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Cannes Review: Emmanuelle Seigner A Raucous Revelation In Polanski’s Otherwise Stagy, Pointless ‘Venus In Fur’

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 25, 2013 1:04 PM
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  • 118 Comments
Ever had the feeling, when the credits roll and the lights go up, that you’ve been watching a completely different film to everyone else? Welcome to our morning, which was spent at a screening of the last Cannes 2013 competition film, Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the David Ives broadway play “Venus in Fur.”

Cannes Review: Droll, Louche & Languidly Playful 'Only Lovers Left Alive' Is Jarmusch At His Most Enjoyable & Accessible

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 24, 2013 6:52 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Only Lovers Left Alive, Tilda Swinton
From the very first opening titles, written in a Germanic font that immediately conjures everything from “Triumph of the Will” to images of big-busted ladies screaming in campy close-up in 1970s cheapie horrors (it may be the only time in Cannes that a film got a big laugh for a typeface) it’s perfectly clear that the Jim Jarmusch in whose company we’re about to spend a couple of hours is not the wilfully obscure surrealist of “The Limits of Control,” nor the considered, melancholic philosopher behind “Dead Man,” nor even the oddball ragtag troubadour of “Down By Law." In fact, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” Jarmusch’s take on the vampire myth starring recent muse Tilda Swinton and Tom “fast becoming everyone’s favorite actor” Hiddleston, finds the maverick filmmaker on playful, referential and mischievous form with hugely enjoyable, if not exactly weighty or important, results.

Cannes Review: J.C. Chandor Puts Robert Redford Through Watery Hell In Bruising, Formally Rigorous 'All Is Lost'

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 24, 2013 4:31 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Robert Redford, All Is Lost
It almost feels like JC Chandor is showing off. In what is only his second feature film, after the chalk-and-cheese financial collapse movie “Margin Call," he sets himself a kind of exercise in filmmaking rigor, in the bare-bones, one-man survival-at-sea story “All Is Lost” and delivers. From the strong but talky, pointing-at-screens-spouting-financial-mumbo-jumbo of his debut, it’s initially hard to see how we could have predicted the filmmaker’s ability to deliver a much more visceral, physically gruelling, dialogue-free experience. But hindsight is 20/20 and what both movies share is an almost documentary-like immediacy to the material, and a hugely confident filmmaking style, unobstrusive and economical, that belies Chandor’s relative inexperience.

5 Things You'll Learn From 'Jodorowsky's Dune' From Nicolas Winding Refn's Thoughts, The Original Cast & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 24, 2013 11:40 AM
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  • 4 Comments
The fact that Alejandro Jodorowsky -- coming off the double whammy of 1970s cult favorite mind benders "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain" -- even got near bringing Frank Hebert's "Dune" to the big screen perhaps speaks to the wackiness of the 1970s movie world. That it actually got as far as it did, hiring an insane set of collaborators, an equally ambitious cast and actually reaching the stage where sets were going to be built, its even more miraculous. But alas, it fell apart and has become one of the great unmade movie stories in cinema history. The mind still reels at what it could have resulted in, but the new documentary "Jodorowsky's Dune" gives a pretty good insight into what could have been a game changing sci-fi epic.

Cannes: New Clip From ‘The Immigrant’; James Gray Talks Title Changes, Working With Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard & More

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 24, 2013 10:35 AM
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  • 6 Comments
James Gray, Marion Cotillard, Cannes
James Gray’s long-awaited period drama, “The Immigrant,” finally screened in Cannes early this morning. Starring the excellent cast of Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner, “The Immigrant” centers on a conniving pimp (Phoenix) who manipulates a destitute Polish immigrant (Cotillard) into a life of prostitution. Saddled with a sick sister, she works to pay for her medicine and her dismal life seems hopeless until a curious magician (Renner) enters her life.

Cannes Review: James Gray’s Careful, Poised 'The Immigrant' Builds Slowly To A Resonant Climax

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 24, 2013 6:46 AM
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  • 18 Comments
A strangely chimeric movie, that only reveals its truest colors in its closing moments, James Gray’s “The Immigrant” which screened In Competition this morning in Cannes is a meticulous reframing of the director’s familiar themes and concerns that mostly lived up to our high expectations, while never bursting their bounds the way we might have dared to hope. It’s a beautifully shot film marked by deeply felt performances from its leads, that will play to those attuned to the loveliness of Gray’s minor-key redemption stories, but is unlikely to win new converts among the impatient or those whose expectation of a period drama is something more traditionally epic and grandiose.

Cannes Review: Masterful ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ Is The Sublime Story Of A Transformative Relationship

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 23, 2013 7:18 PM
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  • 17 Comments
Why do we watch movies? No, really, why is it? As close an answer as we’ve ever come to for our own, fairly evident obsession with what we consider the greatest storytelling medium humankind has ever developed, is well, that life is short. Bear with us a second on this: basically to submerge yourself in a story well-told is a way to live out other lives within your own, and through those complex and magical processes of identification, to breathe and dream and feel things that your own short span might otherwise never afford you.

Watch: Cannes Clips Including 'Zulu' With Orlando Bloom & Forest Whitaker, Claire Denis' 'Bastards,' Jia Zhangke's 'A Touch of Sin' & More

  • By Edward Davis
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  • May 23, 2013 6:31 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Zulu, Orlando Bloom
To the outsider, the Cannes Film Festival can be a nebulous thing. Even if you know the filmmaker or the cast, sometimes you need more context than a review to give you a sort of firmer grasp of the shape, texture and tone of a movie. Clips from the festival are landing left and right, so we thought we'd grab a smattering and ground you a little deeper than some of the reviews and pictures your may or may not have seen. So here we go.

Cannes: Alexander Payne May Do His Sci-Fi Film Soon; Bruce Dern Calls Him One Of 6 Directing Geniuses

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 23, 2013 5:18 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Alexander Payne, Dern, Cast, Nebraska
This morning, Alexander Payne's black and white, father/son roadtrip film, "Nebraska," debuted in Cannes. Starring the unlikely trio of Bruce Dern, comedian Will Forte and Stacy Keach, “Nebraska” centers on a poor old man (Dern) living in Montana who repeatedly escapes from his house to try to go to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his increasing dementia, his family debates putting him into a nursing home -- until one of his two sons (Forte) finally offers to take his father by car, even as he realizes the futility of it all. It’s a comedy, and while our reviewer didn’t necessarily love it, she called it a “small-scale quixotic adventure about the importance of dreams,” and coming from Alexander Payne it's probably worth giving a shot, even if it didn't surprise us as much as we’d like.

5 Things You Can Expect From Nicolas Winding Refn's Polarizing, Moody & Brutal 'Only God Forgives'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 23, 2013 12:09 PM
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  • 13 Comments
Only God Forgives, Gosling
As you may have heard by now, the reception for Nicolas Winding Refn's latest "Only God Forgives" was mixed at the Cannes Film Festival, with a smattering of boos mixed in with applause during the press screening on Wednesday morning. Our review by Jessica Kiang didn't find much substance beyond the gorgeous stylization, but I would beg to differ that there is much more going on than just a twisted, Oedipal, coming-of-age story (of sorts). I would wager that beneath the slick surface is a story about breaking a cycle of violence...and that's all I can really write about it, without spoiling things further.

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