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Cannes Virgin Diary 2: Wet Fest Yields Best So Far, 'Amour'

Festivals
by Ryan Lattanzio
May 22, 2012 7:49 AM
4 Comments
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Thierry Fremaux at Cannes Film Festival
Getty Images Thierry Fremaux at Cannes Film Festival

A storm blew through the city Sunday, and it is still cool and rainy. By the grace of whatever, I have yet to catch a cold. The dreary weather reminds me of San Francisco, so maybe I should see it as an antidote to my homesickness, which is beginning to settle in. I thought the rain would keep people from queuing up en masse for early morning screenings but, nope, I was wrong.

Sunday I was, no exaggeration, the last person admitted to Michael Haneke's "Amour" at the 8:30 a.m. screening. I think I would've had a meltdown if I didn't get in. This was my most anticipated film of the festival and, so far, it is the best thing I have seen in the main competition. I walked out of the theater a complete wreck. I didn't know Michael Haneke was capable of bringing out these feelings.

I was less thrilled about Monday's screening of "Vous n'avez rien encore vu," Alain Resnais' latest self-indulgent magnum opus, which was just boring. It went over my head. And there was too much of Sabine Azema. Also, since coming to Cannes, I have only had about four or five hours of sleep a night.

The life of the movie magpie seeing four or five films a day forbids sleep, and I'd rather have seen a lot of movies than return home well-rested. There is often no time between screenings, only a brief window of a moment where I can put down a croissant ou deux. Cannes is a learning experience, and one thing I have learned to keep in mind for next year is that a steady diet of free croissants and espresso does not do the body good. It's cheesy to say, but the films are my only source of nourishment.

I love how some members of the press leave a film a couple minutes early to catch the next screening. They may have seen every film in the competition, but not the last shots. A rabble filed out of "Amour" early the other morning, and they missed the last couple scenes, which are really crucial to the film and some of the best Haneke has ever done.

Right now, I've got a writer's block to chisel away at. Deadlines loom and there's less than week left in the festival, and I already feel like I've been less productive than I should be. My family is not going to be happy when I return home with no pictures. I'd rather live in the moment here than try and preserve it, plus the gray skies and soaked sidewalks are not exactly picturesque.

4 Comments

  • Hilary Hart | May 23, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    these reports convey a real sense of the Cannes first-timer experience

  • linda | May 23, 2012 2:22 PMReply

    Like to see more reviews & less about food & sleep!

  • Jesse | May 22, 2012 9:09 PMReply

    Sorry to hear about Vous n'avez rien..., probably my most anticipated film coming out of this festival (though Amour is now creeping up the list); I keep finding myself watching the lovely trailer over and over. But then, I rather enjoy Resnais in Life is a Bed of Roses mode, as this also seems to be.

  • Meredith Brody | May 22, 2012 4:32 PMReply

    Looking forward to reading more of your Cannes adventures!

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