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Cannes Diary

Entry Six: Saturday, May 18, 2002

Day Four of the Festival
Movies: The Uncertainty Principle, Intacto, and 24 Hour Party People


No real change from the usual routine this morning, except for the fact that it was the one day out of the entire trip that hit us with smatterings of rain. After picking up tickets, Danny and I camped out in McDonalds to wait out the rain before heading off to our meeting with Sharon Pinkerson. I thought she was a great guest speaker, very articulate and very happy about her job. It was nice to run into so many people that really enjoyed their work in the film industry, especially when they were involved in fields that were somewhat out of the ordinary. It made me proud that Philadelphia is coming along so well for filming and I’m happy to see that someone like Sharon is behind all of the progress. I’m looking forward to getting back in touch with her for when I get back into Philly. After the meeting, Danny and I stopped quickly at the William Morris office in the Miramar, where we had a surreally stereotypical encounter with a high-powered agent and one of his new clients. It’s always funny to realize that a lot of the clichés about the Hollywood business world are clichés for a very good reason. After this, it was off to the Lumiere for our first film of the day.

The Uncertainty Principle
Portugal, Directed by Manoel de Oliveira
Lumiere: 05/18/02: 02:30pm
(**) of four
Time slept during: A lot...a LOT.

For my first Portuguese film, I probably should have picked something that could have kept my pulse going at a more healthy level. Considering that I had gotten enough sleep to count on two hands over the past week, going to a movie with no camera movement, molasses-slow pacing, and no action probably wasn’t the best move. Oliveira’s compositions are excellent, with each scene looking as if each element were meticulously placed their himself, but the mind-numbing slowness of the movie just paralyzed me instantly. My frequent short sleeping spells were also not helping me keep the plot completely intact, which was contributing to my sleeping...et cetera, et cetera (quite the Catch-22). I wish I could have stayed with the movie better because I’m sure there are some that will enjoy it greatly. I’m just not one of those people.


Intacto
Spain, Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Olympia 07: 05/18/02: 06:00pm
(*** and 1/2) of four
Time slept during: None.

A clever, taut thriller out of Spain that I think will do quite well in the US given enough time and marketing muscle to prove its worth. The script and direction are top-notch, keeping the audience constantly involved in the movie and waiting to see what will happen next. Fresnadillo shows signs of becoming a breakthrough director if he can keep making films like this one.


After Intacto, it was back to the room for the usual quick shower and change before the premiere...

24 Hour Party People
England, Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Lumiere: 05/18/02: 10:00pm
(*** and 1/2) of four
Time slept during: None.

A movie that just leaps off the screen in vitality, Winterbottom’s newest film chronicles the rise and fall of the Manchester music scene of the 70’s and 80’s. By constantly referring back to itself and staying thoroughly self-reflexive, the movie has as anarchic and playful a feel as the music itself does. Some brilliant performances hold together the script and keep you interested despite your opinion of the bands and music involved. It was not received overly well in Cannes (I think that I actually started the applause at the end myself after no one else seemed to be), but it deserves much, much better and will become a great underground favorite in cities that can nurture it.


After the movie, a few of us got together at a local bar for some drinks and general insanity before walking around the town and checking out the local casino. The nightlife around Cannes is outstanding since there seems to be a cabal of people in the area that just never sleep at all. I never felt unsafe in the areas we were staying in and there always seemed to be some place to go. After a few hours, though, we were all passing out quickly, so we headed back to our rooms to prepare for another long day.
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