It’s all over now, and really all over at Cannes for the American contingent of five competition entries plus English-language films like Walter Salles’ On The Road and David Cronenberg’s not-well-received Robert Pattinson starrer Cosmopolis. The Cannes Jury led by italian actor-director Nanni Moretti has spoken and Americans hoping for a repeat of last year when the single U.S. entry, The Tree Of Life actually won the Palme d’Or, are crying in their french onion soup. At the post-awards press conference American jury member Alexander Payne was asked if he thought the ‘Americannes’ snub said anything about the overall quality of the country’s movies. He snapped back that one festival does not speak for the state of cinema in any one country.
The closest thing to a film American audiences won’t need subtitles for is Ken Loach’s wonderful The Angels’ Share which is set in Glasgow and features accents so thick the filmmaker decided to add English subtitles. It is also the only comedy to take a prize as the jury mainly favored some of the more dour, serious-minded films in the race. Cannes juries often do that. Backstage Loach was elegant when he said his film shows solidarity with all those in Europe who resist austerity and believe “another world, a better world is possible”.
There’s also one head-scratcher just about every year and this year it’s a beheaded scratcher, Post Tenebras Lux from Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas in which a man rather remarkably manages to twist off his head using only his hands. There’s also a pointless orgy scene thrown in but even its defenders are hard-pressed to say what this film is about. So of course they gave him a major prize, Best Director. At the press conference at least two of the jurors strongly defended the film. They were so convincing they had me believing that I must have seen a different film. (more…)