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Cannes 2022: Godland, Pacifiction

Benoît Magimel in PacifictionBenoît Magimel in Pacifiction

Day 10 is winding down, and it’s become quite clear that, as was the case for the Berlinale last February, this year’s Cannes is a significant regression after a 2021 edition that overflowed with a pre-pandemic backlog. So many of the films I’ve seen, produced and completed (if not completely developed) in the midst of COVID-era constraints, have felt smaller, cheaper, cruder than what I’ve encountered here in editions past—not a judgment per se, of course, but a new, ill-fitted look from a festival that so pointedly touts its eventitude: the spectacle, the glamor, the scope of its pet auteur’s visions. Grandiosity, thus, has resided in the films’ durations. While it’s true that there aren’t any genuine butt-breakers in the…  Read more

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“Maria Was Saying Things in 1983 That Were Not Addressed by Actresses Until Decades Later”: Elisabeth Subrin on Her Cannes-Premiering Short, Maria Schneider, 1983

Manal Issa in Maria Schneider 1983

Researching the life and career of Maria Schneider (The Passenger, Last Tango in Paris) for a larger project, filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin discovered a brief interview the actress gave in 1983 for the French TV show Cinéma Cinéma. It's a conversation alternately defiant and mournful, with Schneider reflecting with real critical awareness upon the gendered power structures of the film industry as well as the violations she experienced living and working within it -- including, in one painful section, on the set of Last Tango in Paris. Subrin used the interview as the basis for a 60-second short that was a part of Strand Releasing's 30th Anniversary compilation, and now it is the basis for her longer, 25-minute work, Maria Schneider, 1983, that premiered…  Read more

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Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot on The Super 8 Years

Annie Ernaux and David Ernaux-Briot’s The Super 8 YearsThe Super 8 Years

For Annie Ernaux fans, The Super 8 Years is something better than a movie—it’s effectively a new Ernaux novella, assembled from home movie footage shot by her late ex-husband Philippe Ernaux and directed by her son David. The author reads her text over a trim 61 minutes, assembled from footage shot by Philippe beginning in 1972, when he first bought a Bell & Howell super 8 camera, until their separation in 1981. Ernaux’s memoirs have examined her life while rarely overlapping what’s recalled from one book to another, which is true here even as what we see fills out her work: it’s impossible not to gasp when seeing her mother, the subject of so much of her work, suddenly in motion.…  Read more

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Cannes 2022: De Humani Corporis Fabrica, Crimes of the Future, Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind, Les Amandiers

De Humani Corporis FabricaDe Humani Corporis Fabrica

The man sitting two seats over had averted his eyes from the screen a few times before he finally hit his breaking point. I saw a penis and a drill of some kind coming right for the urethra and heard a doctor saying that he was going to put the device on the “Kalashnikov setting.” What, I wondered, might that mean? When the drill started pumping away and blood spurted, the poor guy had had enough and exited swiftly, and I absolutely couldn’t blame him. This was the second screening of the instantly infamous De Humani Corporis Fabrica that day; after the first, Twitter responses made it clear that this is a movie you go to watch the walkouts as much as…  Read more

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At Cannes: Sandra Schulberg and IndieCollect Call For an Indie Filmmaker Bill of Rights

The Story of a Three Day Pass

In Cannes, Sandra Schulberg, producer, co-founder of IFP (now The Gotham) and head of IndieCollect, participated today in a CNC Discussion on Film Restoration, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. In her prepared remarks, which she gave to Filmmaker, she is calling for a new Indie Filmmaker Bill of Rights in an attempt to save a generation of independent cinema. Read her remarks below. Forty-four years ago, in 1978, international critics here in Cannes gave the first Camera d’Or Award to an American indie film. The next year they did the same. I am here today to gratefully acknowledge the tremendous role that the Cannes Film Festival and its international journalists, in particular, have played in giving birth to and nurturing…  Read more

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“A Short Feels Like a Song, a Feature Would Be the Album”: Pepi Ginsberg on Her Cannes Short, The Pass

The Pass

In The Pass, a young man bicycles into a small town looking for a place to go for a swim. Learning of a nearby clearing, he heads over there and takes that swim. That, minus one element, is the plot of Pepi Ginsberg's Cannes-premiering short film, selected for the La Cinef program, but it's that missing element — an ambiguously menacing encounter occurring while our protagonist is in the water -- that gives the tremendously assured The Pass its cool, unsettling tone. Since 2016, the recent NYU Tisch grad has made a number of shorts, both narrative and documentary, as well as artworks and photographs. She's also a professional musician. The Pass is perhaps the simplest, most economical of her works, and through that…  Read more

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Hawaiian History and Hypergentrification: Anthony Banua-Simon on Cane Fire

Anthony Banua-Simon’s Cane FireCane Fire

Anthony Banua-Simon’s nonfiction feature debut, Cane Fire, is a personal family history, historical explainer of sugar production, ode to union organizing and expose of a Hawaiian island’s mistreatment of its native people. Each of these elements are connected. Focusing on the island of Kaua’i, one of the most photographed areas of land in countless Hollywood productions, Cane Fire derives its title from a (now lost) 1934 film directed by Lois Weber, in which Banua-Simon’s great-grandfather was an extra. Banua-Simon uses this personal trivia as a way to dive into the egregious ways the island (and its people) have been depicted on-screen, whether that be as passive natives relegated to the background, savages or, worst of all, communists.  Has the island’s whitewashed…  Read more

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