Thursday, April 29, 2010

Directors' Fortnight and Critics' Week 2010

The artistic directors of both Directors' Fortnight (Quinzaine de realisateurs) and Critics' Week (La Semaine de la critique) have stated they did not want to pick from Sundance titles. "We try to show films that don't pass through Sundance first", Critics Week’s Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Berjon said, “although U.S. indie entries are well represented this year." "I wanted to change things up and not take any Sundance films unless they were exceptional," said Frederic Boyer said in an interview. Considering how many Sundance titles went to the Berlinale, and that Cannes is 6 months later, singling out Sundance is somewhat odd. We in US already know that Sundance has a certain sort of American film, and that other films are continually being made that might be just as good but not to the taste of Sundance programmers or simply not timed for the Sundance slot. That the two Cannes sidebars feel a need to distance themselves from Sundance is very complementary to Sundance however. Both sidebars are showcasing new talent as well, which distances them from the main competition of the Festival de Cannes. Now the issue is how Directors Fortnight and Critics Week will distinguish themselves from each another.

Directors’ Fortnight was created by the SRF (French Directors Society) in the wake of the events of May ’68 by Godard,Truffaut, Chabrol and for a time, Louis Malle, but the non-competitive's 42nd edition is ALL NEW. First there is the new artistic director, Frederic Boyer. Next there is a new logo, a new website and 11 new first time directors of the 22 selected. And finally, all but one of the 22 films are brand new too (premieres).

Women ♀ make up four out the 22 films = 11%. No better than the 15% of the main event and Un Certain Regard and no better than Critics’ Week (15%) which follows.

All Good Children (Ireland - Belgium - France) by Alicia Duffy ♀ Coach 14

Lily Sometimes (France) by Fabienne Berthaud ♀ (closing film)SND Groupe M6

Love Like Poison (France) Katell Quillevere ♀ Films Distribution

Joy aka A Alegria by Marina Meliande, Felipe Braganca (Brazil) ♀ FiGa Films

Agnes Varda will receive French directors' organization the SRF's Carosse d'Or prize on May 13 during the sidebar's traditional opening-night ceremonies. ♀

This year's selection for the Fortnight was light on films from Asia. Apart from Kubat's film The Light Thief from Kyrgyzstan, just the Tiger Factory by Woo Ming Jin of Malaysia comes from Asia.

Latin America is well represented with two Mexican, one Argentinean and one Uruguayan horror film. From Mexico comes Michael Rowe's first feature Ano Bisiesto and Jorge Michel Grau We Are What We Are. From Argentina: Diego Lerman The Invisible Eye, an Argentinean-French-Spanish co-production, and from Uruguay: Gustavo Hernandez's horror film The Silent House , filmed in only four days in one continuous shot, and based on a true story. Trailer .

The lineup follows:

Directors' Fortnight

All Good Children (Ireland - Belgium - France) by Alicia Duffy ♀ produced by Element Pictures and Cineart, backed by Backup Films and being sold by title="Coach 14">Coach 14. Winner of third prize in the Cannes Cinéfondation competition in 2001, the director was also selected for the Croisette’s official shorts competition in 2003 with The Most Beautiful Man in the World (also nominated for a Bafta).

Benda Bilili! by Renaud Barret, Florent de la Tullaye (Congo, France) (opening film)
Funny Balloons

Des fil en noir;by Jean-Paul Civeyrac (France) Les Films du Losange

Everything Will Be Fine by Christoffer Boe (Denmark-Sweden-France) The Match Factory

The Light Thief (Kyrgyzstan) by Aktan Arym Kubat. The Match Factory. About an electrician, the last link with the Kyrgyg energy system and the Mafia. When the electricity rates were hiked Kyrgyzstan had its second revolution since independence from USSR and the country is currently in a state of suspense.

