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Showing posts from March, 2011

64 Festival de Cannes

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By Moira Sullivan

The 64th Cannes Film Festival ended last Sunday night with the awards ceremony. The Mistress of Ceremonies who both opened and closed the festival Mélanie Laurent who starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds brought out the official jury again to announce the winning films. Robert De Niro was "Mr Presidente" of a jury composed of writers, actors, directors and producers. Among them, Uma Thurman, Jude Law and the daughter of Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman  - Lin Ullmann
It was fun to hear De Niro call his jury companions - compagnons  - mushrooms (champignons) in French. Some years ago when Michael Moore won the Palme d’Or for Fahrenheit 9/11 there was some controversy over the jury decision headed by Quentin Tarantino. So the jury met with the press to discuss their choice.  This had never been done before. The jury process had always been private. The tradition has continued since then. 
This time it was regarding why The Tree of Life by Terrence …

My Summer of Love

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By Moira Sullivan 

Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski did post graduate studies in German literature before turning to film direction. In 2001 he received a BAFTA for being the most promising newcomer in British film and My Summer of Love won another special BAFTA in 2004 for best British film. My Summer of Love stars Emily Blunt as Tamsin and Natalie Press as Mona, and is the story of two teenagers who meet during one summer.  The class difference is striking since Tamsin lives in a mansion and Mona lives in a pub called "The Swan" that her brother Phil (Paddy Considine) has converted into a prayer center.  Fresh out of prison he has found Jesus and decides to save himself, his community and his sister from temptation. The emphasis of the film is on the relationship between Tamsin and Mona who have an adventurous summer exploring nature and human relationships including a special one that they embark on with each other. Mona hasn’t been very wise in picking mates before Tamsin…

Amours Imaginaires - Heartbeats

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By Moira Sullivan French Canadian Xavier Dolan’s narrative with a documentary edge, Heartbeats, begins with a quote by the 19th century French poet Alfred Musset:  there is a real world that reasons about love. (Il n’ya a de vrai au monde que d´raissoner d’amour). The original French title is Amours Imaginaires - Imaginary Lovers. The English title has no meaning for the premise of the film, as we shall see.
Heartbeats is an interesting film with an inventive and imaginative use of the camera. In the opening minutes, three young people speak about love while the camera changes focal lengths with abrupt close-ups and pull backs. It is not the last time this will happen. The camera work in itself is worthy of investigation and the way Dolan frames his subjects. The film is made from a rich HD color film stock. It cost 7 million dollars to make and was selected for last years Cannes Film Festival fortnight section and last fall’s Mill Valley Film Festival. And it is now opening in San Fra…