The Critics’ Week section of Cannes can sometimes appear a bit obscure to non fest-heads, but it’s important to remember that such groundbreaking talent has been discovered here as Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Jeff Nichols. The sidebar is made up of first and second features and just announced a near-sweep for Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe. The film won the Nespresso Grand Prize, the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Prize and the France 4 Visionary Award. I’ve heard great things about this film from Ukraine. Told in Sign Language, it’s set in a specialized boarding school for the deaf and mute. There, a young man learns to navigate the school’s organized crime syndicate, The Tribe, until he breaks all of the unwritten rules by falling for the chief’s girl. The film is understood to be difficult to watch in parts, but makes the director one to keep an eye on. The Society of Authors, Directors and Composers Award for best screenplay went to Boris Lojkine for Hope. The French pic is set in the Sahara desert where a young man from Cameroon rescues Hope, a Nigerian woman, as they attempt to make it to Europe. The UK’s Gaëlle Denis won the Canal Plus Award for best short film with Crocodile and the new Sony …
The roster for Cannes Film Festival sidebar Critics’ Week was announced this afternoon with seven films in competition and two special screenings, along with the opening and closing titles. Figuring amongst the mix is Inglourious Basterds star Mélanie Laurent with her second directorial outing, Respire, which grabbed a special screening berth. Out of the competition titles, two are from return helmers: Self Made by Israel’s Shira Geffen, whose 2007 Les Méduses won the Cannes Camera d’Or; and horror pic It Follows by David Robert Mitchell. Mitchell was in Critics’ Week in 2010 with The Myth Of The American Sleepover. British filmmaker Andrea Arnold is presiding over the jury for the 53rd edition of Critics’ Week (aka Semaine de la Critique). France’s Rebecca Zlotowski is overseeing the jury for the section’s new Sony CineAlta Discovery Prize. While some Critics’ Week titles can appear somewhat obscure at first glance, it’s worth recalling that the section has been a proving ground for such talent as Guillermo del Toro, Gaspar Noé, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Emanuele Crialese, and Jeff Nichols. The section runs this year from May 15-23. Here’s the full list of titles:
The jury for the 53rd edition of the Semaine de la Critique, Critics’ Week, will be presided over by British filmmaker Andrea Arnold. Arnold’s first short, Milk, ran in the section in 1998. Since then, she’s become a Cannes Film Festival regular which is rare for a female director. In 2006, her thriller Red Road won the Jury Prize in the main competition. In 2009, Fish Tank, which starred Michael Fassbender, also scooped the Jury Prize. In 2011, she presented her adaptation of Wuthering Heights in competition at Venice. Earlier in her career, she won the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar for Wasp. Four other jury members will join Arnold to judge the seven feature films in the Critics’ Week competition this year which awards the Nespresso Grand Prize. Today, she said, “I was so excited when Milk screened in La Semaine de la Critique that I kept crashing into things. When I got home I counted 19 bruises. I am just as excited about being asked to be President of the Jury… I think it might be a good idea to put away the china. I see it as an adventure. I will go into it open. See what and who comes.” Last year’s Grand Prize winner was Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Salvo. Critics’ Week is an important Cannes sidebar …
While the big Cannes Film Festival awards will be unveiled this weekend, Salvo took the Grand Prix Nespresso, the top prize at Cannes Critics Week. Salvo was directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza. Salvo also took the France 4 Visionary Awards. The Discovery prize for short film went to Come And Play by Daria Belova. Pleasure by Ninja Thyberg won the Canal+ short film award, while the Society of Authors, Directors and Composers Award for best screenplay went to Le Demantlement by Sebastien Pilote. The opening film was Suzanne, which premiered out of competition, and Sundance pic Ain’t Them Bodies Saints also had a special out of competition screening in the slate.
