Weathering Cannes


An scene from Nuri Bilge Ceylan's It’s raining again in Cannes, and the films have been as unsettled as the sky. And as moist. Earlier I blogged about clogged drains and nasty plumbing, which have surfaced as a bizarre theme in the program. I cited drain-clearing scenes in Brazil’s Linha de Passe and, by Walter Salles, and Serbis, by Filipino director Brillante Mendoza. Since then we’ve seen another plumbing incident in Gomora, a mafia movie from Italy called by Matteo Garron. And my National Post colleague Chris Knight reminded me that the incarcerated characters in Blindness spend much of their time groping around floors slick with human waste. Chris, in fact, he penned a clogged sink blog called Plumbing the Depths of World Cinema. Wish I’d thought of that.

We’re halfway through the festival. No film has blown us away. Last year, just two days into the festival we had a solid Palme d’Or contender in what became fatally known as “the Romanian abortion film” (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days). And it did, in fact, go on to win the top prize. Now at the end of Day 6, we’ve seen some solid films worthy of awards but not an obvious Palme d’Or contender. If the trade paper surveys are any indication, the most acclaimed film so far is Three Monkeys by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. I love the work of this Turkish director, in particular his previous film, Climates. He is also a brilliant photographer, and captures real time in slow, static compositions that are, well, like watching paint dry, but in good way. The man loves to shoot weather, as you can see by the image from Three Monkeys above. Yet his new film moved too slowly even for my taste, especially because it’s a noir drama about a corrupt politician, who gets his driver to take fall for him in prison then cuckolds his wife. For that kind of business, you need a stern tempo to maintain the tension. Still, I’ve learned not to judge the pace of films seen early in Cannes in a jet-lag daze.

Other impressive titles include Waltz with Bashir, an Israeli animated documentary about an atrocity, and Argentina’s female prison drama, Leonera, whose star, Martina Gusman, is emerging as an early contender for best actress. But she faces competition form Arta Dobroshi in La Silence de Lorna, another strong feature by Belgium’s Dardennes brothers, who have already won the Palme d’Or twice. We saw that film this morning, the latest in a flood of dramas about dispossessed folk at the mercy of the city who become criminals through dire necessity or tragic accident. The only sunny moments in this dark program have come from films out of competition, such as Kung Fu Panda, Indiana Jones and Woody Allen’s latest. Tonight we saw James Gray’s Two Lovers, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a lovestruck naif with his Jewish parents after attempting suicide. Although it’s only subliminally comic, it portrays relationship with the observational detail Woody Allen once specialized in before he gave up on reality. It was a relief to finally see a movie in competition that wasn’t about the end of civilization as we know it—and whose characters needed therapist rather than a plumber.


Weathering Cannes

  1. I just know Arta is the best, it doesn`t matter that there are some hollywood stars in the competition,we already know who`s the best.

  2. Dear friends, this is my interpretation about the figures of the three monkeys:

    The three monkeys theory

    Maybe you have seen some figures that represent three monkeys, one deaf, one blind and a dumb one…
    The first time I meet this figures they were disposed in column, in the top was the blind monkey, in the middle the dumb and in the bottom the deaf monkey. I think about this combination and arrive the conclusion that the communication was not possible. The blind monkey in the top has the best perspective, if he is blind and the group becames blind. The dumb monkey in the middle can hear from the top but can not say anything to the deaf monkey in the bottom whatever can not hear…
    So if we put the monkeys this way the communication is not possible between the monkeys and the surroundings and beteen the monkeys. There are different ways of putting the monkeys but all of them except one dont awoll communication.

    The correct combination is this
    In the top must be the deaf monkey, that sees and tell to the middle whatever he sees, in the middle the blind monkey that hears from the top and talks to the bottom, in the bottom the dumb monkey that hears from the middle and sees…If you put the monkeys this way the communication is possible, and they can arrive and solve problems that they couldnt if they are alone or in the bad hierarchy. Itch monkey have two virtues and one defect, but if you put them in the correct way they can work as one unity with no defects…This is an axample of unity in diversity.
    Another similar parabole can be found in the case of the sheeps, the dogs and shepherd, in this case the shepherd is in the top, he sees and tell to the dog whatever he sees, his virtue is perspective of future, in the middle is the dog that hears from the top , his virtue is strenght, he speaks the sheeps that are in the bottom of the hierarchy, they hear from the dogs, sees and in silence obey..The problems came when the sheeps dont want shepherds and the wolf occupy the power…
    In our society there are a lot of blinds in the position they must not been (in the top), they dont have perspective of future, or worse when the top positions are occupied by dumb monkeys that see perfectly but they are used to make silence because they own interests and to protect they corrupt possition!!

    If we put the monkeys the correct possition we found a bonding state were communication is possible and all the monkeys can work as an unity and solve problems and arrive places were they couldnt if they are alone like tradition puts them or if they are in antibonding states, or what is the same corrupt states…

    Autor Yeray Santana Aday
    Theory Intellectual protection
    Note My political theory is being silenced by the media worldwide, the newspaper and all the printed media doesnt want to hear anything about my discovery and point of view.
    Note sorry for the mistakes but I think that the idea is very clear!!(see also spanish version).

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