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Cannes Diary

Entry Eight: Monday, May 20, 2002

Day Six of the Festival
Movies: Sex is Comedy, Ten Minutes Older, The Bank, Maniacts, and Ode to Cologne


The usual morning waiting and chatting turns to lunch and then our meeting with Maury Canbar. Canbar was an excellent, charismatic speaker who had some good points about starting off in the film industry (or really in any business). He really proves that it is possible to succeed by taking the reins for yourself and pushing forward with your ideas. Iíll talk a little more about him in my paper. After the meeting, a few of us get in line for Sex is Comedy, which turns into a madhouse when they start letting people into the theatre. Since I had already been turned away once and we were the first in line, I was ready to kill people that tried to get in front of me. Luckily, it didnít come to that and our movies for the day began.

Sex is Comedy
France, Directed by Catherine Breillat
Palais H: 05/20/02: 01:30pm
(***) of four
Time slept during: None.

I donít always enjoy Catherine Breillatís movies, but I always find them interesting and I highly respect her as a filmmaker and writer. Her newest one is one of her best, falling just behind Fat Girl for that honor. A very small-scale film, it looks at the process of filming one of the most notorious types of scenes out there: a sex scene. As is usual for Breillat, the movie exudes her personal philosophies about gender relations and sexual politics, but this time, the result is much more enjoyable than some of her older works (which pile on graphic sexual images for their "messages," but also for their shock value). The actors, including La Femme Nikita herself, Anne Parillaud, all do an excellent job, throwing themselves into the roles Breillat has written for them. Though the film is intensely autobiographical (based on Breillatís experiences filming Fat Girl), it does not shut the door to the audience and should find a welcoming audience with art film fans out there.


Ten Minutes Older
Various, Various Directors
Palais K: 05/20/02: 03:30pm
(***) of four
Time slept during: None.

Seven directors are given ten minutes and told to create a representation of time in any way they choose. Itís an intriguing idea and, thanks to a wonderful selection of directors, becomes an intriguing film. While the quality varies from director to director (with Wim Wenders and Spike Lee producing the best ten minute shorts), the movie never falters and stays watchable. I look forward to hearing more from this series of films.


The Bank
Australia, Directed by Robert Connolly
Palais C: 05/20/02: 05:30pm
(** and 1/2) of four
Time slept during: None.

An enjoyable, but slight Australian film basically takes the basic idea behind Pi and turns it into a standard corporate thriller instead of the schizophrenic masterpiece that Aronofsky created. A brilliant mathematician believes he has the key to predict the stock market and a financial giant hires him to find it. The movie never gets overly ambitious, but it does what it does well. Itís essentially just a big-budget Australian summer flick, but it is enjoyable enough to watch. The plot twists and turns enough times to keep you guessing until the surprise ending. In the end, though, itís worth it just to hear Anthony LaPaglia (as the President of the Evil Bank) say, "Iím like God with a better suit." Beautiful...


There was just enough time at this point for a quick dinner before it was off to Maniacts.

Maniacts
USA, Directed by CW Cressler
Arcades 02: 05/20/02: 08:30pm
(***) of four
Time slept during: None.

A movie that practically screams, "Guilty Pleasure," Cresslerís first feature is a gore and violence splattered romantic comedy that isnít going to reinvent the wheel, but it provides enough enjoyment to make it a fantastic late-night movie to run into on Cinemax. Basically, just check your brain and your taste at the door and sit back and relax. Sure, the supporting actors overact relentlessly...sure, some of the dialogue is pretty hokey...sure, the violence and gore are almost too silly to be effective, but I canít deny at all that I had a fun time watching the movie (it helps that Iím a sick bastard who got some great laughs at the splattery goodness of the movieís violence). The two leads keep the movie together with enough charisma to make you actually care what happens to them. Know what youíre getting into beforehand, but with that caveat, enjoy!


Ode to Cologne
Germany, Directed by Wim Wenders
Riviera 01: 05/20/02: 10:00pm
(****) of four
Time slept during: None.



Exhausted after my epic day of five movies, I headed back and got some much-needed sleep.
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