Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cannes 2010

Almost all the Cannes 2010 films were announced today. And right on cue, the complaining has started. Already I have read the words "disappointing", "predictable" and "boring" describing the lineup.

I will tackle "predictable" first. Here's a look at some of the predictable Un Certain Regard films.

  • Udaan (India, Vikramaditya Motwane) -- yeah this is so predictable. The first Indian film in competition in 199 years and that too from Vikramaditya Motwane, clearly a household name making his directorial debut. Motwane was a writer on DevD which must have been the highest grossing film in the world because every western critic appears to be familiar with that movie and Anurag Kashyap. Yawn. So predictable.

  • Les amours imaginaires (Canada, Xavier Dolan) -- clearly everyone saw Dolan's brilliant 2009 film I Killed my Mother which is why that movie is on every best of 2009 list. His film was so popular that the Canadian Genies decided not to nominate it because they didn't want to give an award to a popular film.

  • Qu’est-il arrive a Simon Werner? (France, Fabrice Gobert) -- oh come on, everyone knew that Gobert's debut feature was always going to play at Cannes.

  • Octubre (Peru, Daniel Vega) -- when a Peruvian film won an award at Berlin in 2009 and was nominated for this year's Oscars, then everyone knew a Peruvian film would be selected at Cannes. And it is getting so tiring to see North American multiplexes playing one Peruvian film every week.

  • Then there is the new Godard, Hong sang-soo and Cristi Pulu. Expected.

    In the Competition category:

  • Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chaat (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) -- just because Joe has never made a bad film does not mean his new film should be automatically selected!!! So predictable!

  • And then there are new films by Abbas Kiarostami, Takeshi Kitano, Lee Chang-dong and Mike Leigh. Oh no.

    Then there's "boring".

    Normally I need to see a movie to decide if it is boring but I guess some all knowing critics know that a movie is boring just by the title. Nice gift to be able to judge a film by a title.

    And then there's "disappointing".

    Why is the new [insert director of choice]'s film not there? Oh my gawd. That is terrible.

    hmmm, what if the director's film is not completed? Should an unfinished film be in the lineup? Apparently so because it is by a big name director. How dare the festival programmers leave out a film by a big name director!!! Shame.

    And finally:

    In Cannes 2009, there were plenty of auteur's films in competition. Was that not predictable? And look at how many knives were thrown at the films last year. So is the rule that Cannes should only select films from certain directors? Is the rest of the world not allowed to make films worthy of selection?

    Once the festival starts, it won't be long before tweets will appear on how this year's Cannes is "average" or "terrible". And then before the year is over, someone will complain about how there are no good films being made and that since 1990 every film has been bad.

    Uh-huh. Sure.

    Personally, I can't wait for the disappointing, predictable and boring films to make their way to my part of the world. I need boring to balance out the pulsating cinematic excellence that is normally provided in my city's multiplexes courtesy of 3D green ogres and 2D autobots.


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