Movies I Watched at the 65th Cannes Film Festival 2012

With the 65th Cannes Film Festival enjoying one of its most (potentially) impressive line-ups in years I was lucky enough to attend the festival this year. Due to work and financial constraints I could only make the first few days of the festival, but I still managed to squeeze in 10 films (and the last half of Project A on the beach). So to give you my thoughts on what I watched, plus to rub it in for those who weren’t there, here are capsule reviews for everything I caught.

A couple of my friends and colleagues are still there and plan to record some podcasts during the festival, so keep an eye out at Blueprint: Review for those. I recorded a couple with them last week so check those out over there too.

Flying Swords of Dragon Gate

Director: Tsui Hark
Screenplay: Tsui Hark
Starring: Jet Li, Xun Zhou, Kun Chen
Country: Hong Kong
Running Time: 121 min

Tsui Hark’s latest martial arts extravaganza is entertaining and handsomely mounted but rather uninspired and clumsily plotted. There are a few too many characters too and it gets a little confusing at times. It’s not as enjoyably crazy as Hark’s previous offerings either which was disappointing but it is action packed and still fun to watch. The 3D is OTT which does it favours at times, adding depth to the lavish and extravagant sets, but distracts at others with a barrage of items being thrown at the camera.

Moonrise Kingdom

Director: Wes Anderson
Screenplay: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
Starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Edward Norton
Country: USA
Running Time: 94 min

Wes Anderson’s new film is charming and enjoyable but ultimately very slight. The central romance is a little too creepy to anchor the emotional core with the kids acting like adults all the time, but Anderson’s style takes centre stage and it’s clearly lovingly crafted, making for a very pleasant and easy watch. Maybe that’s faint praise but it’s hard to come up with a better way to describe the experience. I certainly enjoyed it at least.
Would you like to know more…?

Cannes 2012 Festival Lineup Announced (update)

Wow, the list just keeps getting better. Now Ben Wheatley’s latest has been announced as part of the Director’s Fortnight. See below for an updated list of films.

The full lineup has been announced for the 2012 Festival de Cannes and by God it look like a good ‘un. As well as Wes Anderson’s latest which was confirmed a while ago, they’re premiering work from Cronenberg, Andrew Dominik, Michael Haneke, John Hillcoat, Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Walter Salles, Carlos Reygadas and Alain Resnais, to name but a few of the art-house heavy hitters they’ve got running in the main competition. Outside of the competition there aren’t quite as many big names, but there’s still work from Argento and Takashi Miike as well as a film by David Cronenberg’s son, Brandon. An anthology film featuring shorts from directors Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, Julio Medem, Gaspar Noe, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabio and Pablo Trapero sounds interesting too.

Cannes is also famous for adding late entries, so I wouldn’t put it past PT Anderson or any other big names slipping another film into the mix just before the festival starts on May 16th.

I got my accreditation confirmed yesterday so I’m getting very excited about heading down to the festival. I’m only around for the first 4 days unfortunately so I’ll be limited as to what I’ll be able to see, but I’m hoping the list below is in order of performance (as it doesn’t seem to be alphabetical and starts with opener Moonrise Kingdom) so I should catch a few of the first half of the in-competition titles. I’ve got friends who are staying for the whole fest so I might twist a few arms to get some more coverage for you guys.

The full list is under the seats…

Would you like to know more…?