Cannes 2015: It’s a wrap

Posted 26 May 2015 about Cannes 2015: Day 1, Cannes 2015: Day 2, Cannes 2015: Day 3 and Cannes 2015: Day 4 and Cannes 2015: Day 5 & 6.

As I sit on the Eurostar on my long journey home from Cannes I am able to reflect on what, I think has been the best festival yet for me. Lots of good films, despite none that I am obsessed with, very few bad films, and the lack of ticket stress that blighted my daily routine in previous years.

We wait now for the award winners to be announced tonight in the main competition, with Son of Saul and Carol tipped to be the top prizes I am hopeful that Carol triumphs. My prejudice is mostly due to the fact that I haven’t seen Son of Saul, after trying several times and not getting in, it is now my nemesis film. Not only does this purely selfish reason lead me to campaign for Carol, but it is also an adaption of a wonderful Patricia Highsmith novel, who I love.  It shows a period of relatively recent history when women’s rights, gay rights and frankly human rights were troubled. The legal battle in the film is truly heartbreaking and utterly believable. The romance on screen is breath taking, and it really feels like that powerful kind of love that stops you in your tracks. Both actresses, Cate Blanchett and Rony Mara, give fantastic performances, the sound and music is incredible and all-in-all this film has to be in the race for oscars this year.

Other highlights of the last few days have been the opportunity to see the guy from The Raid Iko Uwais doing kung-fu on stage to introduce the truly insane Yakuza Apocalypse, from the potentially equally insane Takeshi Miike. Following this live demo, Miike himself appeared on screen, dressed as a geisha to introduce his film. The film included giant frog headed monsters, a man with a beak, yakuza vampires and all kind of hilarity ensues. I would love to explain the plot, but it was very much lost on me. If anyone can explain please let me know.

Macbeth was always the film I was most excited about. Fassbender and Cotilard in an adaption by Justin Kurtzel, director of the terrifying and haunting Snowtown. Set in Scotland, in medieval times the adaption appears to be fairly traditional. However, as soon as the film starts you know that this is going to be unlike any previous work, with the landscape, sound and purely cinematic qualities bringing this wonderful work to life. I felt pretty sorry for anyone in the audience not a native English speaker or a french reader as the Shakespearean dialogue has not been simplified for our modern times (thank goodness) and was hard to follow at first even for me, until I tuned into Shakespeare mode. The incredible battle scenes, remarkable performances and clearly very talented direction make this a sure fire hit in the UK and beyond. I am already looking forward to re-watching.

In total this festival I managed to see 35 films, which is not bad considering my ticket allocation seemed to be rather limited and I failed several times after long queueing sessions. I return to Sheffield covered in mosquito bites but totally enthusiastic for the upcoming cinema year.

joan parsons

Joan Parsons

Senior Programmer and Showcomotion Festival DirectorRead more posts by Joan Parsons

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