To Lovefilm with love

Not so lucky girl.

During the spring my Lovefilm subscription has finally enabled me to get the necessary done, to see some necessary films, which I for some reason (good or bad – usually lack of time)  hadn’t seen before. Yesterday night it was time for “Precious” by Lee Daniels, the story about an abused Harlem teenager and her way to self respect and lust for life. That kind of film that makes you stop and think for a while and appreciate the many good things you have. After seeing this good for moral film I now look forward to something more destructive. Just finished proof reading a Swedish translation of Hunter S. Thompson’s “The Rum Diary” and can’t wait to see the new film, starring Johnny Depp. And to drink a lot of dark rum. Preferrably in buckets.

The book.

The film.

Camilla Larsson

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Get out of your comfort zone!

Staff party with the Swedish way of high school prom theme.

The day started with team coaching with our own festival crew coach Malin. This was the third time in a couple of months and today’s session ended with hugs and kisses. Or at least with praise and compliments colleagues between. We should do it more often, it feels quite excellent to hear what a splendid person you are… A good way of preparing for the big staff party taking place a few hours afterwards. One of the things we’ve learnt during the sessions is that it can be useful to get out of your comfort zone once in a while, that is to do something in a different way than you usually do. My way today was sadly enough not to participate in the partying. Probably the first time in over ten years that I miss a staff party. Instead of chicken with sage or large delicious meatball things with pine nuts I had a sad sandwich on a slow train.

Uncomfortable as h.., but this time necessary. I’ll be back.

Camilla Larsson

Documentary method o.d.

The winner of Dragon Award Best Swedish documentary at GIFF 2010. Mikael Wiström and Alberto Herskovits' Familia.

The winner of Dragon Award Best Swedish documentary at GIFF 2010. Mikael Wiström and Alberto Herskovits' Familia.

Real life is surely more interesting than fiction. After a year with many surprising and great Swedish documentaries I can promise that the upcoming one will be even better! How I know?  Well, I have spent the last days reading inspiring and exciting texts, about their way of working, by around 15 documentary filmmakers who at the same time are making their new films. The texts will be published in the festival’s film magazine Filmkonst well in time for GIFF 2011, in issue no 127, which will be a cooperation with the Swedish Film Institute. I so look forward to seeing the films and attending the seminar around the book, And I like to think that the fact that the filmmakers have been forced to formulate their thoughts around their work and methods will make the films even better! Who they are? We’ll tell you later.

Camilla Larsson

14th of May: D-day

Birthday in Cannes. Again. Celebration with press screening of Wall Steet: Money Never Sleeps. Michael Douglas back as Gordon Gekko, now out of jail and with a daughter that hates him and a son that committed suicide. Oliver Stone does what we all expect but not more. Not at all. Some contemporary civilization criticism but an ending that is quite terrible. Not even worth the ticket if you ask me.

Better birthday celebration was the lunch with Gaston Kaboré, our man in Burkina Faso, director and the man behind the film school Imagine. The nice Gaston brought soap and body lotion from Ouagadougou as well as almost ripe mangos as birthday presents. In three days the will be ready to eat – and will work as a starter before our annual ”celebrate-all-the-GIFF-crew-May-birthdays”.

The beach in Cannes looks somewhat… different. Smaller, like something was taken away. And it was. By the waves. Still they are working hecticly to put everything in order at the fancy restaurants. Let’s pray that the Long Beach resto will be ready in time for the GIFF party on Monday. We now have guest dj:s from the Sarajevo and Rotterdam festivals for example. It will be a battle.

The birthday ended with a Kir Royal treat from CEO Åsa and Danish party at the Scandinavian terrace which has been existing since 1979 on the Croisette. Feels like home after around 10 years in cannes.

Camilla Larsson

Oscar abstinence

The weekend was Moodysson-flavoured. Saw Lilja Forever and Container. Will go on with my private Moodysson festival next week. But first, tonight, Cleanflix, a film we screened during the festival. From what I’ve heard this doc about how you can adapt popular films to mormon standards without asking permission from the copyright owners is really great. Otherwise the day offered: a flea market, a (lamb) lunch with friends,  a walk in the sun, hours of going through different kinds of clothes. Not mine. Everything to bury the feeling of emptiness and sadness and desperation talking over my whole body and mind. For the first time in many years I will not see the Oscars. The last three years the GIFF crew has gathered for an all niter with betting, champagne and assorted food items, but… this year  I’m just not somewhere where the channel sending the thing is available. Terrible. And since this night is one of the few times I cry every year, I wonder what will happen with the surplus of tears? Anyhow I will keep my fingers crossed for Patrik Eklund and his short film Instead of Abrakadabra, which got the Synchleader Award at GIFF a few years ago. And for Jeff Bridges of course.

Instead I will end the night listening to Sparklehorse and the fantastic first album Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot. Maybe the tears will come in handy, anyhow. RIP Mark Linkous. I look foward to taking part of his and Danger Mouse’s and David Lynch’s Dark Knight of the Soul and hope that at least parts of the almost finished new Sparklehorse album will be released somehow.

Camilla Larsson

Appreciate and evaluate

Struggled so much with the obligatory evaluation of GIFF 2010 during yesterday that I completely failed to enter this blog. No good. But at least the evaluation is done – a really important thing if we shall be able to improve the fantastic thing we are creating and recreating in new ways every year. Because there is always room for improvement.

March 1 we had the deadline for applications to the film fund. This time we support post production and as ususal it will be so exciting to go through the pile of projects. Let’s hope for something fantastic that will be ready for Cannes! Talking about fund films, try to se Soul Boy by Hawa Essuman from Kenya. It had its world premiere during our festival and then went on to win the Hubert Bals audience award in Rotterdam a few days after.

Soul Boy

Finally the sun is shining and I really wish the snow could go away now. All of it. For god’s sake, it’s been here for three months, hasn’t it!

Camilla Larsson

Countdown for next festival has started – PFD over(?)

The last weeks I have been feeling like a drug addict on detox. It is always hard to find your way back to normal pace and a normal life after the festival period and a trip to the Berlinale on top of everything. It takes time and as a matter of fact you should be locked in, in a small room with matresses on the walls, for a few days… to get rid of your PFD (post festival depression) But yesterday afternoon’s  office staff meeting, with planning for the future on the agenda, effectively put everything back on track again. Time flies and Cannes is only a couple of months away. As is spring, I really hope. This has been the worst winter in my life and now it has to end! Time is also running out for discovering the content of what we call Fort Knox – the place where we keep the festival film dvd:s.

If you don’t watch them within three weeks they will feel old no matter how good they are. Therefore I am really glad that I saw two of the films in the Bergman competition the other night. Shirley Adams and Applause.

Paprika Steen is stunning in Martin Zandvliet’s film about a hard drinking actress who is trying to stop and find her way back to her sons at the same time as she is playing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf at the theatre. Don’t miss.

And if you haven’t seen Ole Christian Madsen’s Kira’s Reason: A Love Story from 2001, see that as well. A real masterpiece if you ask me. Stine Stengade is equally stunning.

Camilla Larsson