Monday, September 27, 2010

viff 2010 | cannes

I don't know if there are more Cannes-feted films at the 2010 Vancouver International Film Festival than other years, or if more of them have caught my interest than usual. But for those of us who didn't manage to make the spring pilgrimage to the south of France this time around... 

Certified Copy
France, Italy, Belgium, 106 min, Abbas Kiarostami (Close-Up, Ten, etc)
Juliette Binoche (Best Actress, Cannes) is an antique-shop owner in romantic Tuscany who strikes up a relationship - or is it just a "copy" of a relationship - with an English author (opera singer William Shimell) in Abbas Kiarostami's first feature made outside of Iran. A playful "art-film" drama anchored by the joint mastery of Kiarostami and Binoche.
"Following a somewhat halting first act, Kiarostami's marital close-up becomes a surprisingly effective return to the Pirandellian shuffling of reality and cinematic illusion that gave shape to the director's signature works of the Nineties. Best Actress winner Binoche is splendid in an emotionally naked performance that morphs into a deconstruction of itself." Scott Foundas, Film Comment
Sat, Oct 9th 9:30pm | G7
Mon, Oct 11th 4:00pm | G7
Thu, Oct 14th 10:30am | G7

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
2010, 113 min, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Syndromes & A Century)
The most unexpected (and rapturously received) Palme d'Or winner ever, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's magical vision of love and loss centres on a man preparing for his own death. Uncle Boonmee is visited by his late wife and his long-lost son (the latter in non-human guise) and the presence of these loved ones triggers vivid memories of his past lives.
"There may have been no more heartening a sound during the 63rd Cannes Film Festival than the chorus of enthusiastic applause that erupted at the end of the first press screening of Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. It was a marked about-face from the cacophony of titters, hisses, and abruptly emptied seats thwacking shut that accompanied the 2004 premiere of the young Thai filmmaker's Tropical Malady. The applause may have been necessary to break the hypnotic spell cast by Apichatpong's new, lush, melancholid fabl, which for the two previous hours had seemingly transformed Cannes' Salle Debussy into an enveloping jungle of whispering flora, talking fauna, transmigrated souls, and commonplace magic. . . . It is the landscape (and soundscape) of the dense Thai rain forest that is the true otherworldly phenomenon here, and which has by now become as integral a part of Apichatpong's artistry as Monument Valley was for John Ford and a certain pocket of industrial Belgium is for the Dardenne Brothers. . . . As one seasoned Cannes colleague put it: "I've never seen this many people react so enthusiastically to a movie I'm sure most of them didn't understand." . . . One of the chief pleasures of Apichatpong's cinema is the sense of being carried along by a generous tide of implication and allusion, the point of which is something we feel but we may not be able to precisely articulate." Scott Foundas, Film Comment
Wed, Oct 6th 9:00pm | Vancity Theatre
Tue, Oct 12th 4:15pm | Vancity Theatre

France/Germany, 330 min, Olivier Assayas: Summer Hours,
"Arguably the central event of this year's [Cannes] festival. Deft, exhilarating, Carlos moves at the speed of light and seems o cover enough ground for ten films. Assayas pulls off a miracle, creating a high point in the narrative strain initiated 20 years ago with GoodFellas, in which the energy never once dissipates, even during the normally hazardous 'fall' section." Film Comment.
Edgar Ramirez channels Brando via Che in Olivier Assayas' celebrated five-hour-plus globetrotting biopic of the notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal - it's a historically essential and wholly entertaining big-screen spectacle that never stops moving. Special event: Priced as two tickets.
Sat, Oct 9th 1:00pm | Park Theatre
Mon, Oct 11th 5:30pm | Park Theatre

Spain, Mexico, 147 min, Alejandro González Iñárritu: Amores perros, 21 Grams, Babel
"Built around a magnificent performance by Javier Bardem [Best Actor co-winner at Cannes] as a Barcelona low-life coming face to face with his own mortality... Another of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's grandiose meditations on life and death, parents and children, the supernatural [and] the interconnectedness of the universe..."
"Javier Bardem plays a Barcelona black marketeer who is both dying and able to see dead people. Tricked out with lots of fashionable squalor, jagged handheld cinematography, and Bardem in various states of physical and spiritual agony, Biutiful is a custom fit for audiences who prefer to be pummeled at the cinema rather than enlightened." Scott Foundas, Film Comment
Sat, Oct 2nd 9:30pm | G7
Mon, Oct 4th 4:00pm | G7

Dear Prudence
France, 76 min, Rebecca Zlotowski
After the death of her mother, lonely young Prudence (the gifted Léa Seydoux) discovers the underground culture of street-bike racing in the Parisian suburb of Rungis, with unforeseen consequences. A bona fide Cannes Critics' Week discovery... a subtly impressionistic exploration of adolescence on the brink. Film Comment
Thu, Oct 7th 1:45pm | Pacific Cinematheque
Sun, Oct 10th 6:20pm | G7
Fri, Oct 15th 11:40am | G7

Denmark, 91 min, Janus Metz
Janus Metz's gripping documentation of reality at the frontlines of battle in Afghanistan started a firestorm in Denmark and resulted in a government inquiry into whether Danish soldiers broke the rules of engagement by their all-too-human actions. A vital counterpoint to Restrepo, and an important part of a growing re-evaluation of political goals. Winner, Grand Prix, Cannes Critics' Week 2010
"One of the best finds (at Cannes 2010). . .
Sat, Oct 2nd 2:50pm | G7
Sun, Oct 10th 3:20pm | G7
Wed, Oct 13th 9:15pm | G7

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