Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cannes Film Festival Coverage

I'll be blogging daily for The Advocate at (can't figure out how to do links for French blogger) and I'll post any links to stories that I write for the NY Daily News and others.

1 comment:

Daryl Chin said...

On his blog, Dave Kehr was surprised by the awards to "The Banishment" (Best Actor) and to "The Mourning Forest" (Grand Jury Prize). As far as i can tell, you're one of the only US journalists to have seen (and reported favorably) about those two movies.

What this means is that everyone else was so busy checking in with each other, they didn't take the time to actually go to discover anything new. (I've never been to Cannes, but i've been to Toronto, Montreal, San Sebastian, and i've noticed this phenomenon, where everyone is telling you that such-and-such a film is lousy, and everyone else you run into echoes that opinion, until there's a consensus. But the trick is seeing the consensus change. In the summer of 1989, my friend Gregg Araki was telling me about how despondent his friend Gus Van Sant was - i had met Gus a few years before that, when he showed MALA NOCHE at the Gay Film Festival in NYC. But Gus's new movie had been rejected from almost every festival, including the New York Film Festival. Plus the star of the film, because it was getting so roundly rejected, was angry and refused to talk to Gus or do any p.r. for the film, considering it a wash-out. Well... suddenly, the film played at the Toronto Film Festival, where it was praised by a number of people, including Jim Hoberman. And suddenly, by October, DRUGSTORE COWBOY was a critical hit, and did well at the art-house circuit. And Gus Van Sant's career was on its way.) But if Jim Hoberman (who is usually very independent minded) hadn't bothered to check out DRUGSTORE COWBOY himself (because Elliot Stein, his compatriot at The Village Voice, had been so vocal in his defense of MALA NOCHE a few years before), the consensus was building that the film was a failure.

(DRUGSTORE COWBOY's change in critical and box office fortune was attributed to its screenings in Toronto, which is how what was regarded as a rather tepid, second-rate "Festival of Festivals" became a major player in North American film.)

So when the Cannes Film Festival winners were announced, i wasn't surprised, because you had written about most of the films which won awards.