Tidbits from Cannes. Part III.

by Eric Kohn
June 1, 2009 12:38 PM
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I covered the Cannes Film Festival this year for several outlets, giving me the opportunity to record my thoughts on pretty much everything I encountered there. Here’s the third in a series of posts recapping my experience.

I wasn't crazy about Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee's recreation of the events surrounding the seminal music festival:

Considering the iconic event at its center, the most surprising aspect of “Taking Woodstock” lies with the decision to make it into a rather flat comedy. Even with the ever-versatile Ang Lee behind the camera, this messy historical fiction plays like a two hour “Saturday Night Live” sketch, and not a very good one, either.

Of course, that didn't stop me from attending the party. Read more here.

Other Cannes entries that didn't blow me away: Agora, I Love You Phillip Morris, Broken Embraces.

Fortunately, I was able to console myself with Fish Tank, Go Get Some Rosemary and The White Ribbon.

Oh, and then there was Drag Me to Hell, Humpday, Dogtooth and Visage.

Beyond providing a network of connections for understanding the strengths of Cannes 2009, this list should offer a sense for the sheer rush of cinematic energy one can experience in such an environment. Cannes, as Eugene Hernandez put it, "matters because cinema matters." And it doesn't let you forget that salient point. Even though I found flaws in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Enter the Void, there was something ultimately gratifying about seeing them emerge at ground zero for the moviegoing public. In my wrap up for indieWIRE, I emphasized the resonance of certain key images from the program.

To hear more about the Cannes experience from my perspective, check out this installment of Blog Talk Radio (I'm in the final third), whose hosts were kind enough to invite me on and offer some reactions to this year's lineup.

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