CANNES FESTIVAL, underwhelming and mediocre “Pope Francis: A man of his word”

Disappointed, for professional and for personal reasons. This lapsed Catholic grew up in Europe and was raised by Jesuits at one of Paris’s private schools. I’m not a believer, anymore, but I’ve remained a Catholic, existentially speaking, the Vatican being a kind of cultural guide, my go-to moral authority in a Europe that's sometimes hardly recognizable. When I was baptized, I was named after ... more >

CANNES FESTIVAL, “Shoplifters,” Hirokazu Koreeda makes his comeback

He was in Cannes last in 2016

The Shibata family is poor. Osamu, the man of the house, and his boy Shota, get by with petty thievery, one of the women of the household is a sex worker, the other works in an industrial laundry, they all sleep like sardines in a small apartment. Heading home after a shoplifting outing one day, Osamu his son Shota in tow finds Yuri, a little girl who is sitting by the curb. They bring her home. ... more >

3 visages three faces

CANNES FESTIVAL, “Three faces”

One of Panahi's most accomplished films to date
Jafar Panahi and Behnaz Jafari
Directed by Jafar Panahi

The Iranian actress Behnaz Jafari receives a video message from a young woman who’s taped her own suicide after reaching the conclusion that she likely won’t fulfill her dream of becoming an actress. The suicide girl lives in a small village, far from Tehran, and any activity that doesn’t involve milking cows or knitting is regarded with a lot of suspicion by the locals, thus bringing dishonor. ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, “Girls of the sun”

A France Belgium Georgia Switzerland production
Golshifteh Farahani, Emmanuelle Bercot and Erol Afsin
Directed by Eva Husson

In Kurdistan, Bahar (Golshifteh Farahani) is commander of the Daughters of the Sun battalion. They are preparing to free her city from the hands of Islamists, hoping to find her son who is behind enemy lines. A French journalist, Mathilde (Emmanuelle Bercot, of "Mon Roi" fame, among others), joins their platoon to cover the offensive and bring attention to these women warriors. Strong women, who ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, “Cold War” (“Zimna Wojna”)

From Poland with love
Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot and Borys Szyc
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

Poles wear austere, puritanical expressions on their face. And it’s as if filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski drew on this to style his new film, “Cold war” (“Zimna Wojna”). Every shot is precisely-timed and framed carefully, scenes glisten like a Doisneau photo gallery. There isn’t a single element astray. Pawlikowski shot “Cold War” in black and white, which adds beauty, and gravitas. Zula (Joanna ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, civil war and confusion in ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE

Out of competition
Miroslaw Haniszewski, Vergil J. Smith and Tomasz Zietek
Co-directed by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow

The word “the confusão” gets repeated often by the various protagonists in “Another Day of Life.” It describes the terrible chaos, the absolute disorientation that Angola experienced in the early seventies because of an armed conflict. The country’s slide towards civil war, right after it was handed its independence after five centuries of Portuguese domination, would last twenty-seven years and ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, “Plaire, aimer et courir vite”

Unlikely gay romance during the murderous nineties in France
Vincent Lacoste and Pierre Deladonchamps
Directed by Christophe Honoré

On the heels of “120 beats per minute,” a unanimous hit last year in Cannes, is Christophe Honoré’s “Plaire, aimer et courir vite,” a film that's in the running for a Palme D’Or. Like “120,” “Plaire” is set in the nineties and conjures up memories of a catastrophic decade for the gay community, one in which the gay community was decimated by the AIDS virus. In “Plaire,” which the Bretagne-born ... more >