Joan in Cannes - Day 1

Posted 12 May 2016

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 really.


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 opportunities.

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.

joan parsons

Joan Parsons

Senior Programmer and Showcomotion Festival DirectorRead more posts by Joan Parsons


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