Tuesday was a surprisingly cold day in Cannes – a relief from the blistering sun, some might say, but those people are wrong – and we started the day with Denis Villeneuve’s latest film SICARIO. The film stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent caught up in the CIA’s attempt to bring down a Mexican drug cartel. The film is beautifully shot by Roger Deakins, and filled with tension thanks to Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score. You can read our full review here.
After the screening, we headed down to the Carlton Hotel to catch up with Pete Docter, Jonas Riviera and Ronaldo Del Carmen, and have a chat about their beautiful film; INSIDE OUT. As we sat on a balcony overlooking the French Riviera, the power suddenly went, leaving us sitting with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera. We seized the opportunity though, and had a chat about when the director and producer came to Dublin for UP, their thoughts about Johnnie Fox’s pub, the right way to pour a Guinness and what a difference this makes. Once the power was restored, we had a quick chat about the lovely INSIDE OUT, which we will publish next month.
The talk of the town was the apparent flat shoes ban that had sprung up at the festival over the past few days. At the SICARIO press conference, Blunt commented on the furore, saying ‘Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels’, while Josh Brolin, Denis Villeneuve and Benicio Del Toro threatened to wear heels on the Red Steps as a gesture of solidary. A nice thought, but one they ultimately didn’t deliver on.
Next interview of the day was Jeremy Saulnier for the wonderfully gory GREEN ROOM. Although there seemed to be a party going on on the next beach over from us – blaring music at 5pm! – Saulnier was more than happy to talk to us about his punk roots, the casting of GREEN ROOM, and the fact that he desperately tried not to cast his long time friend and collaborator, Macon Blair, in the film.
As we headed back down the Croisette to join one of the now legendary queues outside the Debussy – this time for a screening of MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART – the rain clouds finally gathered over Cannes, leaving us standing in a queue in the rain, having flashbacks to 2012’s wash out of a festival.
MOUNTAINS MAY DEPART examines the rise of homogenised and Westernised culture in China between 1999 and 2014, and flashes forward to 2015, to speculate on what the future of technology and family relationships will look like. Although the film has a solid idea about its message, the end result is both vague and too specific, making the film feel muddled and meandering. You can read our full review here.
Wednesday morning’s 8.30am screening was Paolo Sorrentino’s YOUTH, starring Michael Caine, Harvey Kietel, Paul Dano and Rachel Weisz, and featuring an odd cameo from singer Paloma Faith. Caine and Keitel are great together, and Sorrentino has created an elegant movie about the loss of our formative years. You can read our full review here.
For a complete change of pace after Sorrentino’s introspective film, we headed to the Olympia Cinema in downtown Cannes for a look at Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Studios’ slate for the rest of 2015 and beyond. Led by John Lasseter, who reminded us that Pixar ‘makes films for everyone; if you’re breathing, you’re a Pixar audience’ we were treated to clips and super secret footage of upcoming films, over the space of two hours. THE GOOD DINOSAUR, directed by Pete Sohn and coming out in Irish cinemas later this year, promises to be a new kind of adventure for Pixar, with the ‘boy and dog’ style tale being used, but turned on its head. The animation for this film is simply stunning, and the characters’ friendship warm and endearing.
As well as this, we were treated to a synopsis for FINDING DORY, which takes place in a Marine Life Institute. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton, FINDING DORY addresses the burning question fro the first film; where is Dory’s family? Lasseter revealed there will be a host of new characters, including a cranky octopus and Dory’s parents played by Diane Lane and Eugene Levy. Pixar also has TOY STORY 4 in the works, which will see Lasseter return to the director’s chair, and not necessarily be a continuation of the first three films, but a whole new chapter. Colour us excited!
Lasseter then turned his attention to Walt Disney Animation Studios films, reminding us that if a film bears Walt Disney’s name, he believes it should be worthy of that honour. Lasseter is proud of the work he has done at Disney in the 10 years since he stepped in, and his commitment to making the studio filmmaker led, and not driven by executives.
Next up from Disney is ZOOTROPOLIS, directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore. The film plays with the classical Disney idea of anthropomorphic animals, and is set in a fantastic world where humans never happened, and animals have designed and built their own city. The film sees a cunning fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) team up with a bunny cop called Judy (Ginnifer Goodwin) to race against time and solve a missing mammal case. The world of the film looks beautiful and with Bateman and Goodwin behind the scenes, is sure to be a lot of fun.
Disney also have MOANA – directed by the minds that brought us THE LITTLE MERMAID and ALADDIN, Ron Clements and John Musker – on the slate for 2016. The film follows a girl from a small island in the South Pacific who wants to return to the tradition of navigating and exploring, but is stopped by the Chief, who also happens to be her father. MOANA is a musical and with Ron & John at the helm, is sure to be a beautiful film.
After all of this excitement at the hands of Disney we headed down the Croisette to talk to Stig Björkman about his film INGRID BERGMAN IN HER OWN WORDS, which is screening as part of the Cannes Classics programme. The film is perfect for Cannes 2015, since Bergman is the face of the festival this year, and is a pleasure to watch. Björkman seems to have had a great time making the film too, since everything seemed to fall into place rather easily for him; his film is filled with never before seen footage shot by the actress herself, and narrated by Alicia Vikander.
The final screening of the day was Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s THE ASSASSIN which, wile beautifully shot, is a muddled and rambling film, cramming a lot of unnecessary political subplots into a film about 7th century China.