Friday, May 26, 2017

BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL: IN THE SHADOW OF DONALD TRUMP

February 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When the Berlin Film Festival — the Berlinale — opened last Thursday, Dutch director Paul Verhoeven, who presides over the jury, pledged to keep politics out of the jury room. “We will surely be putting aside our political prejudices when watching the films,” he told reporters covering the festival. The jurors may be doing so […]

“T2 TRAINSPOTTING” CHUGS INTO BERLIN

February 11, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The box-office success of cult-movie sequels has always been elusive, and arguably none of them has become a cult classic on its own. The producers of T2 Trainspotting are clearly hoping to reverse that record. They brought their movie to Berlin on Friday to screen it out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival (the […]

A QUINTET OF SEMI-HOT REVIEWS FOR “DJANGO”

February 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

It is a musical set in the 1940s, and it tells the story of a family’s escape from the Nazis, but it’s no Sound of Music. Rather, Django is an often gripping account of famed jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt’s last days in France in 1943, his callous — often brutal — intimidation by the Nazis […]

THE BERLINALE OPENS WITH ALL THAT JAZZ

February 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

La La Land may have been about a young man seeking to stay true to his passion for classical jazz, but the film that opens the Berlin Film Festival — the Berlinale — tonight is about classical jazz itself, or more accurately a classical jazzman, Django Reinhardt. There may have been precious little jazz in […]

KEN LOACH WINS CANNES’ TOP PRIZE

May 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

British director Ken Loach was the surprise winner of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival’s top Palme d’Or award. Loach triumphed with his film I, Daniel Blake, about a heart-attack survivor battered by the bureaucracy of the British welfare system. The title character was portrayed by Dave Johns, an English stand-up comedian in his first film. […]

CHEERS, JEERS GREET “THE NEON DEMON” AT CANNES

May 21, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A horror flick playing at the Cannes Film Festival? Ah, yes, but as you might expect, The Neon Demon, starring Elle Fanning, is no ordinary horror flick. After it was screened on Friday, Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn was praised by critics for his uncompromisingly artistic approach to the genre, even as many of them […]

A QUIET PROTEST ACCOMPANIES BRAZIL’S “MAGNIFICENT” CANNES ENTRY

May 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

These days, the only thing in Brazil that is more abundant than coffee is chaos — economic and political. A week after the country’s first female president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached by the legislature, a screening of Brazil’s entry in the Cannes Film Festival’s official competition, Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius, was accompanied by an anti-government […]

NOT MUCH BUZZ AT CANNES, BUT A LOT OF HO-HUMS

May 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Several past favorites of Cannes’ selection committee have returned this year, but their films, while earning respectable and respectful notices have failed to generate the kind of acclaim that many of their previous works had earned. Jeff Nichols, whose 2012 film Mud, starring Matthew McConaughey, was cheered when it debuted at Cannes in 2012, was […]

WILL IT BE A “TONI” AWARD AT CANNES?

May 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Going into the homestretch at the Cannes Film Festival, which ends on Saturday, the clear leader for the top Palme d’Or award, at least among the critics here, is Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann. All the more remarkable is the fact that it is a German comedy, more or less a rarity in the land of […]

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD MOVIE DEBUTS AT CANNES

May 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

According to many pop-culture historians, the cultural revolution of the ’60s began when writer Ken Keasey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) set off on a transcontinental trip with his band of Merry Pranksters on a school bus covered with psychedelic patterns from La Honda, California, near San Francisco, to the 1964 World’s Fair in […]

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