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End Times: Violence and Destruction at Cannes 2013

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 9, 2013 9:15 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There's nothing like the world's most prestigious film festival to take the pulse of our collective consciousness. And if you look closely at this year's films, the results are downright brutal, with themes of violence, collapse and destruction dominating at least half of this year's competition films, most notably Nicholas Winding Refn's latest study in human cruelty and quasi-redemption, "Only God Forgives," and Takashi Miike's "Shields of Straw," a violent story of vigilante justice,

Cannes Good-Buys? Should Indie filmmakers be worried about distribution landscape

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 29, 2012 2:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
File this post under the politics of filmmaking (not film and politics). Looking at the acquisition landscape after Cannes got me thinking: Should filmmakers be worried? Cannes is never the business hotbed that is Sundance, but this year's number of purchases seemed to be muted. Even IFC Films, perennially the most active buyer in Cannes, only purchased four films (Wheatley's "Sightseers," Loach's "The Angel's Share," Im Sang Soo's "The Taste of Money," Kiaostami's "Like Someone in Love") as of today, when past years saw the theatrical-and-VOD distrib pick up more than half a dozen movies. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't seen Magnolia pick up anything, which means either 1) there were slim pickings at the festival, or 2) the market is downscaling once again.

Economic Crisis Looms Large and Small in Cannes Films

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 20, 2012 7:45 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Watch out for the trend pieces: By the end of the Cannes Film Festival, mark my words, people will be talking about the global economic meltdown as thematized by Cannes' top cinematic offerings. While the festival is only in its first few days, it's not hard to find a latent sense of economy strife on display, as I have reported for the Wall Street Journal Online.

Trash Docs Dump on Cannes: Filmmakers Talk Pollution at French Fest

  • By Anthony Kaufman
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  • May 18, 2012 3:58 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Is it a coincidence that two new documentaries premiering in Cannes both take on issues of waste and pollution? While one is micro (Fatih Akin's "Polluting Paradise," which premiered today) and the other is macro (British filmmaker Candida Brady's "Trashed," premiering next Tuesday), taken together, the films mark the highest profile showings of social issue docs focusing on the way trash is ruining the planet and our personal health. For a post I did for the Wall Street Journal Online "Talking Trash at Cannes," the filmmakers spoke about what drove them to make their films and what they hope to achieve with them.

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