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Cannes Un Certain Regard Awards: 'Missing Picture,' 'Omar,' 'Stranger by the Lake,' 'Fruitvale Station'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 25, 2013 at 3:03PM

The Cannes sidebar Un Certain Regard 2013 presented in competition 17 films from 15 different countries, six of which were first films. Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" opened the program out of competition. The jury led by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg ("The Hunt") included actresses Zhang Ziyi (China) and Ludivine Sagnier (France) as well as Ilda Santiago, the Head of Festival do Rio, and Enrique Gonzalez Macho, the Spanish producer, distributor, exhibitor.
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"The Missing Picture."
"The Missing Picture."

The Cannes sidebar Un Certain Regard 2013 presented in competition 17 films from 15 different countries, six of which were first films. Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" opened the program out of competition. The jury led by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg ("The Hunt") included actresses Zhang Ziyi (China) and Ludivine Sagnier (France) as well as Ilda Santiago, the Head of Festival do Rio, and Enrique Gonzalez Macho, the Spanish producer, distributor, exhibitor.

Vinterberg's letter is below:

“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.”

                                                                              Thomas VINTERBERG

The jury's Un Certain Regard awards are:

PRIZE OF UN CERTAIN REGARD

                      THE MISSING PICTURE by Rithy PANH

 JURY PRIZE

                      OMAR by Hany ABU-ASSAD

 DIRECTING PRIZE

Alain GUIRAUDIE for STRANGER BY THE LAKE

 A CERTAIN TALENT PRIZE

                      For the ensemble cast of LA JAULA DE ORO by Diego QUEMADA-DIEZ

 AVENIR PRIZE

                      FRUITVALE STATION by Ryan COOGLER      

Chicago critic Barbara Scharres reviewed "The Missing Picture" at RogerEbert.com; here's an excerpt:

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.


This article is related to: Cannes Film Festival, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.