Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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!

About program section: Competition for Palme D’or

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Here is the list for Cannes In-Competition section. All these films… which one will win the golden Palm?!

While this year’s Cannes competition line-up singled out a few new countries (Ukraine and Chad are vying for the Palme d’Or for the first time), one nation is almost absent. Doug Liman’s Fair Game is the only American film in competition, whereas the US had two works in the main category last year, four in 2008, and five the year before that.  — France24

This is great! And why would one make such comment? It’s not like American films HAVE to be in the section. ;p   (by the way, there are 2 Korean films! Take that!)

and the juries are:

Tim Burton as the principal jury

alone with … Kate Beckinsale? I wonder how she’s in this.

Highly anticipating what selection they will make!

More films from Cannes

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Today I will talk about an American film in Out of Competition section:

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps  (directed by Oliver Stone, starring Shia Labeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin)

I actually heard about an interview of this film on NPR. I wanna see it for Carey Mulligan! She was great in An Education.

Solid Stone and Allen entries fail to steal the Cannes limelight  — from Cannes special correspondent

Cannes weekend approaches!

In Uncategorized on May 15, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Let me talk about the some films that premiered on Cannes Day 2:

Korea’s HOUSEMAID  (directed by IM Sang-soo, starring JEON Do-yeon)

What Jini knows: that it’s a remake from 1960s Korean film by KIM Ki-young (a popular “scandalous” film of the time), that it’s been highly anticipated by Koreans AND Cannes

Director Im Sang-Soo is clearly a devotee of Hitchcock, so the anti-elitist furor goes down with spooky, spine-tingling panache. — Rachel Abramowitz from LA Times

Im Sang-soo’s version, far from being a masterpiece, is not even subtle.  – Maggie Lee from The Hollywood Reporter

The use of colour too is wonderful, the palette being deliberately limited, with chilly whites and deep ocean blues dominating in the emotionally dysfunctional home. The Housemaid has the narrative meat to complement its extraordinary visual garnish. — Paul Martin of Indiemovies

임상수감독의 전작, <바람난 가족>과 <그때 그 사람들>들을 개인적으로 한국영화가 잊지 말아야 할 명작으로 꼽지만 <하녀>에서는 박찬욱감독의 손길이 자꾸만 그리워졌다. 절정이 싹둑 제외된 느낌이다. 극의 긴장감이 가장 최고조로 치솟았어야 할 부분에서 결말이 극단적으로 찾아왔다. Naver Blog

Waitaminute, I have a sudden question: I cannot find the schedule of screenings for Cannes-  perhaps they screen many many times to accommodate for many many audiences?! No way.

Cannes day 1

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 8:38 am

Here are some pictures of Cannes:

Slideshow photos – from IMDB.com  (Robin Hood red carpet and after party)

Robin Hood is the opening night film of Cannes. I obviously haven’t seen the movie, but just by the look of it, I would not have guessed that such film would be an opener for Cannes. Still, in my fledgling state-of-mind viewpoint of Haut-Niveau Cannes, such film is too Hollywood, too epic, too action packed with glory hero shining moment climax … to be “oh la la Cannes”

After searching for blogs about Cannes, I have found this one. Ann Hornaday writes for Washington Post; the post seems legit. I would like to thank the writer for posting , and hopefully she’d excuse me copying and pasting her words here: (just borrowing em!)

By Ann Hornaday |  Washington Post Staff Writer  |  Friday, May 14, 2010

CANNES, FRANCE — The skies are partly cloudy, the breeze is chilly and the iffy weather is matched by the prevailing muted mood at the 63rd edition of Festival de Cannes, which opened Wednesday. Perhaps it was fitting, then, that “Robin Hood,” which stars Russell Crowe as the 12th-century legend and kicked off the festival, received a respectful but less-than-rousing welcome from the press here.

i love LOVE the official poster. I believe that’s Juliette Binoche, non?  ça a l’air trés chic et cool et classy et fraiche!!

But the latest “Robin Hood” received mixed reviews from critics here, ranging from admiration of its pristine production values to boredom with its talkier sequences and two-hour-plus running time.

