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Thompson on Hollywood

Winding Refn Talks 'Only God Forgives': Cannes Press Conference, Review Roundup

"Only God Forgives" was unveiled Wednesday morning to the most divisive response at the Cannes festival thus far, and even with the smattering of boos and walkouts we’d hazard a guess that Nicolas Winding Refn couldn’t be more delighted by the reception. As empty, soulless, frenziedly art-directed viewing experiences go, "Only God Forgives" is one of the better examples. At the press conference following the screening, the Danish filmmaker expounded on his ultra-violent, hyper-stylized follow-up to "Drive," which features dismemberments, torture, eye gouging, Kristin Scott Thomas as a trashy, bestial, peroxide-wigged mother who calls her son’s female companion a “cum dumpster” and Gosling as a vaguely sketched mean machine operating in a seedy Thai underworld who makes the "Driver" look like a motormouth.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 22, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes Fest Diary: Le Weekend, from Compelling 'Jimmy P.' to Toback's Doc and 'Jodorowsky's Dune'

It was a weird, wooly and wet weekend in Cannes. And it began with what has to be one of the stranger ideas ever put forward for a film: “Jimmy P.: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian” from Arnaud Desplechin (the wonderful “A Christmas Tale”). Based on a book by French anthropologist/psychotherapist George Deveraux, it’s the more or less true story of a Native American WWII vet, played by Benicio del Toro, who winds up in a military hospital suffering from post-war injuries, real or imagined. When the staff decides the problems are not physical, but don’t have a grasp on the potential mental issues an Indian might face, they call in Deveraux, who is also an expert in Native American culture.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 21, 2013 10:46 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes: First Clip from 'Max Rose,' Marking Jerry Lewis' Return to Movies After 18 Years (VIDEO)

Check out this first clip from writer-director Daniel Noah's "Max Rose," which premieres at Cannes on May 23 and marks the big-screen return of legendary comedian Jerry Lewis. The film centers on an octogenarian jazz pianist (Lewis) who discovers an unsettling secret upon his wife's death.
  • By Beth Hanna
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  • May 21, 2013 1:27 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Cannes Film Fest Diary 3: Seduced by 'The Past,' Abandoned by a Brazilian Beach Bikini Party

At 8:30am Friday morning, I got it. What Cannes is truly all about. You get something in theory, and then there’s the moment you get it through experience. Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past” had just begun, and I thought back to what a friend said was the real reason to attend Cannes: because you see the best films in the world. Literally, according to one of the money men in James Toback’s new documentary about Cannes, “Seduced and Abandoned” – more on that later – half of the year’s supply of big films debuts at the festival. Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign film with his last, “A Separation,” and as the new film began, the audience just relaxed into their seats as the film, with its first shot, took over. It’s a wonderful feeling when you realize you are in very, very, very good hands.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 20, 2013 11:11 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Cannes: Asghar Farhadi Talks Fest Favorite 'The Past,' Starring Actress Winner Berenice Bejo

In what’s turning out to be a very strong year for the Cannes Competition, it’s hard to pick a front-runner at the festival’s midway point. As many critics rate the chances of Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s “Like Father, Like Son” (not least because of a family-ties dynamic many assume will appeal to Jury president Steven Spielberg’s sensibilities), they are also looking at previous Cannes winners the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis." And this is before the Competition entries from Steven Soderbergh, Nicolas Winding Refn, Paolo Sorrentino, Alexander Payne, Roman Polanski and Jim Jarmusch have even screened. But one man sure to be in the fray for the Palme d’Or this weekend is Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi with “The Past.”
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 20, 2013 3:34 PM
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As Restored 'Cleopatra' Hits the Cannes Croisette, Film Critics Look Back at the 'Most Notorious Epic Ever' (TRAILER)

Joseph L. Manciewicz's four-plus-hour epic "Cleopatra," celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, screens on the Croisette May 21 in a newly restored print. The restoration will expand worldwide the next day, May 22, for a six-day run in select theater chains, and film journalists look back on one of the most tumultuous epic productions ever.
  • By Beth Hanna and Ryan Lattanzio
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  • May 20, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Cannes First Look: Paul Haggis Talks 'Third Person,' starring Neeson, Wilde, Franco, Kunis

Paul Haggis has been quiet since his last outing as writer-director, 2010’s “The Next Three Days,” with only a credit on the videogame "Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" to fill in the gap between then and now. But he turned up in Cannes to beat the publicity drum for "Third Person," a multi-stranded relationship drama he shot last fall in Paris, Rome and Cinecitta Studios.
  • By Matt Mueller
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  • May 20, 2013 12:59 PM
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Cannes Review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Is Vintage Coens

There is a moment in “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the new Coen brothers film that stormed the Palais Saturday, when the owner of Manhattan's Gaslight club circa 1961 asks Davis what he thinks of the four Irish sweater-clad singers performing. Davis, a struggling folk singer with an edge, ponders the question. “I like the sweaters,” he says.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 19, 2013 8:41 PM
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Cannes: Coens Make A Splash with 'Inside Llewyn Davis' (TRAILER)

The Coens made a splash Saturday night with the gala premiere of "Inside Llewyn Davis." The film, with a stunning awards-worthy performance by Oscar Isaac, follows a singer/-songwriter as he attempts to make a go of it in the burgeoning folk music scene of New York's Greenwich Village in the early '60s. Backed by upbeat reviews, distributor CBS Films, producer Scott Rudin and Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz will make an awards push for the film (here's Variety, Indiewire, THR, Awards Daily).
  • By Brian Brooks
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  • May 19, 2013 12:45 PM
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Cannes Fest Diary 2: Dull Coppola, Brilliant 'A Touch of Sin'

I began the search for a room in Cannes quite late. I checked hotels.com, home to “Cheap Hotels, Discounts, Hotel Deals and Offers,” which is why I was a bit taken aback when my first offer was for a week at the Carlton for $52,000. What I wound up with was not quite the Carlton; it’s more of a bed with walls adjacent, a former maid’s quarters located on the ground floor of a very large complex; any resemblance to a prison cell, known or unknown, is entirely a coincidence.
  • By Tom Christie
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  • May 18, 2013 12:46 PM
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  • 3 Comments

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