14th May2016

Cannes Film Festival (Film)

by timbaros

740f4da215cd9647789997805f7c8867Where will the film business movers and shakers be from May 11th – May 22nd? In Cannes at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival. Anybody who is anybody in the film business will be spending at least one night in five star hotels, in limosines, and on the red carpets to the many premieres promoting their latest film. And this year, like all other years, the star wattage is turned on extra high. Offerings from Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and George Clooney prove that this year’s festival is no Sundance – it’s better and bigger, warmer, and more expensive, with lots more sun and skin!


The opening night film of the festival is Woody Allen’s 47th – ‘Café Society.’ It’s a romantic comedy-drama (of course) about a young man who arrives in 1930’s Hollywood and gets swept into the whole scene. Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively star.


‘BGF’ is Steven Spielberg’s first live-action 3D film. Starring Mark Rylance, who Spielberg directed to an Oscar for last year’s ‘Bridge of Spies,’ it’s about a Big Friendly Giant from a magical land. Expect lots of buzz for this fantasy movie.

Jodie Foster is back at Cannes, this time as director of ‘Money Monster.’ She directs an all-star cast about a broadcaster and producer who are held hostage in their own studio. Clooney, Julia Roberts and hot young star Jack O’Connell (’71’) star. The red carpet will be chock-a-block for this premiere.

Films in Competition include:


‘Julieta’ – Pedro Almodovar is back with another film about a woman’s trials and tribulations.

Cannes darling, and wonderkid Xavier Dolan, is back to Cannes with his new film ‘It’s Only the End of the World.’ The 27-year old wrote and directed this movie about a terminally ill writer (Gaspard Ulliel) who returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying. Dolan has won an amazing 6 Cannes film prizes for his last four films, expect more accolades for this one as well.

Sean Penn directs Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem in ‘The Last Face,’ about a director of an international aid agency in Africa who meets a doctor amidst the turmoil of war around them.

There are 19 films competing in the festival’s Un Certain Regard competition, including:

‘Captain Fantastic’ (USA) – Director Michael O’shea’s story of reclusive single father of six kids who have to leave for the outside world, forcing them to rethink their existence. Viggo Mortensen stars.

‘The Red Turtle – a dialogue-less animated film from The Netherlands follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island.

Another film that is showing out of competition is Shane Black’s ‘The Nice Guys.’ Out in the U.S. on May 20th, Ryan Gosling, Matt Boner, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger star in this film about a private detective who investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970’s Los Angeles.

Director George Miller will be presiding over the jury this year, a jury that includes Kirsten Dunst, Donald Sutherland, and Vanessa Paradis (yes, Johnny Depp’s ex).

British Film Director Andrea Arnold is represented by the film ‘American Honey.’ Starring controversial actor Shia LaBeouf, it’s a road movie about a group of traveling magazine salespeople.

‘The Neon Demon,’ from Nicolas Rinding Refn (Drive), is a horror thriller about an aspiring model whose youth and beauty are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means to get what she has.

The Full line up of the festival is below:

“Toni Erdman,” directed by Maren Ade
“Julieta,” directed by Pedro Almodovar
“Personal Shopper,” directed by Olivier Assayas
“American Honey,” directed by Andrea Arnold
“The Unknown Girl,” directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
“It’s Only the End of the World,” directed by Xavier Dolan
“Slack Bay,” directed by Bruno Dumont
“Paterson,” directed by Jim Jarmusch
“Rester Vertical,” directed by Alain Guiraudie
“Aquarius,” directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho
“From the Land of the Moon,” directed by Nicole Garcia
“I, Daniel Blake,” directed by Ken Loach
“Ma’Rosa,” directed by Brillante Mendoza
“Bacalaureat,” directed by Cristian Mungiu
“Loving,” directed by Jeff Nichols
“The Handmaiden,” directed by Park Chan-Wook
“The Last Face,” directed by Sean Penn
“Sieranevada,” directed by Cristi Puiu
“Elle,” directed by Paul Verhoeven
“The Neon Demon,” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Un Certain Regard
“Varoonegi,” directed by Behnam Behzadi
“Apprentice,” directed by Boo Junfeng
“Voir du Pays,” directed by Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
“La Danseuse,” directed by Stephanie di Giusto
“Clash,” directed by Mohamed Diab
“La Tortue Rouge,” directed by Michael Dubok de Wit
“Fuchi Bi Tatsu,” directed by Fukada Koji
“Omar Shakhsiya,” directed by Maha Haj
“Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot,” directed by Eran Kolirin
“After The Storm,” directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
“Hymyileva Mies,” directed by Juho Kuosmanen
“La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis,” directed by Francisco Marquez and Andrea Testa
“Caini,” directed by Bogdan Mirica
“Pericle Il Nero,” directed by Stefano Mordini
“Captain Fantastic,” directed by Matt Ross
“The Transfiguration,” directed by Michael O’Shea
“Uchenik,” directed by Kirill Serebrennikov

