Palme d’Or to Thailand

No, Mike Leigh did not win a single award even though his Another Year was one of the most acclaimed films this year in Cannes. Instead, the Palme d’Or went to Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul for his Lung Boonmee raluek chat (Uncle Bonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives).
Read more about the winners here.

Marit Kapla

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Last woman standing

The festival is coming to an end and I am now the last person from the Göteborg Film Festival left in Cannes. Feels a little empty, but luckily there are still tons of other people in town. A lot of them have been at the beach today since the weather has been amazing. An unhealthy red color is spreading like a virus on the skin of pale festival goers finally having the time to be in the sun now that the screening schedule is no longer too intense.

I arrived this Monday so unlike most others I am not fed up with Cannes. But I am exhausted after having traveled around the world in a large number of films and having invested myself in all kinds of destinies. Luckily the films of today have been good company. People are complaining about the general quality of the competition program. As a Dane it is fun to read the local newspaper headlines having critics complain about Lars von Trier not being in Cannes to give people something to talk about. I have been mostly watching films in the parallel section Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, so I can’t really join the critical choir regarding the competition. And this morning’s Quinzaine-screening of Fabienne Berthaud’s Pieds nus ser les limaces was a treat. Great to see women filmmakers tell stories worth telling with both drama and humor and not the least two great actresses, Ludivine Sagnier and Diane Kruger, in wonderful performances. It would be nice with more female voices in the program here, but they have had a hard time finding their way into the festival program this year. You can find links to some of the people complaining about that here: http://wellywoodwoman.blogspot.com/2010/05/cannes-for-women.html.

I haven’t seen any of the ’You Cannes Not Be Serious’-protest t-shirts around, though …

As pure pleasure on this last day at the festival, I will go to Cinéma de la plage and watch Le Monde du Silence by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle from 1956 by the sea tonight. Some friends have established a tradition of celebrating the last night with cinema on the beach, oysters and champagne. It seems stupid not to join in. Spoiled as it might sound, this is not what most of one’s time in Cannes is like running from screening to screening and waiting in line after line.

I would love to show you all photos from the screening under the stars, but since I have the oldest cell phone in town – thus often being ridiculed at a place with more iPhones per square meter than most other – I have no camera to annoy people with during the screening. So I’ll be signing off now, leaving you all on your own to guess who will be the winner of the palme d’or. The Danish documentary Armadillo has already been announced as the winner of the Semaine de la Critique, causing quite a stir in the Scandinavian circles. It seems unlikely that the competition winner will be hot news like that …

Eva Novrup Redvall

Unpacking in Gothenburg

Cannes 2010 has ended for me. Seven days, 21 films and lots of fun, drinks, late nights and good parties  is exactly enough. The best party was of course our own on Monday night at Long Beach Restaurant on the Croisette. It started off really well, and just got more and more intense as the hours and DJs, in our DJ marathon, went right into the dark Cannes night. After a few DJs the drumming team from Swedish Critic Week’s competing doubled the  intensity with their beat driven performance. Starting off with electronic and excerpts from the film, it ended in great style with several drummers on the beach and loads of maraccases that were thrown out in the crowd. That sound then went on for hours as the maraccases were kept by the dancing crowd that got bigger and bigger.

As for myself, and my musical taste in punk and post punk, the DJ sets from Sarajevo and Rotterdam festivals were the peak of the night. Not on every dance floor these days, you get to hear Public Image Ltd, Buzzcocks, New Order, The Cure, Joy Division, Ramones almost in a row – nothing less than fantastic!!!

On Tuesday night it was perfect to conclude the Monday beats with the screening of the really good première of Sound of Noise at Miramar in Critic’s Week. Loads of people from the crew crowded the small stage, and on it went with this witty, funny, exciting and well composed feature, Well composed and challenging was also the four musical parts with the drumming group – one can really understand that there has been some thorough research done to find the most interesting percussive sounds. Everything from bill notes, coins and a beer belly to pneumatric drills and elkectric wires makes the musical experience marvellous. Already waiting to see it again when it gets it theatrical release. As a Swede it was an extra dimenison to see some quite well-known Swedish film and TV actors in smaller roles besides the fine performance by main actor bengt Nilsson and the percussion team lead by Sanna Persson.

I summed up my film list today, and out of the 21 films I’ve seen, there are eight that really would be nice to have in our next festival, this coming winter. I cross my thumbs!

My luggage has been unpacked, and now I’m emptying my iPhone camera. Not always the best quality from that camera (especially at night time) but here is a bunch:

A party is being prepaired.A sunny bar table some hours before the crowds arrived.Ballons and flags with the GIFF logo are important.An untouched table.GIFF "house DJ" Nina Natri.

Swedish Noise on the way.

It's the Sound of Noise.Nina and Finnish (Hollywood) country fellow man Renny Harlin.GIFF PR Manager Camilla Larsson presenting a certain Finnish-Hollywood director as DJ.The crowd get bigger at the bar beach.The DJ team from Sarajevo Film Festival.A certain GIFF CEO enjoying the dance floor.The DJ team from Rotterdam Film Festival.Time for GIFF officials to leave the party with all the balloons.Sound of Noise team (part 1) at Miramar première.Sound of Noise team (part 2) at Miramar première.

/Ulf Sigvardson

Some days just disappear

Yesterday, the schedule said that it was my time to blog. But I’m very sorry, the blog was silent all Saturday, just couldn’t find the time – running between films, quick coffees, lunch and so on …

One of the most fascinating things with watching 4-5 films per day is the mix of experiences you get through the screen. The last couple of days some of mine include;

– coming of age in Singapore
– violence on a remote island in South Korea
– the mysteries of time, space, the devastating experinces from Pinochet’s Chilean dictatorship and where we all come from
– the strange wasteland landscapes created by renown artist Anselm Kiefer
– a divorced man killing four people in Bucarest
– the corruption behind the economic crisis in 2008

… and …

– a mass murderer in the shape of a car tyre

As a programmer my main focus this week is to see as much as possible in Semaine de la Critique (Critic’s Week). The main theatre of that section is Espace Miramar, and since queing is an essential part of Cannes Film Festival, I almost everyday get to see this view:

Since I just emptied my camera for the first time in some week, I’m adding some more:

Former Festival director of GIFF, Gunnar Bergdahl (the man in the hat) and Festival producer Håkan Westesson at the Scandinavian Terrace, Friday night.

And I also found this one, from our award ceremony for our Gyllene Draken (Golden Dragon) Award Ceremony on May 6 in Gothenburg, which reminded me of of a big puppet doll boy walking the Croisette in Cannes, some festivals ago. Filmmaker Johannes Nyholm received Gyllene Draken this year, among other things it’s soft and cuddly!

See you!
/Ulf Sigvardson

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

Benda Bilili!

The team behind Benda Bilili! together with the bandmembers. In the back to the left, Frédéric Boyer, artistic director of Cannes section Directors Fortnight.

Cannes 2010 has started. I just come straight from my fourth and last film screening today: the documentary Benda Bilili! It is a film about a band from the streets of Congo Kinshasa. Many of the band members are physically disabled, and they sing about their hard life in their songs. In the film they make a journey against all odds to concerts and fame in Europe. The film is directed by Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye from France. Both them and the band were present at this evening’s screening, when the film opened the Director’s Fortnight section.
All I want to do now is to dance to this band, and I am so happy that they are playing in Göteborg soon! More specificly on June 13th, at the Clandestino Festival: http://www.clandestinofestival.org. Don’t miss!
Marit Kapla