This brief article is our 400th post. For a blog started in 2007, I’d say we’ve been keeping busy. Thanks to our contributors, SC is moving along famously. And as I get ready to go to the Cannes Festival, I am monitoring our sister Twitter page “meetmeincannes.” If you want to get regular updates on my twelve days in Cannes, join in.
Nowadays, I think the most frequent updater is Lloyd Kaufman, of Troma Films and Troma Dance (about 15 new updates a day). I never cease to be amazed by how his outward appearance (this movie producer is usually dressed in a suit, white shirt and bow-tie) doesn’t live up to expectations (bonhomie, taste for the tame in everything). Kaufman is a thrill-seeker and is gore-y himself (though again, you would never tell if you saw him).
I just heard from Brillante Mendoza, the Filipino director who had a film last year in competition in the Selection Officielle (“Serbis”). This year again the Philippines is in the running for the top prize at Cannes with “Kinatay.” Let’s hope this reel will be in better shape. I remember worrying that my ears would start bleeding at the press screening for “Serbis” last year–that’s how harsh the sound was (and it didn’t help that the film included a lot of street scenes shot in Angeles, the Philippines’ second biggest city, if I’m not mistaken).
Reading all the wires I’m seeing that people are all wondering how Cannes is going to fare this year. Smaller expense accounts and less lavish parties, bemoans Variety. Yes, that is a likely expectation to have. I’m worried especially about the state of the Market. Are distributors going to end up going home with a bag full of movie rights which they couldn’t get picked up? What about all the filmmakers attached to these films who worked hard to make these movies? Something tells me the business of selling and buying movies must still go on, however. People have quotas for the year which they must keep and they can’t come back to the office empty-handed. But are we going to see the same kind of sweeps as we have seen in years past, when one distributor plucked rights to over a dozen films?
It all depends on so many factors, of course. This year, I’m going to try and make it to more market screenings, even though there’s often no time to see them. As a press person, the point is to obviously see as many (if not all) of the official selection films. One of the most stressful things about the Cannes Festival is programming your own days. Fortunately, the last day of the festival every single film in the S.O (Selection Officielle) are played back for those who missed anything. That’s how I was able to see “Blindness” last year.
With all the talk of recession, I expect that in the next three years we should see a lot more great movies. But that’s not my own idea; it’s a generally accepted fact that when you have to work with less, you become more creative and perhaps take more risks. (pictured: “Kinatay,” dir. Brillante Mendoza, part of this year’s official selection).