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Tidbits from Cannes 2009. Part I.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn May 28, 2009 at 1:28AM

Tidbits from Cannes 2009. Part I.

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 first in a series of posts recapping my experience.

The 3-D glasses handed out for viewing 'Up' at Cannes.

Cannes's opening night film, Up, predictably left no one dissatisfied. As opening night films go, this one was a rare crowd-pleaser. I reviewed it for Moving Pictures:

Complex by way of simplicity, the latest narrative marvel from the immaculate factory of Pixar Animation Studios is the ideal choice to open the Cannes Film Festival. Considering its palatial façade as a beacon to cinema in all its capacities, Cannes can easily rely on Up to illustrate the range of pleasures associated with the art form (unlike previous opening night offenders such as Blindness and The Da Vinci Code). Guided by an insightful screenplay co-written by director Peter Docter (Monsters, Inc.), the movie wraps a sensational magic realism around authentic characters. That remarkable duality has long served as the Pixar touch. While hardly perfect, Up remains utterly satisfying on the level of the smart entertainment expected of its creators.

Read the rest of the review here.

The next day, I caught Francis Ford Coppola's latest independent effort, Tetro, which wound up as the opening film of the festival's Directors Fortnight sidebar. While not blown away by it, I do think there's plenty admire about this expressive, quasi-autobiographic family drama.

From my indieWIRE review:

Neither complete misfire nor triumphant return to form, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tetro” works as a competent family drama right up until the messy final act. If a first-time filmmaker had directed this stylish black-and-white-and-sometimes-color melodrama, it might gain some notice for suggesting great things to come. Instead, on its own terms, the movie is only a mildly interesting entry in Coppola’s thirty-plus years of work.

Read the rest of the review here.

After the screening, Coppola showed up for a Q&A. In the following clip, he explains why the movie wound up in the festival's sidebar:

Here's my report on the Q&A for The Wrap.

This article is related to: New Releases, Independent Cinema, New Media