Sunday, May 15, 2005


So here we are, rapidly approaching the halfway point of the festival. The only movie star I've actually seen up close is Pauly Shore, but more about that later. There were no free parties today, which is a bit of a bummer, but I did get into four movies, which is much better than yesterday, in fact most of the movies I saw were first scheduled for yesterday.

I still can't get over how expensive everything is. What makes it worse is that all the locals think so as well, especially in Cannes, where just for the festival, price gouging has become a major sport. At least when it comes to the restaurants, which is why I limited myself to a tuna salad sandwich. That cost about six buck with a coke. This makes New York look like Dubuque.

As to the movies, we've got a bit of a backlog:

Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang (USA)

Written and Directed
by Shane Black

The cool thing about this film is that it's fun to watch shiny, happy people shooting at each other for little reason. This is a murder mystery as well as a lessen in Story Structure®. We begin at one of those glitzy Hollywood parties that we never get invited to, when we hear the voice of one Harry Lockhart(Robert Downey Jr.) explaining the situation of how he got there and then…oh yeah, there's what appears to be a gratuitous flashback to a scene in 1980, it means something, but we aren't told till about a third of the picture is over.

Nonwithstanding, it seems that our Harry is a small time crook who somehow got a free trip to LaLaland while escaping the police, He's to play a private eye in Harlan Dexter's(Corbin Bernsen) latest action thriller and is to be given lessons from the aptly named Gay Perry(Val Kilmer), whom we first meet while saving our hero from being beaten up by some guy who was harassing the really beauteous Harmony Faith Lane(Michelle Monaghan), who we discover was Harry's best friend in childhood, thus explaining the opening flashback.

The next night, Harry and Perry are on a stakeout, when…an unidentified body is thrown in the river…This and other bodies are found and disposed of in the course of the picture, and as it turns out that one of these was at one point the sister of Ms. Lane, we've got all sorts of sexual hijinks, hence the title of the film.

This is one heck of a ride. Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr. are, when they're sober and motivated, two of our best actors around and this is one of those times. I've never heard of Ms. Monaghan before, but she's sexy and georgious and can act just as good as the two leads. Black's script is fast and funny, which explains why this has all the great buzz.

This is one heck of a film and is gonna make a mint.

Sangre (Blood)

Written and Directed
By Amat Escalante

Diego(Cirilo Recio) is a sad sack security guard working for the Mexican government. He and his wife Blanca(Laura Saldana) live in a run-down apartment in Mexico city and lead a very boring life indeed. They fight, shag and watch TV. Before going to bed or eating. That's pretty much the first two-thirds of the film right there.

There is a bit of a twist, however. Diego has a daughter, Karina(Claudia Orozco), from a previous marrage. She wants to move in, but Blanca won't have it. She hates anything or anyone that reminds Diego of his previous existence. So…there's not much that goes on here either until near the end. But even with this we're bored to tears. I myself had a tough time staying awake.

You'll probably never see this, which is just as well

Last Days (USA)

Directed by
Gus Van Sant

Let's talk about the problem of the pointless film. This is when a director decides to do something profound and pretty much comes up with nothing. This is the case for this thing.

This is loosly based on the life of Kurt Cobain, a person of brilliance who died to young. Now Cortney Love refuses to have a cinematic treatment of the actual incendents, so what Van Sant has done is to change Kurt's name to Blake.

Blake(Michael Pitt) doesn't have that many lines, and when he speaks we can't exactly understand what he's saying, but that doesn't really matter because the film doesn't really say anything anyway.

Blake runs around a decaying castle somewhere in the Northwest while his record company sends Detective Ricky Jay to find him. Jay doesn't because the people who are staying with him (Lucas Haas and Asia Argento) won't let him.

They don't do all that much except screw and babble about nothing much.

This is a complete waste of time and how the hell this got into the Cannes film festival is a bit of a mystery.

When it comes to the States, it is best to ignore it.

Lemming (France)

Written and Directed
by Dominik Moll

Alain(Laurent Lucas) and Benedicte( Charlotte Gainsbourg) are what you might call a pair of French yuppies. They've just moved into a brand new house and are beginning to get used to the situation when the sink starts to overflow. The reason is that they find a strangely colored rodent dead in the drain. This, we are surprised to learn is the title character. With a title like that, one would think that it was a metaphor or something. Nope. It's the Twilight Zone.

In order to get ahead with this career as a researcher in an electronics firm Al invites his boss Richard(Andre Dussollier) and wife Alice(Charlotte Rampling) to dinner. This is when we discover that this is a comedy, as Alice is a very bitter pill who doesn't like to pull her punches. She insults our heroes and Richard takes her home.

Later the next day, Alice tries to seduce Al. Then she goes over to the house again to have a nap and commit suicide. Then it gets really weird.

Moll and co-writer Gilles Marchand have made a very weird movie indeed. It veers violently from comedy to drama and back, and the relationships between the various characters borders on the truly interesting.

Laurent Lucas manages to give a really good performance as a person in meltdown and Charotte Rampling, who hasn't been seen in years in the States, is even better. Completely hilarious.

I'm not really sure if this'll make it to the states, but if it does, it might be something to see.

Now Back to Pauly Shore.... Nothing really happened except that he was there after the screening of his latest epic: Pauly Shore is Dead, which came out direct to video last January. It had to because no distributer in his/her right mind would take that piece of shit. This despite the fact that he managed to get most of the B and C-listers to make an appearence. This is basically Shore's homage to much for that.

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