Out of Competition
“The BFG,” directed by Steven Spielberg
“Goksung,” directed by Na Hong-Jin
“Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster
“The Nice Guys,” directed by Shane Black

Special Screenings
‘L’ultima Spiaggia,” directed by Thanos Anastopoulous and Davide del Degan
“A Chad Tragedy,” directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
“The Death of Louis XIV,” directed by Albert Serra
“Le Cancre,” directed by Paul Vecchiali

Midnight Screenings
“Gimme Danger,” directed by Jim Jarmusch
“The Train to Busan,” directed by Yeon Sang-Ho

Cannes will wrap up it’s last night with a highly exclusive awards ceremony, and then the next day the rich and famous will flock to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix, leaving other people to clean up their messes in Cannes.

16th May2014

Two Faces of January – Film

by timbaros

images-164A tour guide in Athens meets and gets caught up in an American couple’s web of deceit and crime in the exquisite new film Two Faces of January.

Oscar Isaac (who is so unrecognizable from his previous film role, as a down and out musician in the critically acclaimed Inside Llewyn Davis) plays Rydal, a Greek American who makes a living as a tour guide in 1960’s Athens, specializing in taking tourists to the Acropolis. He is a charmer, so much so that he charms the pants off some of his female customers, including Lauren (Daisy Bevan), a pretty young American girl that Rydal takes an interest in. One day while showing Lauren and some others the Acropolis, he sees a very pretty blond woman with a well-dressed but a bit older man. Rydal, we can tell, finds her very attractive, and he watches them as they walk around. Later in the day at an outdoor cafe at the bottom of the hill of the Acropolis they happen to be seated near each other, and Rydal can’t stop looking at the beautiful blond woman, and he practically ignores Lauren. The blond woman’s husband notices him noticing them, and he thinks Rydal is looking at him. Rydal gets up to go to the restroom, the blond woman’s interest is peaked, enough so that she follows him. They start chatting in a hallway, and soon enough Rydal (and Lauren) are introduced to Mr. Chester MacFarland (a very dapper and handsome Vitto Mortensen) and his wife Collette (an alluring and grown up Kirsten Dunst, like she’s never appeared before). Rydal offers to show them around the next day, and as he does, he gets to know them better. But Rydal isn’t foolish in making a little extra cash on the side when he skims money off of Mr. MacFarland when he buys things at the markets, which include a beautiful snake bracelet for his wife. Both couples meet for dinner that evening and when the night ends, they says their goodbyes. It isn’t until a little later that Rydal finds Collette’s bracelet in the taxi. Knowing how much the bracelet meant to her, Rydal tells Lauren to go ahead and leave without him and he goes up to the MacFarland’s hotel room to give Collette the bracelet. Rydal stumbles upon Mr. MacFarland dragging a man’s (supposedly intoxicated) body into an adjoining hotel room. And thus for Rydal there is no turning back as he unwittingly gets involved in the MacFarland’s dangerous plot and agendas.
It turns out that Mr. and Mrs. MacFarland are not the lovely, innocent couple from America that they pretend to be. They are on the run, as Chester has swindled loads of money from investors. They’ve got lots of cash, and enjoying every minute of it, but they’re hoping no one is on their trail. Unfortunately the man Mr. MacFarland dragged around in the hotel was a private investigator hired to find them. Knowing they are soon to be caught out, they leave the hotel and hope to find another hiding place, and Rydal offers to help them. But Rydal’s offer to help them in any way he can gets him more and more caught up in Mr. Macfarland’s crime (and once they hear the news that a man has been found dead in an Athens hotel, their desperation escalates.) But Rydal is falling for Collette, and Chester is very aware of this. But there is no turning back for all of them, even as they continue to face bad luck every step of the way, with Chester starting to unravel, with unforeseen tragic circumstances.
Two Faces of January is a taut, stylish and lush film that was shot on location in Athens as well as in Crete and Turkey, beautifully directed and written by Hossein Amini (screenwriter of Ronin and Drive), and based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley). The cast is first rate, and all are perfectly cast and unrecognizable from their previous performances. Davis has dark set looks which easily pass for Greek, and has hound dog eyes glossing over Collette when he’s with her. Mortensen, so unlike I’ve ever seen him before, is all cleaned up and extremely presentable as the conning Mr. MacFarland. His character is extremely charming so it’s easy to see how he conned people out of money. And Dunst very demure and stunning as Mr. MacFarland’s gorgeous wife, with her long willowy colorful dresses that any man can fall in love with. As for the title? I guess it refers to one of the characters being two-faced (not too easy to figure out), and it takes place in January, but that’s just a guess. As Two Faces of January continues to build suspense every step of the way, it’s weighed down by an implausible and unbelievable ending. But enjoy the film for what is it, a beautifully shot and acted film in the style of Alfred Hitchock.