<--- Maggie Cheung and her boyfriend Ole Scheeren in 2008
Maggie Cheung's scene in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds was cut before the Cannes opening and will not be restored even though Tarantino is returning to the editing room. Presumably he's tinkering for maximum audience playability. The cutting room floor is a regular habitat for actors with small roles but this time it really hurts: Maggie still works the red carpet, but never the silver screen. She retired from movies after Clean and 2046 five long years ago. Basterds was going to provide us with a rare chance to see one of the most bewitching living actresses on the big screen again. Damn!
On to cheerier topics.
The generous take on Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock appears to be that it's a "minor" effort. Rosengje found it charming and especially enjoyed the first "fun and frothy" hour, but understands why people aren't taken with it
...the movie loses a lot of momentum toward the conclusion, with the actual music festival not quite coming together in a cohesive manner. Ang Lee makes the puzzling decision to not include any concert footage. The managed chaos that defines Taking Woodstock's first hour feels like it has been building toward something that viewers are ultimately denied access to.Rosengje also notes that she thinks age will play a heavy factor in reaction to the movie. She admits that some of the details and mythos escaped her (she's in her 20s) but thought the movie was a pleasant diversion, nonetheless.
Liev Schreiber is the movie's real standout as a transvestite security guard -- the audience interrupted his first scene with boisterous applause. The actor has limited screen time, making probably around four substantial appearances. Demetri Martin was extremely enjoyable, giving a nuanced performance that belies his limited screen experience. He has great comic timing and definitely suggested the character's muted sexuality (he's closeted) effectively. The supporting cast is generally impeccable, with Emile Hirsch and Paul Dano making the biggest impressions in small roles.
She also told me about a documentary I hadn't yet heard of from Angela Ismailos called Great Directors.
One of the treats of Cannes is the ability to see sprawling epics alongside small, intimate pieces. The endearing and informative Great Directors falls into the latter category. Pic focuses on nine directors that have influenced Angela's life: Bernardo Bertloucci, Agnes Varda, Stephen Frears, Todd Haynes, David Lynch, Catherine Breillat, Richard Linklater, Ken Loach and John Sayles. A mixture of new interviews, archival footage, and well chosen film clips craft winning portraits of each of the auteurs. David Lynch proves most memorable, putting forth a charmingly gregarious personality that bizarrely contradicts his films. Trying to reconcile clips of Eraserhead and Inland Empire with the man telling anecdotes about Mel Brooks is one of the film's chief pleasures.Indie Wire has more on the screening and the yacht party that I also sent Rosengje too.
The mix of genders, ages, and nationalities of the directors ensures that the topics discussed do not become repetitive, but are constantly revisited in fresh and innovative ways. Despite the unique elements and perspectives, common threads do emerge. Hearing Sayles discuss working on Hollywood scripts to finance his own efforts evokes and contradicts Frears’ and Loach’s development through the BBC. Though the documentary is interview heavy, Ismailos varies her visuals to correspond to the character of her subjects: Bertolucci is shot primarily in formal interviews, while Linklater and Haynes are shown in a variety of interactive locales (i.e. driving, perusing books).
I wish the film shed more light on the Angela herself, who remains an enigmatic presence throughout “Directors,” occasionally revealing her presence during interviews or walking through shots on perilously high heels. She grants the directors a platform for expressing their own inspiration and intentions, but never really delves into the specifics of her own. With such unusual and impeccable taste in auteurs, I constantly wanted to know more about her own pursuits.
The film sounds intriguing and it certainly prompts a completely necessary! commenting exercize. If I were making a documentary about nine living auteurs that influenced my life (not necessarily my favorites) I might have to go with: Tarantino, Haynes, John Hughes, Mike Nichols, Tim Burton, Paul Thomas Anderson, Woody Allen, James Cameron and Pedro Almodovar... but it's tough to say.
What about you? Which nine men or women would you choose if you were making a personal documentary about auteurs that shaped you?