Archives for May 2018




Good cinema takes time. Matteo Garrone first thought of the idea behind “Dogman” in 2008. He had this image, that of “a few dogs, locked up in a cage, bearing witness to the explosion of human bestiality” (translated from the production notes). “Dogman” (Garrone’s fourth film in Cannes) is like a corroded fresco of an Italy that’s concealed from the sightseeing brochures. Like in “Reality,” or ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, “En guerre,” Stéphane Brizé brings Vincent Lindon back to Croisette

En guerre (“At War”) focuses on one event in the life of employees of a French manufacturer of spare parts somewhere in France’s provinces: the shutting down of their plant. Two years after an agreement was reached to maintain jobs at their affiliate plant, the Germany-based parent company decides to call it quits. A strike goes in effect, and Laurent Amédéo (Vincent Lindon, here in his third ... more >


CANNES FESTIVAL, Spike Lee rolls triumphantly back into town with highly-pleasurable “BlacKKKlansman”

From the competition program
Adam Driver, Topher Grace and Laura Harrier
Directed by Spike Lee

The Cannes Festival gives so much room to new filmmakers that it leaves one in want of excellence, movies by the top echelon guys, the masters, the dream team. 2018 is a good year in this regard, with two master filmmakers, Lars Von Trier and Spike Lee, coming to present films. Last year, there was only one member from that club, Michael Haneke who presented “Happy End.” 2018 marks a comeback, for ... more >


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 >