So the 2012 Cannes film Festival has just finished, and there have been numerous reports coming in all about it, often some of the best films of the year premier at Cannes.
Usually some of the most talked about films coming out of the festival are ones most people won’t have heard much about beforehand. Looking at the reports this year though, there seems to be a good number of films I’m quite excited about.
Firstly, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, the new film from Wes Anderson. Anderson has been one of my favourite filmmakers for years now. While his previous film ‘The Fantastic Mr. Fox’ was very good, it just wasn’t what I wanted to see from him. All his previous work had been brilliantly original and he established a tone and style that was uniquely his. While he carried some of this over to his animated project it was still a story I was hugely familiar with from childhood and had little interest in seeing an adaptation of. Good news then, that his return to live-action cinema is receiving great reviews. I can’t wait to see it.
‘Killing Them Softly’ is a crime film from Andrew Dominik. It’s only his third film in twelve years, but look at the strength of both his previous efforts (Chopper, The Assassination of Jesse James…). This sees him reuniting with ‘Assassination’ star Brad Pitt and is also receiving highly positive reviews.
‘Lawless’, the latest from John Hillcoat, (‘The Road’, ‘The Proposition’) is a western that looks utterly fantastic. It features a screenplay by Nick Cave and a great cast. Trailers are online already.
Two South Korean films were competing this year, and Hong Sang-soo’s ‘In Another Country’ sounds very interesting and is apparently mostly in English, though stars a French actress.
Other interesting looking films include ‘Beyond the Hills’ (from the director of ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’) ‘The Hunt’, from Thomas Vinterberg, the very long in production adaptation of ‘On the Road’, ‘Reality’ a reality TV satire from the director of ‘Gommorah’ and ‘Cosmopolis’, which I’ve mentioned previously.
The big winner this year was Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’, taking home the Palme D’Or for the second time, a mere three years since his first win for ‘The While Ribbon’. While he’s undoubtedly an extremely talented filmmaker and I’ve liked some of his previous films, but the aforementioned ‘White Ribbon’ left me cold. I’ll still be interested to see ‘Amour’ though, knowing Haneke, it’s unlikely to be a happy film.
Possibly the most interesting thing I heard this year though, was not about a new film at all. A new, restored, extended cut of Sergio Leone’s final masterpiece ‘Once Upon a Time in America’ was shown. Since its original premier at the 1984 festival ‘OUATIA’ has been cut several times and was notoriously butchered and by all accounts totally ruined for its US release. I was fortunate to first see it on the 2003 UK DVD release which contained the 229 minute version. The new version shown apparently runs at 245 minutes and is the closest version yet available to the original cut, which received huge amounts of praise when it was originally shown. I think this film is one of the best of the 1980s and I really hope this new version becomes available to the public.