Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cannes Do

I had planned to post on the Cannes Film Festival earlier on but an overloaded hard-drive took its toll on the speed at which I was able to type what was turning out to be a lengthy post. Having cleared up a huge amount of space by getting rid of back-ups that I already had elsewhere, I'm back on the case. However by now the results are known. A film that had been tipped by many to win took the Palme d'Or, it was 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Cristian Mungiu's bleak drama about backstreet abortions in Ceaucescu's Romania. After the honours bestowed on Cristi Puiu and Corneliu Porumboiu, this is the third year in a row that Romanian films have taken a major Cannes prize. Considering that the country's cinema was scarcely known in Western Europe until a couple of years ago and also considering the relative poverty of the country, this development is nothing short of amazing. It is a film I look forward to seeing when it gets released here.

Painter-cum-filmmaker Julian Schnabel took the Best Director prize for his moving adaptation of Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir Le Scaphandre et le papillon, which I saw on Friday night. And Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud's Persepolis, which I have written about on a number of occasions on this blog, shared the Jury Prize with Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light. Here's a taster of the film, which is being released over here next month. It's in French but it's going to be released in an English-language version too. Looks good. And it pisses off the fools running the Islamic Republic too. More on Cannes tomorrow.


Tia O'Connor said...

I think you would enjoy Lucian Pintilie's films - "Trop tard", "Un Ete inoubliable", "La Reconstitution". He emigrated a long time ago to France and he is a well known member of the Romanian intelighentia and participated a five times at Cannes. I am pretty sure you can get hold of his films easily in France. If not, tell us and we will send you copies.
You have "Death of Mr. Lazarescu" at home, but we never watched it, fearing that it is just an accurate and depressing description of what one experiences everyday in any state health institution here (we live in Romania) - ignorance and incompetence. Now this prize changed up our minds, we are going to watch it this week.

seanachie said...

Thanks for the pointer to Lucian Pintilie, whom I wasn't aware of, though I had heard of his film Un Été inuobliable. I notice that Puiu has written a screenplay for him too. You should watch Lazarescu, it is depressing in its depiction of the Romanian health service but it is also funny and touchingly humane (particularly in the character of the female paramedic who befriends Lazarescu) and it is a wonderfully crafted film.

I forgot also to mention that the Un Certain Regard prize, which was won by Puiu for Lazarescu two years ago went to the late Cristian Nemescu, for his film California Dreamin'.

Tia O'Connor said...

Yes, I saw the film based on Puiu's script ("Niki Ardelean..."), it is as bleak and good as his own scripts :-).
Cristian Nemescu's prize came post mortem, unfortunately he died in a stupid car accident (caused by somebody else, Nemescu was in a taxi). He was the only son of an old professor at the university I went (Music University). It was a tragedy...