Monday, May 25, 2009

And so it ends...

The prizes have been handed out and another Cannes Film Festival enters the history books. Even though I am not sure when I will get to see his latest film, I am glad to see Brillante Mendoza's name as winning director. I still think fondly of his two 2007 films Slingshot and Foster Child.

For the last week or so, most North American publications have been only talking about the "gore" and "blood" in the films at Cannes so it shouldn't be a surprize that talk is clearly apparent in Manohla Dargis' headline and article. The headline "Violence Reaps Rewards at Cannes Festival" and the comment "Despite the on-screen carnage that was amply rewarded by Ms. Huppert and her jury..." certainly seem to indicate disdain rather than report something as a matter of fact.

My problem with this view is that I have never seen the NY times have this headline:

Trash Reaps Rewards at American Box Office

If the paper were to have that headline every year, then I would be fine with the "violence" headline. Sure there have been times that A.O Scott has questioned the validity of critics to influence American Box Office revenues but it seems that a lot more is forgiven when considering big banner Hollywood trash films. But when it comes to Cannes, the swords really come out. I had expected to see negative comments about this year's Cannes even before the film lineups were announced but it is clear there won't be much good written about Cannes in this year's North American film magazines.

Will any film magazine bother to analyze the trend that why so many different directors narrowed in on such dark topics? Could it have anything to do with the bleak global situation caused by lies (from governments and corporations) and pure greed (bankers and the like)? On the other hand it appears to be so much easier to criticize Cannes and only praise darkness when shown via Hollywood's formats, be that of a bat, a serial killer or a greedy oil man.


I had no idea that Mendoza's Kinatay had generated such strong reactions. As per Roger Ebert:
"Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling "The Brown Bunny" the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.


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