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Showing posts from May, 2013

Cannes Report 2013 - The Hunt

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By Moira Sullivan  Denmark has certainly become a conservative country of late with required language tests for foreigners and an ultra nationalist party in the parliament. Worse yet is the provincialism in the smaller islands, and The Hunt (Jagten in Danish) directed by Thomas Vinterberg is one of those areas.  Maads Mikelsson plays Lucas, a man who has lost his job and who takes a position as a preschool teacher. In Sweden, male employees are not allowed with children, but in this Danish childcare center, they are.  In a complicated set of circumstances involving Lucas’ school  and hunting buddies he finds himself the hero of a young preschooler who makes up the story that he has touched her improperly. Almost no one wants to believe him, especially his old friends. His relationship with his son is strained as a result. He becomes involved with Nadja, a woman of Polish descent (Alexandra Rappaport), before he is fired and although she believes his innocence there is still doubt.  The fi…

Cannes Report 1 - 66th Festival de Cannes

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By Moira Sullivan 
Nearly 4,000 accredited journalists descend upon the city of Cannes for a week and a half of cinema magic and what looks like heavy rain for the first few days. The opening festivities for the 66thCannes Film Festival revolved around the out of competitionThe Great Gatsby.
On May 20, the independent film company Troma, the oldest in the US with over 40 years of “reel experience”, proposes a manifestation outside the Carlton Hotel for the “Occupy Cannes team” to fight for the rights of independent filmmakers. Then, on May 21 there will be a mass demonstration in front of the Palais at 5.30 pm.
According to founder Lloyd Kaufman: “Troma’s goal is to spotlight the opportunity disparity between independent artists and mega-media corporations as it plays out at the Cannes Film Festival”.  Today Troma sponsored a lesbian wedding on the beach as a gesture of celebrating marriage equality, an important issue for Occupy Cannes. Two actresses from “Return to Nuke ‘em High”- Cath…

Baz Luhrmann's 'The Great Gatsby'

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By Moira Sullivan



The Great Gatsby belongs to America’s folklore. Is it any wonder that we are protective of it when it is recreated on film? Baz Luhrmann’s production is shot in Sydney all the way through and most of the actors are Australian, but it doesn’t matter, really, since most of the film is the result of elaborate special effects and the dialogue coaches did a great job. Fortunately Ziegfeld Follies in Times Square is spelled right in the film, though not in the trailer.
There is one aerial shot of New York, but mostly it’s a Sydney set.  In the beginning and even middle of the film, the cardboard city works, but towards the end it feels confining to be so far away from home. The ingenuity recreating this classic story by F. Scott Fitzgerald is enchanting – the mansions, New York and Long Island.  But the journey from Long Island to NYC and back is two black roads with a make believe Big Apple in the background. The artifice is heavy and faithfulness to the plot means that t…

Ip Man: The Final Fight

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By Moira Sullivan
Herman Yau’s Ip Man The Final Fight had its European premiere at the Far East Film Festival in Udine April 23, closely following its release dates in China , Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam in March and April. It’s quite a feather in Udine’s cap to get Ip Man to Italy before any other festival outside of Asia. This is proof that Udine remains the number 1 portal of festivals for popular Asian cinema outside Asia.

The film is shot mostly in a studio in order to recreate the time period in which Yip Kai Man also known as Yip Man and Ip Man lived in Hong Kong during the early 50s. He learned his special form of martial arts Wing Chu in China and was the grandmaster.  As the legend goes, the name according to Yip Kai Man came from Kim Wing Chun, a woman during the Qing dynasty who refused to marry a warlord and challenged him to combat to free herself from his claim on her. She won and taught the style to her husband. Wing Chun is called the Snake/Crane style. This style …