CATEGORIES Documentary, Foreign Language, Independent, Cannes, Universal, Festival Reports, Focus Features, Cinematical Indie, Cinematical
Important Announcement: I don't know if any of our readers can help, but I figured I'd relay the word that Roger Ebert left his MacBook Pro and the speaker for his computer voice in a taxi this weekend and as of this writing has not recovered them. He says his work will suffer without the laptop and he offers a reward for the return of both items.
Our Coverage: "Funny, sexy and mad," writes Joe Utichi about Gregg Araki's Kaboom. He claims the film is "not nearly as seminal as his earlier works" but recommends it and especially praises Juno Temple's scene-stealing performance.
Celeb Sightings: I can only hope Terry Gilliam and Martin Scorsese were discussing Georges Melies when the above photo was taken (Scorsese's next film involves the fantasy film pioneer). Scroll through the rest of Vulture's slideshow for unnecessary but continued evidence that French actresses (Isabella Huppert; Catherine Deneuve) age better than American (Meg Ryan; Ellen Barkin). Daily Mail has pics from the You'll Meet a Tall Dark Stranger red carpet. Evangeline Lilly's dress must be seen, and questioned. At E!, Shia LaBeouf braces himself while kissing Carey Mulligan on a boat.
News: Previously linked to the Polanski crusade last September, Woody Allen continues to fittingly defend the guy.
Midway through the fest, The Wrap's Sharon Waxman notes that the films are "good, nothing great," foreign financiers are the "most distinct presence" and Dave Matthews new shingle Art Takes Over "remains the one ray of light on the indie distribution front." Variety reports, at this time, that Cannes is like Groundhog Day, similar year to year and day to day with only minor differences.
Martin Scorsese and Olivia Harrison shared updates on the former's labor of love doc Living in the Material World: George Harrison at a press conference reported on by Risky Business. The ex-Beatle's widow admits the process has been both emotional and wonderful. "I feel really safe, I feel protected," she says about the material being under the care of Scorsese.
Persepolis co-director Marjane Satrapi gives her report of the "fairy tale" of Cannes to the Guardian, in which she makes a swipe at 3D.
Vulture has an amusing list of some of the B-movies for sale this year. My favorite is called Reindeer Spotting: Escape from Santaland, with its tagline, "Trainspotting in Santa Land."
Stranger Than Fiction's Thom Powers continues his coverage of the docs at Cannes with thoughts on Nostalgia for Light and Draquila: Italy Trembles. The latter is another Berlusconi expose, which he recommends for fans of Videocracy.
Deals: Deadline reports Joe Wright's Nikita-esque Hanna, which is being produced and will be released domestically by Focus Features, sold most foreign rights to Sony Pictures Worldwide. The site also hears that Mike Leigh's Another Year will soon go to either Sony Classics or The Weinstein Co.
Meanwhile, according The Hollywood Reporter, the Keanu Reeves sci-fi movie Passengers, which Universal will distribute in the U.S., has sold to Medusa in Italy and TeleMunchen in Germany. THR has additional international pickups here. And worldwide rights to The Number Station, which stars Ethan Hawke have gone to ContentFilm International, according to indieWIRE.
indieWIRE Love: Check in with the latest minute-by-minute report, now at Day 5, and check out Eric Kohn's reviews of Heartbeats (a "hip" "sweet" "hyperstylized Jules and Jim update") and Another Year ("a skillfully understated character study from the master of subtext") and Todd McCarthy's reviews of Woody Allen's You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger ("a notch above 'Scoop' and 'Whatever Works') the restoration of Visconti's The Leopard ("The best film of the 2010 Cannes Film Festival thus far"). As for press conference reports, Brian Brooks brings us a swipe at Hollywood from Mike Leigh.
Tweets, Blurbs and Other Buzz:
@GuyLodge (of In Contention): "My considered verdict on Tavernier's "Princess of Montpensier": zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzprettypeoplezzzzzzzzzzzz"
@jamesrocchi (of MSN Movies): "Outrage: Or, Takeshi Kitano's Endless Series of Indistinguishable People Getting Shot. Blam-Blam-Blah."
@JeffDeutchman (filmmaker): "Tomorrow, 43 years after declaring cinema to be dead, Godard will premiere his new film. I wonder what it is we all do if not cinema."
@IndieFocus (Mark Olsen of the LA Times): "Godard's first idea for distributing his new film was for kids to parachute into random towns and just show it in cafes or wherever."
@eug (Eugene Hernandez of indieWIRE): "The scariest movie of #Cannes, hands down, Charles Ferguson's finanial crisis doc, 'Inside Job.' So well done. So engaging, enraging."
@erickohn (of indieWIRE): "Araki's KABOOM: exactly what it's meant to be: The wackiness that made him likable in the first place upgraded for new standards."
@akstanwyck (Anne Thompson of indieWIRE): "Takeshi Kitano's Outrage left me cold. He reminds me of Lars von Trier's puckish amusement at shocking us with outrageous violence. SO?"
More buzz from Thompson: "There's good word on The City Below and Tuesday, After Christmas, among the lower-profile fest pics." "Here's the other movie that's building buzz, fortnight's La Casa Muda. All in one take."