The only American film in competition is “Fair Game,” Doug Liman’s adaptation of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s book of the same name. (Plame and her husband, Joe Wilson, are expected to be here in support of the film when it premieres May 20.) Two other American titles, Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and Woody Allen’s “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” are being screened outside competition.

For the most part, Cannes belongs to the world this year, with such highly anticipated foreign titles as “Biutiful,” by Alejandro González Iñárritu, starring Javier Bardem highly anticipating this!! ; “Outrage,” by Takeshi Kitano; “Tamara Drewe,” by Stephen Frears; and “Aurora” by Cristi Puiu.

this is a still from BIUTIFUL. not much info on this film on the net. mysterious!  and let us pause to look at such boon wee gee pic of Inarritu:

The festival also marks the return of some cherished veterans, including Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami I’ve seen his “Taste of Cherry”, a Palme winner , Bertrand Tavernier, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Manoel de Oliveira — who at age 101 is nearly as old as the medium itself.

USA Today reporter Anthony Breznican said he sensed “mild disappointment” on the part of festival-goers at the absence of mainstream American titles this year. (Several fans were hoping that Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” would be here.) “But in their absence, there’s now an eagerness and a sense of potential surprise for movies that probably would have been overshadowed totally by higher-profile behemoth Hollywood movies.”

The governing ethic of austerity seems to have seeped into the movies themselves. Among a program featuring films about a disaffected father (Wang Xiaoshuai’s “Chongquin Blues”) is it “ChungKing”? , a young photographer’s obsession with a dead girl (de Oliveira’s “The Strange Case of Angelica” this is the one by the really old director. almost 100 years old! ) and divorce (Radu Muntean’s “Tuesday, After Christmas”), only “Tournée” (“On Tour”), directed by the actor Mathieu Amalric, has dared to show a little skin, figurative and literal. The quirkily transgressive backstage comedy-drama features a dazzling cast of American New Burlesque performers strutting their spangled, suggestive stuff as dancers touring France under the tutelage of an anxious impresario, played by Amalric. “Tournée” offered a brief, unruly burst of joie de vivre in an otherwise tasteful but tediously safe opening slate.

a review by Reuters writer Maggie Lee (she’s Asian? cool :] ) http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64D17H20100514

Editing is clean and maintains a comfortably measured pace even if the film is overall too long at 115 minutes. Occasional use of a romantic piano score sits awkwardly with the gritty realism conveyed by the ambient sound and natural lighting in outdoor scenes.

an interesting comment about TOURNée by Reuters writer Kirk Honeycutt (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64D0TW20100514)

Let’s salute the festival’s artistic director, Thierry Fremaux, for his loyalty to industry pals who have delivered worthy films time after time, in this case actor Amalric, who has presented nine previous films at Cannes, all as an actor. By why embarrass a friend by putting such an inauthentic film as “On Tour” (“Tournee”), Amalric’s first time in Cannes as a director, into competition? Why not a special screening?

i wonder if i’ll ever be able to make such comments; and this also reminds me that selections for Cannes is obviously also by another human being, just as i was a programmer x]

But a warm Cannes reception can send a movie into its theatrical life with an important wind of approval at its back. Certainly Allen, whose 2008 film, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” was a Cannes hit that year, hopes the same luck will strike with his newest work, which stars Scarlett Johansson and which the program describes as possessing “a little romance, some sex, some treachery and . . . a few laughs.” i wonder if this is a typo here; she makes it sound like Allen’s film this year is with ScarJo. Cuz I’d be very much anticipating that!

I just found a publication online blog that i think i will really really like!  By Michael Phillips?  Merci Monsieur!


In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 5:52 am

Bad Robot Image

I just learned that Bad Robot is JJ Abram’s company.

Did you know that I have a special something for robots too?  But mine’s a bit cuter.

Cannes 2010 is happening

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2010 at 5:28 am

. . . on the other side of the globe,

while I am in an area rather far from there, (I guess the sunshine could be similar)

Until I am there- mid-May, warm sunshine, walking down the Croisette . . .

Je blog!