Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cannes 2015 Logbook: Days 3,4,5 and 6

So I've decided to condense a couple of days into one post to make a bigger entry, and to give myself time to write up all the reviews I want to write too. As you may have noticed, I put up my review of Our Little Sister or Umimachi Diary up this morning, the film I mentioned seeing on Day 2 of my logbook. I'll leave a link to that post and the review here, and here if you haven't already seen them.

So this year I've taken an altogether more relaxed approach to the festival both for reasons of convenience and just because I know I have more time here this year and want some time to relax and appreciate the glorious weather before the thunder storms arrive at the end of the week! Therefore, admittedly, a lot of time this weekend was devoted to relaxing on the beach and soaking up some sunshine before screenings in the afternoon or evening. I finally got around to seeing Emmanuelle Bercot's opening film, Standing Tall, a film about a young delinquent and his journey to become a better person. While it might sound like pretty heavy subject matter, it was quite funny in parts and I very much enjoyed it. I also saw a film in the Un Certain Regard category. Un Certain Regard is a selection of films that runs parallel to the official selection during the festival every year and is always full of  interesting stuff. On day 4 I got to see a Naomi Kawase's new film An, which is a part of Un Certain Regard category. It was a really beautiful film, I didn't go in expecting very much but it was extremely moving and I really hope it does well. Naomi Kawase had a really strong entry in last year's official selection with Still the Water, but honestly I feel this year's film topped even that.

On Sunday I saw what has perhaps been my favourite film at Cannes this year so far, Lorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster. With a stellar cast featuring the likes of Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, and John C. Reilly it's set in a future dystopia in which single people are arrested and taken to a hotel in which they are given 45 days to find a partner/soul mate before they are turned into an animal of their choice. To escape this fate, David escapes to the woods where he meets 'The Loners', a resistance group who spend their solitary lives hunting animals to survive in the forest, and killing couples from the hotel. It sounds odd, and it is, but I I thought it was a really original concept and that it worked really well.

Yesterday I saw Kenji Mizoguchi's 1939 Zangiku Monogatari, or The story of the Last Chrysanthemums about the son of a famous kabuki who tries to follow in his father's footsteps. I didn't enjoy this as much, nor did I much care for StĂ©phane BrizĂ©'s The Measure of a Man. It's a film in competition about a man who gets a job as a security guard in a supermarket after being unemployed for 18 months and is faced with a moral dilemma when he is forced to rat out his colleagues. It wasn't a bad film, it was just a bit bland and underwhelming after the films I've already seen.

The last film I saw was Asif Kapadia's haunting documentary about Amy Winehouse. It was so powerful. It was one of the films I was most looking forward to seeing and it did not disappoint. I'll hopefully be putting reviews up for some of these films soon, so keep checking back for updates!