Joan in Cannes - Day 10

Posted 24 May 2016

My final day in Cannes and just two films left to watch! I started with ELLE from Paul Verhoeven, starring Isabelle Huppert. With a synopsis that sounded very run of the mill - woman home alone, masked attacker etc...I wasn't expecting much. How wrong I was! This a great psycho-sexual thriller with Huppert on absolutely top form as a hard edged business woman dealing with being attacked, alongside her career, her past and her own romantic affairs. Hopefully this will play well, as it isn't too much along the lines of Verhoeven's most gruesome films, and also that people will have forgotten or forgiven the transgression that was BLACK BOOK. Also with Huppert on-board, there is the potential to crossover from a genre audience to an art-house crowd.

Isabelle Huppert and her lovely cat

One last queue, one last bag search and one last film: Asgar Fahadi's THE SALESMAN.

Returning to Iran, after THE PAST's setting in France, this is a story about the interruption of a regular couple's life - their dynamics and the conservatism underlying all levels of society - and ultimately revenge. The film's beginning is instantly unnerving as the occupants of an unstable apartment block are being evacuated. Cracks are literally appearing on the windows and walls, and this is the beginning of a run of disturbances, upheaval and trauma that this couple will endure. A great film, with plenty to think about and discuss afterwards, which after all is my favourite thing to do.


A spot of shopping later and then it's home to pack. This year's festival has been very strong, with several really fantastic films and very few terrible ones. In a shocking turn up for the books, my tactics of more targeted film watching meant that I didn't get turned away from a single film and the ticket algorithms have been frequently in my favour. I go back to Sheffield enthused and excited to programme the films I have seen.

So long sunshine. So long lovely fragrant jasmine I enjoy walking past each day.

joan parsons

Joan Parsons

Senior Programmer and Showcomotion Festival DirectorRead more posts by Joan Parsons


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