The Playlist

Cannes Review: Worthy Medieval Parable 'Michael Kohlhaas' Nowhere Near Sum Of Impressive Parts

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 27, 2013 12:35 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Mads Mikkelsen, MICHAEL KOHLHAAS BY ARNAUD DES PALLIÈRES
Itself loosely based on a true story, the 19th century novella by Heinrich von Kleist, “Michael Kohlhaas," has been adapted several times for screen, notably by Volker Schlöndorff in 1969, even spawning “The Jack Bull," a pretty good HBO restaging starring Johns Cusack and Goodman, in 1999. But with Schlöndorff himself telling us in an interview that he considered his version his "biggest failure” it would have seemed that there was still room for the definitive, high-profile, straight-up adaptation. And on paper, that’s what Arnaud de Pallières’ Cannes competition entrant “Michael Kohlhaas” was meant to be -- just check out its impeccable line-up of European stars-with-major-arthouse-appeal: Mads Mikkelsen (last year’s Cannes Best Actor for “The Hunt”), Bruno Ganz (whose sclerotic Hitler in “Downfall” spawned its own remarkably resilient meme) and Denis Lavant (coming off his chameleonic performance in the critically worshipped “Holy Motors”).

Cannes 2013: 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Wins Top Palme d'Or Award; Coen Brothers Take Runner-Up Prize

  • By The Playlist
  • |
  • May 26, 2013 1:50 PM
  • |
  • 14 Comments
Abdellatif Kechiche's 'Blue is the Warmest Color', Lea Seydoux
Ten days or so of the annual cinephile orgy that is the Cannes Film Festival draws to a close today, and Steven Spielberg and his jury have decided which movies were the best of heap on the Croisette. It was an interesting year at Cannes in 2013, with American films putting forth a strong showing in all categories, while auteurs ranging from Claire Denis to Jim Jarmusch to Roman Polanski and more all brought their latest works.

Cannes: Tilda Swinton Suggests ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ Could Be A Documentary For The Outsiders Of The World; Jim Jarmusch Won’t Analyze This

  • By Rodrigo Perez
  • |
  • May 25, 2013 3:12 PM
  • |
  • 2 Comments
Only lovers lef Alive, Cannes
The 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival is quickly coming to a close. In fact the Un Certain Regard winners were just announced a short while ago (you can catch up with them right here). This year’s line-up, unlike years past, positioned a lot of heavyweights near the end of the festival, filmmakers like Roman Polanski, whose “Venus In Fur” screened today, and Jim Jarmusch, whose deadpan, odd and deeply enjoyable vampire movie “Only Lovers Left Alive” screened last night (you can read our review right here).

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

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 25, 2013 1:04 PM
  • |
  • 117 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
  • |
  • May 24, 2013 6:52 PM
  • |
  • 10 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
  • |
  • May 24, 2013 4:31 PM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • May 24, 2013 11:40 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • May 24, 2013 10:35 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • May 24, 2013 6:46 AM
  • |
  • 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
  • |
  • May 23, 2013 7:18 PM
  • |
  • 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.

Email Updates

Recent Comments