Showing posts from July, 2021

74th Cannes Film Festival, Report 3

By Moira Sullivan Lamb by Icelandic director Valdimar Jóhannsson was in competition for the Camera d ‘Or a prize for a director’s first feature in the section Un certain regard headed by jury president and director Andrea Arnold. Arnold presented out of competition the documentary Cow on the birthing process of a dairy cow. Here’s too the inclusion of animals in films and Lamb is one of the best with a mythical story of walking "Ram Men" who impregnate domesticated sheep. Noomi Rapace plays Maria who is married to Ingvar, a sheep herder in Iceland (Hilmir Snær Guðnason). They have no children. One day a newborn sheep needs extra care and they take Ada home and raise him as their own. It’s amazing cinematography and an ambitious effort worthy of the special mention it received on awards night. Rapace gave an exceptional acting performance in the film. Memoria is a film of exceptional quality directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul from Thailand starring Tilda Swin

"Mandibles" - kooky comedy from France

By Moira Jean Sullivan Quentin Dupieux’s Mandibiles (fr. Mandibules) premiered out of competition last year at the Venice Film Festival. It has taken nearly a year for Mandibles to come out in the US and it opens July 23 in San Francisco. The premise of the film is a large fly that is discovered in the trunk of an abandoned car that is being hotwired to deliver a suitcase for a client named Michel Michel (Philippe Dusseau). The fly is domesticated , almost like a pet dog or cat but very freaky and quite ugly, drab grey with a huge spikey head. Two characters, Manu and Jean Gab played by Grégoire Ludig and David Marsais bungle their way throughout the film in a series of absurd situations. Manu wants to train the fly to make money which in itself is super bizarre. They kidnap a man in his motor home and take over the kitchen. Jean Gab decides to cook and asks if Manu is allergic to anything. It is oil and the frying pan goes up in flames, the motor home catches on fire and is d

74th Cannes Film Festival Report 2

By Moira Jean Sullivan © 2021 - Moira Jean Sullivan For the first time ever in the history of the festival Spike Lee became the first black man to serve as president of the feature film jury. Also unprecedented was that a majority of womenwere on the jury Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hausne, Mati Diop, Mélanie Laurent , and singer songwriter Mylène Farmer. Léa Seydoux was in four films in the official competition at this year's festival but di not travel to Cannes to promote them following her positive Covid-19 test while working on a film. One was Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch with each frame magnificently executed and a cast of thousands, but the spectator is the polite sitting one, and as was the audience at Cannes. Léa Seydoux plays a prison guard who poses nude for an inmate considered a genius played by Benicio Del Toro. Seydoux also is in ldiko Enyedi’s A feleségem története (The Story Of My Wife), a film in seven acts based on a 1942 novel by the Hu

74th Cannes Film Festival Report 1

Moira Jean Sullivan At the opening ceremony of the 74th Festival de Cannes, Jodie Foster and wife, actress and photographer Alexandra Hedison, arrived on the Red Carpet along with President Spike Lee and members of the jury, and the ensemble for Leos Carax’ opening film Annette. They were greeted by Cannes festival director Thierry Frémaux and French Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot. After the screening Foster gave a concise and moving speech and thanked her wife and festival in the presence of invited guests at the beautiful Salle Lumière. Foster’s long career from a child star to two Academy Awards for Best Actress and a Golden Globe for Lifetime Achievement is followed by this special honor that has been awarded to filmmakers such as Agnès Varda. Foster was in great form and gave a seminar the following day in Salle Bunuel. 82 year old Paul Verhoeven’s latest film is Benedetta the true story of a 17th century nun that falls in love with Bartolomea. The nuns are pl

Midnight Swan wins from Japan wins Golden Mulberry at Far East Film Festival 23

By Moira Jean Sullivan Midnight Swan took home the top prize from Japan the Golden Mulberry, at the Far East Film Festival (FEFF) now in its 23 year , that ended on July 2 a beautifully made, excellently crafted film written and directed by Eiji Uchida. Nagisa from Hiroshima (Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and former SMAP boyband musician) moves to Tokyo to work in the Shinjuku district as a nightclub entertainer with other MTF transgenders. When asked to take care of her niece Ichiko (14 year old ballet dancer Misaki Hattori) whose mother Saori (Asami Misukawa) has a substance abuse problem, she agrees to take her in and enrolls her in a Tokyo middle school. Through a classmate, Rin (Rinka Ueno), Ichiko tries out for lessons at a ballet studio. At first she is cautious of her "aunt" Nagisa but eventually their bond grows strong and Ichiko's ballet talents develop and deepen with meticulous skill. Rin and Ichiko secretly work for studio photographers to pay for Ichiko's