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Showing posts from June, 2018

Ramin Bahrani's "Fahrenheit 451" in midnight screening at Cannes

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Fahrenheit 451 premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May with Michael B Jordan, Michael Shannon Sofia Boutella and director Ramin Bahrani in attendance. It was a midnight screening at the festival and presented out of competition because the new rules at Cannes are that the films in competition must premiere in France first and not on a streaming platform, in this case HBO where the film is now out. There is also a new rule at Cannes that no selfies are allowed on the red carpet, but being an out of competition film, several of the minor female characters of the cast were seen taking selfies. The selfie phase actually came about when A list stars like Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie started taking pictures at the festival of themselves. In a real twist the stars who are emulated by fans wanted souvenirs of their ascent up the red carpet and steps leading into the Palais. For most actors it is still a big thing. At the midnight screenings everything can happen, and it is a venu…

Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum wins jury prize at Cannes

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Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki’s Capernaum in competition at the 71st Cannes was clearly a strong contender for the Palme d'or  with powerful innovative shots by Christopher Aoun, skilled editing by Konstantin Bock and layering with a dynamic soundtrack by Khaled Mouzanar also the film’s producer.

Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is a young 12 year old boy who watches his sister Sahar married off as a young girl by his parents and runs away as protest. He is taken in by Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw), an Ethiopian woman with a young son she treats with love and affection but when she doesn’t return home Zain finds himself becoming a nursemaid in the slums of a middle eastern city trying to find food and shelter. In inverted narrative order, we learn why he later decides to sue his parents for bringing him into the world. But Zain has an elaborate plan and his solitary actions help to create reforms in his society. 
Capernaum is an investigation of lost children who are sold into homes where th…

Alice Rohrwacher's "Happy as Lazzaro" shares best screenplay award at Cannes

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The best screenplay award at Cannes in the official selection went to Happy as Lazzaro written and directed by Italian filmmaker Alice Rohrwacher (shared with Jafar Panahi)  It follows the trail of her previous film The Wonders, winner of the Grand Prix in 2014. Both films deal with a return to living conditions in rural areas in a time lapse during industrialization and are enchanting narratives. In The Wonders a young family lives off the land and harmonious raises bees even if the local authorities want to make sure the children are getting a proper education.

In Happy as Lazzaro, a colony of tobacco leaf pickers are subjected to unfair labor practices by the marchioness who owns the land. They are subject to pay docks and must attend compulsory religious education taught by the marchioness herself. Her family lives in luxury whereas the leaf pickers must also serve the family at mealtime and due menial chores. They are deprived of education and live a substandard life. All until …