canned heat

Today is the last day of the Cannes Film Festival and it will no doubt be interesting to see what film sweeps out of town with the Palme d’Or. From all reports, the 61st annual fest has been a bit of a let down from previous years, though there are always a few films eager to bully and tussle their way into the modern canon… and perhaps onward to real greatness.

Matteo Garrone’s Gomorra is garnering plenty of accolades and is the front-runner for some to win the festival’s top prize:

Garrone’s film sounds interesting, though haven’t we seen this countless times already? I think I can go the rest of my lifetime without seeing another mob movie, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit interested since it seems that Gomorra does have a conscious social/political context to it, something you can’t say about Stateside takes on the crime/organized crime genre outside of HBO’s superb The Wire series.

Personally, I’m most interested in Steven Soderbergh’s two anti-traditional takes on the biography picture, The Argentine and Guerrila, unveiled at the festival in one 4 1/2 hour fell-swoop as Che, about the legendary revolutionary, and Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut, Synecdoche, New York. Both films have critics buzzing with praise though perplexed and aggravated as well. Distributors seem to be wary also, especially regarding the running time of Soderbergh’s ambitious epic and the complications involved with the manner in which he hopes and wants it to be screened in cinemas. Deja vu of when Francis Ford Coppola talked about his rough cut of Apocalypse Now at Cannes in 1979, even with releasing Che as a roadshow event sans credits and with a program given to patrons. I hope Soderbergh sticks to his guns and the film rolls out like the big event it should be. It may tank in the States, but there’s a whole wide world out there who will be anxious to see Che off of the T-shirts and flickering twenty-feet high instead.

Speaking of Kaufman… here is a short clip of the news conference after the screening of his film at Cannes on Friday:


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