It's a fact of life: You walk out of stuff at film festivals. Some movies just don't jibe with your overload, while others just don't work under any circumstance. Some see your eyes swim in your head with exhaustion, the 24-frames-a-second of pulse of film-stutter cut by the slower beat of your eyelids drooping. For the most part, I'll probably track at least two of these films down and give them a real chance, but in the heat of the moment (to quote Asia), my feet did the talking. Here are my Cannes walkouts, and why.
The Right of the Weakest: Slow Belgian mix of crime caper and social commentary that apes The Bicycle Thief in crazy-clumsy fashion; getting stoutly thrashed in reviews here. Also, neo-realism is not the best bet at the end of the day: Real people's lives are slooooow, and slow is bad when you're exhausted. Why can't festival programmers put that stuff in the morning and leave the gunfights, explosions and monsters til the end of the day when you need a little lift?
2:37: Australian melodrama set in a high school the day of a suicide. Mixing Elephant-style loops of kids walking the halls with black-and-white interview footage, 2:37 follows six kids throughout the day. Realizing that these kids' problems include closeted homosexuality, uncloseted homosexuality (or, rather, parental reaction to it), pregnancy, drug abuse, anorexia, disability-induced incontinence, sexual molestation and much, much, too much more made me feel like I was watching a very special episode of 90210.
The Unforgiven: Korean drama about two army buddies, including a lengthy, argument-filled night out drinking with one of their girlfriends. Again, if I wanted to see a long, drunken argument, I could do that at home without the subtitles, and not late at the end of a long day. At the same time, I'm curious about seeing how it plays when I'm not fighting against low energy.
Selon Charlie: Kind of like a French Magnolia or Nashville, following a group of residents in a small town and their challenges, couplings, infidelities, etc. But it lacked a cerain wind in its sails, and even then tacked waveringly between extremes -- wacky comedy and trenchant psychodrama, family crisis and goofy amateur criminals.