Every so often someone special turns up in Cannes. Someone who isn’t usually there. Someone like Mick Jagger. The crowds on the Croisette lost their minds as the rubber-lipped Rolling Stones frontman arrived to introduce a screening of documentary, Stones In Exile. Splicing together intimate photos, home-video footage and outtakes from Robert Frank’s unreleased doc Cocksucker Blues, it tells the story of the band’s ‘70s exodus from Britain to the south of France, where they holed up in a crumbling mansion to create their 10th album Exile On Main Street. Oh, and take lots and lots of drugs.
Easy to forget that it was director Doug Liman who invented the Bourne franchise’s shaky-cam success story, before Paul Greengrass took the sequels and the credit. Since then, the former US indie stylist has made just two movies: dumb-fun shoot-‘em-up Mr And Mrs Smith and appalling action-thriller Jumper.
A surprise contender at this year’s Cannes, Liman finally gets serious again with political potboiler Fair Game, which plays a little like The Bourne Identity meets Mr And Mrs Smith. Opening like a thriller before plunging into a stylised credit seqeunce, it tells the true-story of the 2003 outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) via her husband’s (Sean Penn) tell-all newspaper article.
Poetry tells the story of Mija, who lives with her grandson in a small suburban city along the Han River. By chance she takes a ‘poetry’ class at a neighborhood cultural center and is challenged to write a poem for the first time in her life. Her quest for poetic inspiration begins with observing the everyday life, and with this, Mija has a newfound trepidation as if she were discovering things for the first time in her life. But when she is suddenly faced with a reality harsh beyond her imagination, she realises perhaps life is not as beautiful as she had thought it is…
See photos from the premiere below…
2 1/2 STARS
Apart from Greg Araki’s brilliant “bi-sexual Twin Peaks” Kaboom, there aren’t many US indies at this year’s Cannes. Two Gates Of Sleep was one of the most anticipated. Just 80 minutes long, this arthouse mood-drama unfolds mostly wordlessly – actor David Call told us later that he has about eight lines of dialogue – as it follows two brothers (Call and Funny Games US star Brady Corbet) who live in the remote woods of the Deep South.
2 1/2 STARS
Something’s bugging Pulp Fiction producer Lawrence Bender. A bug, in fact. It’s flown into his eye and stayed there.
Wearing giant black sunglasses and wincing occasionally, Bender chatted to LOVEFiLM about his new documentary Countdown To Zero before heading off to the opticians to get de-bugged. Plenty here to make everyone grimace, mind. Follow his success with Oscar-winning eco-yawp An Inconvenient Truth, Bender’s new doc focuses on nuclear weapons and the looming threat of planet-scorching war.
In short? We’re all going to die.
Although Blue Valentine is an emotionally grueling journey, the stars and makers of the film were all smiles last night as it received it’s Cannes premiere.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams were joined on the red carpet by their young co-star Faith Wladyka, who plays their daughter in the film, as well as the producers.
The Weinstein Company – Harvey Weinstein’s distribution company – picked up Blue Valentine when it showed at Sundance earlier this year. The film chronicles a marriage between Dean (Gosling) and Cindy (Williams), told in flashback. Read our review here and see images of the premiere below…
Like (500) Days Of Summer for grownups, this US indie romantic-tragedy time-jumps through the doomed relationship of married parents Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, who go from high-school sweethearts to fraying married 30somethings. Ouch.
Abbas Kiarostami’s Copie Conforme, starring Juliette Binoche and William Shimell, sits In Competition at this year’s Festival. Set in Southern Tuscany, Kiarostami’s film surrounds a chance meeting between a French woman and a British author. Binoche, Shimell and Kiarostami stepped out in the sunshine this afternoon to stop for snaps.
After watching Javier Bardem give a poignant performance in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (Babel) Biutiful, we hot-footed down to the premiere of the film, at the Palais des Festivals. Dazzling on the red carpet, in some stunning outfits, were Kate Beckinsale, Naomi Watts and Naomi Campbell as well as stars of the film.
See pictures below….
Directed by Stephen Frears and adapted from Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel, 25-year-old journalist Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton) returns to her family home after the death of her mother to cause all sorts of trouble in the village. It went down well with a responsive Cannes audience.