Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cannes Review: Route Irish, Carlos and much more.

Robert here, scouring the internet to give you the latest on the films premiering in Cannes.  Most films are still getting mainly mixed reviews (which should flesh out one way or the other once a wider release is had) but unlike the earlier screenings, there are at least some passionate responses.

In Competition

  • Of Gods and Men French director Xavier Beauvoi's film about monks who are confronted by fundamentalists is one such film. Aaron Hillis at Moving Pictures, calls the film "overly pious and not much else."  But Katie Muir at The Times Online says "It is the most intensely passionate film at Cannes so far this year."  Mike D'Angelo of The AV Club comes up in the middle, suggesting "Of Gods & Men never sets a foot wrong, but neither does it challenge the viewer to feel anything but passive admiration."
  • Route Irish Ken Loach's Iraq war film was a late addition to the competition.  Screen Daily says the thriller "could be Loach’s most commercially accessible film to date"  And Time Out London says "It’s an uneven film...but it’s a necessary and energetic work"
  • Poetry Lee Chang-dong, director of Secret Sunshine, directs this film about an old woman's discovery of poetry.  Screen Daily considers the Sirkian influence, calling the film "an intelligent melodrama about a sensitive woman in a bullying male world." Time Out London dubs the film "undoubtedly one of the best films in this year’s official competition."  But the AV Club is a little less convinced saying the film "works beautifully on a moment-to-moment basis but falters badly when the time comes to assemble its various vivid elements into a coherent, satisfying whole."
  • My Joy This film about a lost trucker who becomes part of a brutal Russian village has Xan Brooks of The Guardian among its fans. "My Joy has me riveted" he writes.  Matt Noller of The House Next Door enjoyed it until the film "takes a bizarre turn at around the one-hour mark and doesn't look back." Whatever happens at the one-hour mark, it seems to have soured other critics as well, including The AV Club's Mike D'Angelo.
Special Screening

  • Carlos Oliver Assayas' epic tale of the life of Carlos the Jackal is being called "an impressive work," by the L.A. Times.  Todd McCarthy of IndieWire says "It’s an astonishing film," as he, like other critics compares it favorably to Soderberg's CheThe New York Times' Manohla Dargis is unsure how she feels on the film, but says of the director "Mr. Olivier, who appeared with his glamorous cast at the premiere, keeps you watching."



the thing i don't understand about Carlos is WHY make a movie that's 5 1/2 hours long. Shouldn't art play for its medium. Why wasn't it a miniseries?

I can't imagine sitting through it even though I love Assayas's work.

adelutza said...

It is a miniseries and apparently it will start playing on TV this week in France. And also apparently it will play in miniseries form on video on demand after it opens in US. And also there will be a 2.5 hour movie. Complicated.

Volvagia said...

Well, Abel Gance made a 5 1/2 hour movie in the Twenties and Greed started even longer. But those were before TV. Heimat and The Kingdom were both aired as miniseries deals on TV first. Carlos as a miniseries makes a sort of sense.

Robert said...

Of all the unusually long movies I've seen (and I've seen some), the only one that didn't lend itself to being a miniseries was the 7 1/2 hour Satantango (though if each shot was 2 minutes instead of 20 minutes, it probably would have clocked in at under 3 hours).

In a way though I feel like excessively long movies do have a place, just not a practical one. They're like fashion showpieces that no one will ever wear but are made for pure chutzpah.

Burning Reels said...

I don't mind having a miniseries and an edited film (as Bergman did with a couple of his classics) - hopefully the work merits such an honour.

The only problem is when it comes to awards - it becomes a little messy (if good enough).