“Dear Thierry, dear Gilles Jacob, dear Cannes Film Festival,
Thank you for giving us the responsibility of choosing and celebrating films from a very powerful Certain Regard selection 2013.
It is a great honor for us, and the selection has been outstanding in many ways.
One of the finest achievements in filmmaking is to create unforgettable moments - moments that stay with us - as a collective memory - as a collective mirror of our existence.
Clay figures, extreme beauty, violence, homosexual blow jobs, systematic humiliation of the human kind, Léa Seydoux’s legs, great Brando imitations are just some of the unique images that will follow us for a while.
This selection was insistingly unsentimental, and still poetic. It was political, highly original, sometimes disturbing, diverse and first of all, very often - unforgettable.
I once again thank you Thierry, for sharing such a fine extract of the best movies around, with all of us.”
The jury's Un Certain Regard awards are:
Chicago critic Barbara Scharres reviewed "The Missing Picture" at RogerEbert.com; here's an excerpt:
PRIZE OF UN CERTAIN REGARD
THE MISSING PICTURE by Rithy PANH
OMAR by Hany ABU-ASSAD
Alain GUIRAUDIE for STRANGER BY THE LAKE
A CERTAIN TALENT PRIZE
For the ensemble cast of LA JAULA DE ORO by Diego QUEMADA-DIEZ
FRUITVALE STATION by Ryan COOGLER
The first shot of “The Missing Picture” depicts a great pile of 35mm film heaped on a concrete floor. The deteriorating footage is symbolic of the lost, fragmented or hidden images of actions that willfully destroyed a nation. The filmmaker seeks specific evidence of mass murder.
Utilizing small, painted clay figures, the film presents the home village of Panh’s childhood before the Khmer Rouge came to power. The dollhouse-sized markets, schools, and rice paddies soon give away to other scenes of black-clad clay prisoners in the work camp where, as Panh narrates, he was taken with his family at the age of thirteen.
To his own powerful memory-driven narration, Panh alternates increasingly elaborate scenes of his clay figures in the camp environment with sequences of archival footage or those in which his cartoon-like figures are juxtaposed against filmic backgrounds. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
The figures are static, and as intricately formed as they are and as elaborately staged, they don’t move, so their scenes are static. The juxtaposition is most effective when they have something to do: In the foreground of the frame, a little clay cameraman aims his camera at the dictator Pol Pot, seen in archival Khmer Rouge footage in the background, and the film’s merging of memory and historical record comes to life.