Saturday, May 30, 2009

Essential Reading:

There's a great interview over at The Auteurs' Notebook with one of my favorite filmmakers, Mr. Olivier Assayas. His most recent film, Summer Hours, is in theatres now, and is an absolute must see. I've also just seen his third feature, Cold Water, generally considered to be his first mature work, and it is a full blown masterpiece. I'm very seriously considering re-watching Boarding Gate - to my mind the least of his features that I've seen. But, as he mentions in the interview, it is very much a film that exists in conversation with his newest. Anyway, lots of food for thought from one of our greatest contemporary directors.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another Year, Another Cannes

"...ten feet from my kerbside table the limousines moved on towards the Palais des Festivals between the lines of police and security men. Helicopters circled the Palm Beach headland, waiting to land at the heliport, like paramilitary gunships about to strafe the beachside crowds. Their white-suited passengers, faces masked by huge shades, stared down with the gaze of gangster generals in a Central American republic surveying a popular uprising. An armada of yachts and motor cruisers strained at their anchors two hundred yards from the beach, so heavily freighted with bodyguards and television equipment that they seemed to raise the sea..."
"...the film festival measured a mile in length, from the Martinez to the Vieux Port, where sales executives tucked into their platters of fruits de mer, but was only fifty yards deep. For a fortnight the Croisette and its grand hotels willingly became a facade, the largest stage set in the world. Without realizing it, the crowds under the palm trees were extras recruited to play their traditional roles. As they cheered and hooted, they were far more confident than the film actors on display, who seemed ill at ease when they stepped from their limos, like celebrity criminal ferried to a mass trial by jury at the Palais, a full-scale cultural Nuremberg furnished with film clips of the atrocities they had helped to commit."

J.G. Ballard - "Super-Cannes"