I admit my trip to Cannes was brief, and hence my survey of the films far from comprehensive – I missed as-yet-to screen anticipated films such as Lee Chang-Dong’s “Poetry,” Sergei Loznitsa’s “My Joy” and Apichatpong Weeresathakul’s “Uncle Boonmee who can’t recall his past lives” and, on the front end, Cristi Puiu’s “Aurora” and Manoel de Oliveira’s “The Strange Case of Angelika” – but unless there is really a drastic turnaround in the fest’s latter days, the 63rd Cannes was largely a bust.
The Cannes Competition was in a sorry state, and I’m not the first person to suggest that this year’s programmers should have exchanged most of the titles in the Competition with the far more interesting Un Certain Regard. I don’t care what you say about the auteur theory, but flat-out bad films – Takeshi Kitano’s “Outrage,” for example – don’t belong.
Here’s a nifty list of the films I saw in Cannes, partitioned into easily identifiable categories of appreciation (and dislike):
“Tuesday, After Christmas” (Radu Muntean) - Adultery, Romanian-style: Long takes; characters caught in excruciatingly difficult circumstances; a curious use of temporality, and like "4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days," one painfully uncomfortable family party.
“Carancho” (Pablo Trapero) - Engaging nihilistic neo-noir from Argentine New Waver about ambulance chasing lawyer trying to escape the perils of his profession. Car accidents and bloody bruisings galore. I can already see the Soderbergh remake.
Good, but not great:
Okay, but frankly disappointing:
“Certified Copy” (Abbas Kiarostami)
“I With I Knew” (Jia Zhang-ke)
“Biutiful” (Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu) - a link to my review at IFC.com
“A Screaming Man” (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
“Cleveland vs. Wall Street” (Jean-Stephane Bron) - a link to my report at WSJ.com
“Kaboom” (Gregg Araki) - a link to my review at IFC.com
Okay, but pretty lame when you think about it:
“Outrage” (Takeshi Kitano)