ki Price)

CANNES FESTIVAL, Christopher Doyle gets Excellence in Cinematography award

Doyle studied film at university in Hong Kong

Every year at the Cannes Festival the “Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography” award is given to a director of photography whose work has marked cinema. In 2013 the award was given to Philippe Rousselot, Vilmos Zsigmond got it in 2014 and Roger A. Deakins in 2015, followed by Peter Suschitzky the year after that. This year, which marks seventy for the Cannes Festival, cinematographer ... more >

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CANNES FESTIVAL, “Krotkaya” (“A Gentle Creature”)

Slot Machine / Haut et Court
Vasilina Makovtseva, Valeriu Andriuta and Sergei Kolesov
Directed by Sergei Loznitsa

There’s something mildly sadistic about a master-filmmaker botching his own, brilliant, film with an underwhelming ending, such as that which Sergei Loznitsa did with “Krotkaya” (“A gentle creature” in the Russian original). A woman whose husband is in prison gets the care package she’d sent to her husband returned to her. A delivery attempt was made, person is no longer at that jail cell. In ... more >

TESNOTA-SCREENCOMMENT

CANNES FESTIVAL, “Tesnota”

A film from the Sokurov School of filmmaking
Darya Zhovner, Olga Dragunova and Artem Tsypin
Directed by Kantemir Balagov

The first thing that I noticed while watching Kantemir Balagov’s new film “Tesnota” (“Closeness” in the original russian) is the performance by lead actress Darya Zhovner. Her Ilana, the character from whose point of view the film is told, is a tomboy who works in her step-father’s garage and whiles away the days hanging out with her boyfriend. Zhovner, for whom this film represents a first role ... more >