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Cannes Preview: Von Trier's Romantic Melancholia, Pitt & Penn, Miss Bala & Habemus Papam

by Sophia Savage
April 18, 2011 5:29 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood


- Melancholia is the name of Lars von Trier's Cannes-bound film, which features a huge planet that dooms Earth. Von Trier tells Empire that he "liked the idea of being 'swallowed' by Melancholia. I thought that was quite nice. And then I read today that that's actually one of the virtues of romanticism – willingly being purified by dying. In fact, the film contains maybe more of the original idea of romanticism. I'm just saying that a lot of films today, their interpretation of romanticism is... quite boring, I think.” As to how the director--who is legendary for abusing actors from Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist) and Bjork (Dancer in the Dark) to Nicole Kidman (Dogville)--treated star Kirsten Dunst [pictured], he adds: “I think that Kirsten got off FAR too easy. FAR too easy. She was not dragged through any masturbation. She had a very smooth ride, I would say. But she did an extremely good job.”

Cannes updates and trailers after the jump.

Thompson on Hollywood


- The Guardian celebrates Brad Pitt and Sean Penn appearance together in Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life "a classic piece of casting" as both men are "undisputed masters of their game." While their rise to stardom and avoidance of pitfalls show similar milestones, Penn is considered more the master thespian and Pitt the hunk heartthrob, but both have "perfected the art of keeping mainstream crowds streaming into the multiplexes while also indulging their artistic passions." While The Guardian can't quite define the formula for both Pitt and Penn's success (luck as well as talent are involved), they conclude that -- as Pitt's character says in The Tree of Life trailer: "It takes fierce will to get ahead in this world."

Thompson on Hollywood


- Gerardo Naranjo's Mexican film Miss Bala, playing in Un Certain Regard, will be released in Mexico in September by Twentieth Century Fox. The film was produced by Fox Internacional and Canana Films, which is owned by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, friends and co-stars (in 2001's career-kickstarter Y Tu Mamá También). They also produced Luna's directorial debut, Abel (at Cannes 2010), and served as executive producers on Cary Fukunaga's (Jane Eyre) stunning Sin Nombre. The story's heroine fights for her beauty pageant dreams amidst's Mexico's dominant crime. Naranjo's Drama/Mex (also produced by Canana) screened at Cannes in 2006 during the Critics Week . Miss Bala trailer is below.

- Italian master auteur and frequent Cannes habitue Nanni Moretti's Italy/France co-production, Habemus Papam, will play in Competition at Cannes. We can assume this is not The Borgias: the writer-director's story is about the relationship between a newly elected pope who is less than ecstatic about his new ascendance and the psychiatrist called in to help him. Sounds like The King's Speech meets Angels & Demons.

MISS BALA from Miss Bala on Vimeo.


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