Cannes 2016 - Day One
After arrival, check in and unpacking, all I'm really cut
out for is dinner and an early night. Ended up finding a wonderful little
Martinique restaurant, with a cocktail buffet and managed to unwind.
Started the first day of screenings with a trip to
'Miramar' cinema and the 'Critic's Week' opening film IN BED WITH VICTORIA. I
struggle with French Comedies at the best of times and sadly this was no
exception - a film about a lawyer struggling in her life, dealing with her
work, children and self-destructive relationships sounded like a good one on paper.
However, I soon realised that this film had zero likeable characters, was based
in an entirely different reality with 2D characters, stereotypes galore and the
most annoying 'nice guy' I have seen on screen in quiet some time. It received
light laughter in the audience but I don't think many people will rave about it
Then to one of my most anicipated titles CLASH. After
seeing CAIRO 678 a few years ago and loving it so much that we then brought
both the film and it's director Mohamed Diab to Sheffield to premiere it for
the UK - I have awaited his next film eagerly. This one, is once again set in
times of turmoil (not that there have been many months without in Egypt since,)
in the claustrophobic back of a police van. A group of people are arrested,
some of whom are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, others who support the Army
and some who probably support neither. Tensions rise and both inside and
outside the van battles rage. I really enjoyed the film, but think my prior
knowledge of the Egyptian situation meant I was a bit detached from some of the
action. Also due to the popularity of the film, I was in the front row and
couldn't read more than the first word of the subtitles. Would like to re-visit
this with full view and a bit of time to read up beforehand.
For a few years now I have been seeking out Palestinian
films and was looking forward to PERSONAL AFFAIRS but sadly it didn't really
blow me away. It's a nice comedy with some really touching moments but it seems
a bit laboured in places - I will think about this for programming
Back to Critic's Week for ALBUM, a Turkish film tracking
a couple adopting a child, faking a pregnancy and generally being snobs. A
comment on the silent majority of Turkish middle class, according to the
introduction, this was a film about fairly detestable people and there didn't
seem to be anything positive to take from it at all.
STRANGER BY THE LAKE made waves in the UK when it was
released so a follow up from director Alain Guiraudie caught my attention. This
revolves around wolves, sheep, babies and sex - all taking place in rural
France. Rather absurd and with sections where I thought 'is this a dream
sequence?' I am left rather bemused but also a fan.
A great first day and looking forward to all the wonders
of the rest of the festival.