We'll tackle any film foreign or otherwise, paying exclusive attention to Arthouse, Indie & Cult features. Selected up to the minute News will also be given prominence.


May 23, 2011

The Tree Of Life Wins Palme d'Or


And the complete list of winners in Cannes 2011 as follows:

Palme d'Or: "The Tree of Life" (Terrence Malick, U.S.)

Grand Prix (tie): ''Once Upon a Time in Anatolia'' (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) and ''The Kid With a Bike'' (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, France)

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn (''Drive,'' U.S.)

Jury prize: ''Polisse'' (Maiwenn, France)

Actor: Jean Dujardin ("The Artist," France)

Actress: Kirsten Dunst ("Melancholia," Denmark-Sweden-France-Germany)

Screenplay: Joseph Cedar ("Footnote," Israel)


UN CERTAIN REGARD JURY AWARDS

Main prize (tie): "Arirang" (Kim Ki-duk, South Korea) and "Stopped on Track" (Andreas Dresen, Germany)

Special jury prize: "Elena" (Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia)

Directing prize: Mohammad Rasoulof ("Goodbye,'' Iran)


OTHER MAIN JURY AWARDS

Camera d'Or: "Las acacias" (Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina-Spain)

Critics' Week Grand Prix: "Take Shelter" (Jeff Nichols, U.S.)


SHORT FILMS JURY PRIZES

Palme d'Or: "Cross" (Maryna Vroda)

Jury prize: "Swimsuit 46" (Wannes Destoop)


FIPRESCI AWARDS

Competition: "Le Havre" (Aki Kaurismaki, Finland-France)

Un Certain Regard: "The Minister" (Pierre Schoeller, France)

Directors' Fortnight: "Take Shelter" (Jeff Nichols, U.S.)


CINEFONDATION

First Prize: "Der Brief" (Doroteya Droumeva)

Second Prize: "Drari" (Kamal Lazraq)

Third Prize: "Fly by Night" (Son Tae-gyum)


ECUMENICAL PRIZE: "This Must Be the Place" (Paolo Sorrentino, Italy-France-Ireland)


PRIX VULCAIN TECHNICAL AWARDS

Winner: Jose Luis Alcaine ("The Skin I Live In," Spain)

Special mention: Joe Bini and Paul Davies ("We Need to Talk About Kevin," U.K.-U.S.)


Source: Twitchfilm

May 18, 2011

Dogville








Director - Lars von Trier

Genre - Drama/Mystery/Thriller


Von Trier directed the hell out of this movie. To call this 'stylized' would be putting it mildly. Employing the concept of a staged theater but filming as if the characters in the script were lab rats to be studied (extensive crane shots of the open, barely there set remained throughout), von Trier gave the story utmost honor. And what a story it was! Written by the incredibly gifted director himself, the words which came out of the actors' mouths were like jewels formed in the mind of a great literary giant. We couldn't believe the level of complexity and scope of depth it had. Nicole Kidman plays a woman on the run who seeks refuge in a town filled with destitution and despair. In the course of wanting the townsfolk to accept her, her character goes through a baptism of fiery oppositions which threaten to destroy her own humanity. Kidman turned in a first rate performance the likes of which if she never again acts in another film, will surely carry her name proudly in the history of cinema. It won't kill you if you don't watch this, but you would've lived a little less.

5 STARS!

All about Dogville

May 11, 2011

The Wrestler








Director - Darren Aronofsky

Genre - Drama


Darren Aronofsky is usually a rebel director who doesn't feel the need to conform to the rules of a conventional filmmaker. In 'The Wrestler' however, this recognizable imprint is untraceable. The movie on the whole didn't live up to Aronofsky's previous dalliances in taking cinema beyond the tried and tested waters. At times, we even felt that it wasn't any different from watching a bio-documentary on Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold Steve Austin. Mickey Rourke wasn't, isn't and never will be the great actor some have tagged him as. He was right on the money for the role being a washed up public figure himself but that is all there is to it. Mind you, he wasn't playing a character which required a miraculous transformation like what De Niro did to himself in 'Raging Bull' or Will Smith's solid turn in 'Ali'. To call Rourke's acting any better than being average in view of these extraordinary performances is unfair and off the mark. An unimaginative script and a safe directing style also contributed to this being Aronofsky's biggest letdown so far.

2.5 STARS!

All about The Wrestler

May 3, 2011

The Marriage of Maria Braun








Director - Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Genre - Drama


Set in post war Germany, Hanna Schygulla stars as Maria Braun, a girl who uses sex as a commodity to advance in life, working her booty all the way to the top of a company. The tragedy of Maria was that she remained unhappy even though she had achieved all that she had managed to procure. Her most endearing characteristic which is loving only one man in her life would prove to be her undoing, setting the stage for Fassbinder's often pessimistic view of love and life. But what made this film jump out for us is its sense of cynicism and its director's grasp of what makes a woman tick. The way he just gets that sometimes women are these ever-changing, forever dramatic creatures. Feminists out there will maul us for that statement but if you've ever been burnt by one you'd be inclined to agree. Fassbinder understands this explosive, unstable nature of women like no other filmmaker we've ever encountered. Whether you love or hate Maria, you can't say she is a stock, cinema stereotype. For that and a genuine air of unpredictability which ran fiercely throughout the story, Fassbinder is firmly in our good books.

4 STARS!

All about The Marriage of Maria Braun