Monday, May 29, 2006

Cannes Conclusion

The festival is finally over, yes finally. These past 11 days have been exhausting yet calm in a strange way. The other day The Hollywood Reporter nicknamed this 59th Festival as "The Zen Festival." It is not just me as Vincent Cassel, tonight's prize presenter commented on how exhausted everyone was. I don't think this was ever mentioned on stage before.
So, yes I am glad it is over and that Cannes will return to its "normal" state.

I just want to comment on the films I liked most in competition. Of course I haven't seen all of them (after all I was not a member of the jury!) But I'll write a little about the ones I have seen.

My favorite was without a doubt "Volver" by Pedro Almodóvar, no, not because he's Spanish. In fact, those of you who know me are aware of my general dislike of his style, though I have only seen "All About My Mother" and I was so repulsed that I didn't feel like watching any of his other films. "Volver," however is a gem and I want to watch all of Pedro's previous films now. It is a heartwarming portrayal of family, albeit all female. I was so touched by all the details of the film, having spent my early childhood in Spain I was reminded of my grandmother and my aunt and cousins and how we relate to each other when we're together. It was very emotional for me. I am getting teary-eyed e as we speak when I think of the song "Volver" which my grandmother liked to sing. Anyway, on to the next film before I start bawling.

"Babel" by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu was a masterpiece. Four different stories taking place in Morocco, USA, Mexico and Japan intertwine and show how a seemingly meaningless act can lead to unexpected consequences. There is so much love in the film, and generosity, and yet also points to the injustices and political absurdities taking place. It's truly remarkable how Iñarritu can make such disparate scenes ( a troubled, deaf Japanese teenager and a Mexican ilegal housekeeper, for example) work side by side seamlessly. I was speechless. The best scene by far is between Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, what a profound and heartfelt performance from both of them. ( I don't want to give too much away-when you see the film you'll recognize the scene I'm talking about).

"Pan's Labyrinth," a Spanish-Mexican production by Guillermo del Toro is a fascinating dark "fairy-tale" set in 1940's Fascist Spain. There are several extremely gruesome scenes but the magical world Ofelia creates in order to escape the horrors of her reality is breathtaking and inspiring. An innovative film blending mythological creatures with Celtic undertones and violent, even gory effects. Beautifully poetic and horrifyingly monstruous at the same time, this film is not to be missed.

But the Palme d'or goes to... Ken Loach's "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" (which I didn't see :( )


Anonymous Nikki said...

Great posts about the festival. I loved hearing your thoughts on it!

3:39 AM  
Anonymous Olimpia Blue said...

I love movies and i have to say that Volver and Babel are one of the best of the this year Cannes Film Festival. The stories, the script, the structure...
I agree with you. Keep on writing! Best wishes!

7:00 PM  
Blogger Moi said...

Thank you!! Yes they were very good movies..

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog. The pictures are breath-taking. So neat, so clean and so you.

I can't wait to visit you in Eupa one of these vacations.

Escribes muy bien. Que lastima que no te contrate para que fueras mi editora personal en la universidad.


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Blogger Moi said...

Gracias! Ven cuando quieras, aqui te esperamos :)

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