Shit Year by Cam Archer (USA) The Match Factory

Illega by Olivier Masset-Depasse (Belgium-Luxembourg-France) Films Distribution

title="Cleveland Vs. Wall Street"> by Jean-Stephane Bron (France-Switzerland) Films Distribution

Love Like Poison aka Un Poison violent by Katell Quillevere (France) ♀ Films Distribution

The Invisible Eye by Diego Lerman (Argentina-France-Spain) Pyramide International

title="Ano Bisiesto aka Leap Year">Ano Bisiesto aka Leap Year, Michael Rowe (Mexico) Pyramide International

Joy aka A Alegria by Marina Meliande, Felipe Braganca (Brazil) ♀ FiGa Films

Le quattro volte by Michelangelo Frammartino (Italy-Germany-Switzerland) Coproduction OfficeTarget="_blank"

Lily Sometimes aka Pieds nus sur les limaces by Fabienne Berthaud (France) (closing film) ♀ SND Groupe M6

Little Baby Jesus of Flanders by Gust Vandenberghe (Belgium) Flanders Image

Picco by Philip Koch (Germany) Rezo

The Silent House aka La Casa Muda by Gustavo Hernandez (Uruguay) Elle Driver

Tiger Factory by Woo Ming-jin (Malaysia)

Todos vos sode capitans by Oliver Laxe (Morocco-Spain) See trailer . Zeitun Films

Two Gates of Sleep by Alistair Banks Griffin (U.S.) Recreation

The Wanderer by Avishai Sivan (Israel)

We Are What We Are by Jorge Michel Grau (Mexico) Wild Bunch

Special Screenings:

Boxing Gym by Frederick Wiseman (U.S.) Doc & Film

Stones in Exile by Stephen Kijak (U.K.) BBC Worldwide

Short-film Program:

Licht, Andre Schreuders (Netherlands)

Quest, Ionut Piturescu (Romania)

Mary Last Seen, Sean Durkin (U.S.)

Petit tailleuer, Louis Garrel (France)

Shadows of Silence, Pradeepan Raveendra (France) ♀?

Shikasha, Hirabayashi Isamu (Japan)

A Silent Child, Jesper Klevenas (Sweden)

Tre ore, Annarita Zambrano (Italy) ♀

Zed Crew, Noah Pink (Zambia)

La Semaine de la Critique started in the spring of 1961, during the fourteenth Cannes International Film Festival. Upon the initiative of the Association Française de la Critique de Cinéma 2 (French Association of Film Critics), the Festival screened The Connection by Shirley Clarke (USA), part of a less popular wave of films, usually overlooked by producers as well as by film festivals. To have its screening at the Cannes Film Festival which at that time was ruled by producers and not very open to emerging tendencies, was a true phenomenon. The 48th annual International Critics Weeks’ artistic director Jean-Christophe Berjon has announced 7 competition films, all up for the Camera d’Or and 6 of which are world premiers. Feel-good films predominate as do young filmmakers.

Women in Critics Week ♀ only 1.5 (15%): French Competition Belle Epine, a first film but not a feel-good one by Rebecca Zlotowski and Sound of Noise, a first feature directed by Ola Simonsson ♀ & Johannes Stjarne Nilsson from Sweden and France.

Asian titles came out in force in this year's Critics Week competition, including Boo Junfeng Sandcastle from Singapore, Vietnamese director Phan Dang Di's Bi, Don't be Afraid and South Korean Jang Cheol So's Bedevilled. In its form, it's profoundly Korean, but it hits upon universal values, Berjon said of the latter.

Scandinavia adds a Nordic touch to the lineup, with Swedish directing duo Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjarne Nilsson Sound of Noise, a co-production with France about a police officer allergic to music who must confront a band of sonic terrorists.

Critics Week lineup follows:


Armadillo -- first feature Janus Metz, Denmark (TrustNordisk

Bedevilled -- first feature Jang Cheol So, South Korea (Finecut)

Belle Epine -- first feature ♀ Rebecca Zlotowski, France (Pyramide)

Bi, Dung so! aka Bi, Don't Be Afraid-- first feature Phan Dang Di, Vietnam/France/Germany (Vietnam Media Corp)

The Myth of the American Sleepover -- first feature David Robert Mitchell, U.S. straight from SXSW

Sandcastle -- first feature Boo Junfeng, Singapore (Fortissimo)

Sound of Noise -- first feature Ola Simonsson ♀ & Johannes Stjarne Nilsson, Sweden/France (Wild Bunch)

Special screenings:

Opening film Le Nom de gens aka The Names of Love -- second feature by Michel Leclerc, France (TF1

Rubber -- second feature by Quentin Dupieux, France (Elle Driver♀)

Copacabana -- second feature by Marc Fitoussi, France (Kinology)

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