Bangkok Post » Post Blogs
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Day 10: Of Lars and other demons
A stupid joke stole the headlines the last two days in Cannes, and in the absense of a dazzling movie that might have shifted the discussion elsewhere, the bewildering swirl of the latest Lars antics remains a saucy topic as we queued up in lines. Freedom of expression? Didn't France ban headscarves as well as anti-Semitic speeches? That's a big subject that needs a longer article. Regarding what happened, Lars' remark is indefensible because the speaker himself admitted that it was a stupid joke. Had he really believed what he said at that ill-fated press conference that has gone down as one of Cannes' scandalous fables, then it might be another story. A much bigger story. But Lars didn't stand for any idea. He wasn't even radical. He was merely careless, and what he said was an irresponsible misjudgement, an empty, crass joke by a childish filmmaker. I'm sure Cannes would do the same thing -- issuing a form of social punishment -- had any other filmmaker, from Germany or France or Thailand or Iran, said the same thing that Lars said on Wednesday.
Ok, so what's burning in my head was still "Drive", its Michael Mann influence, its deconstruction of violence, and its 1980s throwback charm. Because Robert De Niro is the head of the Jury -- plus action master Johnny To and France's genre-bender Olivier Assayas -- is it too much to think that "Drive" stands a chance of winning something? The Competition films screened today were Paolo Sorrentino's "This Must Be the Place", starring Sean Penn as washed out rock star (what!), and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" -- and both films failed to rouse more than a few ripples. The Ceylan film has seeds of interesting ideas, but at 150 minutes it seemed to take too long to keep our attention focused on a story of a missing corpse and the philosiphising of death and suicide.
I'm overdose on cinema now.
Leave a comment
Recent posts by this blogger
Recent reader comments
- mr.meldrew on One month on: A brief reflection
- pierre corso on Pre-Cannes (and the scourge of volcanic ash)
- Pierre Laburthe on Pre-Cannes (and the scourge of volcanic ash)
- nestor fermin on New Facebook group: We're sick of the Ministry of Culture
- Wilard Van De Bogart on New Facebook group: We're sick of the Ministry of Culture