La Pianiste (2001. Grand Jury Winner)

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 5:01 am

La Pianiste | The Piano Teacher | 피아니스트 (2001)  NC-17

Dir. Michael Haneke

Nominated for Golden Palm. Winner of Best Actress (Isabelle Hupert) and Best Actor (Benoit Magimel) and Grand Jury Prize

Today I watched THE PIANIST. Film by Michael Haneke. I’ve known about this film for a while; since I was much younger; and I also knew that this film would be rather forbidden to me, despite the innocuous title, despite the surprising yet common film cover. Later when I learned about the other films of Haneke and how upsetting and unsettling they are, I decided this film can wait a bit till I am mature and ready. I watched it last night and then finished it this morning (yes, I fell asleep but it’s not because the film was bad; I was just extremely tired) but like this, I was able to finish it in the morning of a national holiday– a very much family day and relaxing day. The sexuality delved within the film, yes, very bizarre and grotesque; but it was bearable. The acting superb– no wonder the leading actor and actress (Benoit Magimel and Isabelle Hupert) won Cannes awards for that year. Film missed La Palme D’or but it won Grand Jury. Good enough.  Left me with a feeling of question and “uh??” at the director’s choice for making such film delving into such character, Isabelle Hupert’s thoughts at the character she played, what juries of Cannes were thinking when “stab!” “walk out” happened, followed by the screen turning to black to roll in the credits… et cetera … c’est trop bizarre …  piano music throughout the film was exquisite, though.  I loved the beginning– how the music continues to be cut off by the black screen/title card shown.  It created a certain feeling and hard to describe that in words, but you’d know what I mean if you watched it.

A mixture of ferocious booing, wild applause and stunned silence greeted the Cannes competition entry from Austrian director Michael Haneke — (can you just imagine? a bunch of older film elites, directors, prestigeous programmers and maybe professors– in the theater, screaming and booing and fighting over each other?!) The Piano Teacher is not a film that allows of any moments of comedy or gentleness, and is therefore arguably deficient in humanity. But its compositional brilliance and poise can’t be doubted – and nor can the tremendous performance from Huppert herself.  — Peter Bradshaw for Guardian

Erika is so immersed in the world of art that she imagines that the transcendent paradox of great Romantic music — it maintains a magisterial control even while losing its mind — applies to life as well as art. The saddest message of this almost-great film may be that art and life are not the same and should not be confused.  — Stephen Holden of New York Times


Now that Cannes is over . . . bits and pieces of other fests!

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2010 at 3:24 am

Why don’t I start with Seattle Film Festival? Probably one of the longest running film festivals in the world.

This one is going for two and a half weeks with 256 feature films. FEATURES.

According to IFC.com, here are the list of films that are covered by them , and I love IFC so I’d pay attention to these:


“Every Day,”

“The Freebie,”

“Get Low,”

“Holy Rollers,” “Howl,” “I Am Love,” “Marwencol,” “Meet Monica Velour,” “Monogamy,” “Ondine,” “Nowhere Boy,” “Robogeisha,” “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll,” “Soul Kitchen,”, “Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil” and “Winter’s Bone”

isn’t it cute?  this is SIFF’s theme of the year. Very “Le Petit Prince” ~


I’ll blog from the actual site one day!!!

Winners announced!

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2010 at 2:29 am

Drrrrrrum (french RR please)  rrrrrolls  s’il vous plait !

Here is the list of award winners from Cannes.

Palme d’Or (Cannes’ highest award):

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thailand).  Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

director is in the center in white


Director’s acceptance speech:  (as he spoke about cinema’s inherent mystery) “Syndromes and a Century… I think this mystery,” he said, in a soft-spoken voice in tune with his work, “keeps us coming back to Cannes and sharing our world.”  (from Michael Phillip’s Talking Pictures blog (My new favorite blog!)

Quoting Critics:

“some fantasy elements in a way I’ve never seen before.”  — Tim Burton, Cannes Head Juror

Best Actress Award:

Juliette Binoche in “Certified Copy.” Directed by Abbas Kiarostami.

Best Actor Award: (2 awardees)

Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”

Elio Germano in “La Nostra Vita.”

Grand Prix (like a 2nd place winner):

“Of Gods and Men” (France)  Directed by Xavier Beauvois

“Heartfelt yet very modest film” — The Hollywood Reporter

Jury Prix:

“A Screaming Man” (Chad) Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun

Best Director:

Mathieu Amalric for “On Tour” (France)

“Cast exclusively with authentic performers in the style of the ‘new burlesque,’ a funky, exhilarating form of cabaret and live performance, the movie has a documentary realism and sharpness that carries it through the rough spots and dramatic lulls,” — Patrick Z McGavin at Emanuel Levys place

Screenplay Award:

“Poetry” (South Korea) Directed by Lee Chang-dong

“Poetry” poster – featured actress is Yoon Jung-hee, a veteran actress from Korea

Director Lee Chang-dong receiving his award. He is also the director of “Secret Sunshine”, a Cannes best actress winner 3 years ago.

Fun Fact: When Lee submitted his screenplay to Korean Film Council, it received zero points, because “The council said the reason for the low score was that the screenplay was written like a novel, not a screenplay.” — Joongang Daily

“An intelligent melodrama about a sensitive woman in a bullying male world” Lee Marshall from Screendaily , “This is a warm, deftly made film that uses the humor and tenderness in Yoon’s performance to dramatize the artistic and emotional depths we don’t know we have,” Wesley Morris from Boston Daily. ,

Camera d’Or : “Ano Bisiesto”, directed by Michael Rowe (Mexico)

“Un Certain Regard” award:

“Ha Ha Ha” (South Korea) by Hong Sang-soo

Critic review: It’s a diffident tale of romantic yearnings and encounters recalled, over much alcohol, by two friends in the port city of Tongyeong. — says Michael Phillips from Chicago Tribune


Can’t wait to see all these films distributed worldwide!