Cannes - Day 9
Posted 22 May 2014
Raining pretty much all day in Cannes today so I have been hiding in darkened rooms and enjoying catch-up screenings.
One of the happiest, although not entirely, films I have seen at this festival 'Xenia' was first up this morning. In recent times the Greek films I have seen have been brilliant but very heavy going and with serious under tones of broken families, childhood trauma and economic problems. This film has all of these but with the addition of humour, a bunny rabbit, a giant rabbit, camp dance routines and the best brotherly relationship I've seen recently. Great to hear it has been bought for UK distribution by Peccadillo so I'll look forward to seeing it again soon.
When I think about the Soviet Union, Ice Hockey is not what springs to mind.... well not anymore more. 'Red Army' is a fantastic portrait of a time and the representation of Soviet ideology through sport and training is really fascinating.
'Beautiful Youth' is a brilliant portrait of life for a young couple in Madrid. Sitting dangerously closely to the bread-line, out of work and with few possibilities for employment the last thing this couple need is another mouth to feed, but of course things don't go to plan. This film really captures their lives perfectly, and with the interweaving whats-app, text messaging and on screen photo galleries the atmosphere of the young generation is very clear and convincing. I hope this film makes it UK side as it would work well with some audiences.
Finally today I saw the bonkers Belgian horror/thriller 'Allehluiah' which showed the terrible consequences of serial womaniser meeting unbalanced woman and setting out together to rip women off. Nicely put together but somewhat hard to place in a genre this film was at times morbidly funny, seriously disturbing and graphically horrific. Not sure how this film will get about after Cannes but might be one for horror festivals around Europe.
We went for a final dinner tonight as many of us are headed home tomorrow and I was lucky enough to be able to meet one of my film idols, Andrea Arnold, who is here as president of the Critics Week jury. This was a fantastic moment for me as I was able to tell her how I am a huge fan and that Fish Tank is one of my all time favourite films. At a previous dinner this week we were all discussing what film was representative of us, or spoke to us most and myself and Maddy Probst (Watershed, Bristol) were in agreement about Fish Tank and waxed lyrical about it all night so to meet the director a couple of nights later was a massive privilege. We were so excited we asked her if she would mind having a picture taken with us, this is one for the album!