Portugese director Miguel Gomes will preside over the jury for this year’s Critics’ Week while French helmer Mia Hansen-Love will be jury president of the short films competition. The opening film out of competition is Suzanne by French director Katell Quillévéré and starring Sara Forestier. David Lowery’s Sundance pic Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, the only U.S. feature of the bunch, will have a special screening. Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara star with Rami Malek and Ben Foster. Debut feature You And The Night from Yann Gonzalez also has a special berth. Below is a list of the features and shorts in competition. Critics’ Week runs May 16-24, during the Cannes Film Festival.
Le Démantèlement, dir: Sébastien Pilote (Canada)
Los Duenos, dir: Agustin Toscano and Ezequiel Radusky (Argentina)
For Those In Peril, dir: Paul Wright (UK)
The Lunchbox, dir: Ritesh Batra (India, France, Germany)
The Major, dir: Yury Bykov (Russia)
Nos Héros Sont Morts Ce Soir, dir: David Perrault (France)
Salvo, dir: Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (Italy, France)
Rufus Norris’ Broken, starring Cillian Murphy and Un Certain Regard jury president Tim Roth, is opening Cannes‘ Critics’ Week section this year. A closing-night film has not been announced.
Celebrating its 51st running, the sidebar is coming off of a strong 2011 showcase for rising talent. Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter took the top Critics’ Week prize in 2011, and this year he is in the official competition with Mud. Also in 2011, Australia’s Justin Kurzel was given a special mention for Snowtown, which went on to win six Australian Film Institute prizes, while Valérie Donzelli’s Declaration Of War opened the section and became France’s entry for the foreign-language Oscar. This year’s Critics’ Week runs May 17-25. Here’s the list of contenders:
Broken, dir: Rufus Norris (UK)
Aquí Y Allá, dir: Antonio Méndez Esparza (Spain-US-Mexico)
Au Galop, dir: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (France)
Les Voisins De Dieu, dir: Meni Yaesh (Israel-France)
Hors Les Murs, dir: David Lambert (Belgium-Canada-France)
Peddlers, dir: Vasan Bala (India)
Los Salvajes, dir: Alejandro Fadel (Argentina)
Sofia’s Last Ambulance, dir: Ilian Metev (Germany-Croatia-Bulgaria)
The late Elizabeth Taylor was fondly remembered during a tribute Thursday night at the ultra-glamorous annual amFAR Cinema Against AIDS event (now in its 18th year) at Hotel Du Cap. The event co-chaired by Kenneth Cole and Harvey Weinstein broke all records, bringing in a haul of more than $10 million after an auction that also saw record prices. In clips from movies like Cleopatra and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, along with footage from her work for the organization in which she was the founding international chairman and host of the first event in 1993 Cole saluted Taylor as someone who “spoke up when others wouldn’t and said things when others can’t. I hope this will always be part of her legacy.” Weinstein added, “It was an honor to work beside her and it was an honor to watch her movies.”
Continuing the Taylor theme of the evening, two “Elizabeth” items went for big bucks in the annual auction that is always a part of this glitzy dinner, thrown near the end of each Cannes Film Festival since ’93. A limited-edition Herb Ritts photo of Taylor taken in Malibu in 1991 fetched a whopping $150,000, while an Andy Warhol dated lithograph of Liz circa 1964 fetched $400,000.
Among the stars taking part in the evening and auction were Janet Jackson, Brooke Shields, Freida Pinto, Kanye West, Rosario Dawson, Naomi Campbell, Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, Patrick Dempsey, Milla Jovovich (who opened the proceedings with a sultry “I Wanna Be Loved By You”), Jane Fonda, Goldie Hawn and Sean Penn. Penn, bringing up the rear, got big laughs demanding women abstain from sex unless their men cough up $10,000 apiece in order to break the record amount for the fundraiser. Twenty-one of them did just that. Boy George performed a couple of songs, too. Among those in the crowd were three Cannes jury members including president Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman (who also participated in the auction) and Jude Law, along with Melancholia star Kirsten Dunst, who looked happy not to have Lars von Trier as her date.