Tarantino’s love letter to ‘Bright Star’

Posted by · 11:26 am · October 21st, 2009

Quentin Tarantino is obviously quite the epistolarian. Just yesterday, I mentioned the sincerely admiring letter that he wrote to controversial “Kinatay” director Brillante Mendoza, praising the brutally violent and widely unpopular Filipino film for its daring and authenticity. Evidently, that wasn’t the only letter QT wrote in his Cannes hotel suite. And while it’s not […]

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Tarantino cheers ‘Kinatay’

Posted by · 9:00 am · October 20th, 2009

Some of you may have read my defense last week of Brillante Mendoza’s grimly violent “Kinatay,” a film that provoked mass hostility at Cannes in May for portraying the rape, murder and dismemberment of a young woman in unrelenting detail. Roger Ebert declared it the worst film ever to play at the festival, and the […]

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LONDON: ‘Dogtooth,’ ‘Kinatay,’ ‘Burrowing’

Posted by · 7:14 am · October 17th, 2009

Once more, Friday’s major festival screenings covered ground I’d already trod in Venice — the day’s glossiest gala slot was reserved for “The Road” (which you know did little for me), with a less prominent early evening slot for Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” (which did rather more). Given the current buzz levels for each […]

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VENICE: ‘Mr. Nobody,’ ‘Lola’

Posted by · 5:55 am · September 11th, 2009

The Lido finish line beckons, as this morning saw the press screening of the final film in Competition, Tom Ford’s “A Single Man.” Ford’s debut (which I’ll deal with in a separate Short Take) surpassed my expectations, completing a slight upswing in the standard of films on display that began with yesterday’s second Surprise Film […]

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We, the jury

Posted by · 5:06 am · May 25th, 2009

It’s admittedly pretty low-rent, but one of the most enjoyable Cannes traditions is the annual gossip about what went down behind closed doors in the jury room — ranging from minor cultural disagreements to all-out bitter in-fighting. At yesterday’s press conference, juror Asia Argento insisted that their deliberations should remain a secret, but not everyone […]

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Haneke lands Palme d’Or, Gainsbourg takes Best Actress

Posted by · 10:41 am · May 24th, 2009

As it turned out, the most logical on-paper prediction turned out the be the right one. After emerging as the bridesmaid from several festivals past — winning the Grand Prix in 2001, Best Director in 2005 — the venerable Austrian auteur Michael Haneke has finally won the Palme d’Or for his stark moral drama “The […]

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Cracks show in Cannes lineup

Posted by · 7:12 am · May 17th, 2009

After surveying the reviews of Johnnie To’s “Vengeance” and Brillante Mendoza’s “Kinatay,” it seems safe to assume that neither film is a contender for the Palme d’Or — in the latter, we may even have our first real critical punchbag of the Competition. ScreenDaily dismisses “Vengeance,” an action effort teaming Hong Kong genre lord To […]

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Cannes: sizing up the Competition, part two

Posted by · 5:54 am · May 12th, 2009

Continuing yesterday’s survey of the runners and riders in the race for the Palme d’Or… “ANTICHRIST” (Lars Von Trier) The pitch: You’ve seen the trailer. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe star as bereaved parents who retreat to a remote woodland cottage to nurse their grief, only to be terrorised by unnamed forces of evil. (English […]

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