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Cannes. Or Can't.

Ex-patriate Novelist and discriminating Cinephile P. Lipari comments on Cannes and overrated directors from the backwoods of Brittany

Sounds like the usual Cannes dreariness.  Do you think they do it deliberately?  Go out of their way to pick the "winners" that will piss off as many people as possible?  I have never followed Cannes with any assiduity, but my impression is that its "winners"--for example, of the Golden Masturbation Palm--are even more pathetic than those of the Oscars.  Even back before I lost my passion for cinema, I could not take those assholes seriously.  (They booed L'AVVENTURA back in the day, and then, even after Antonioni became one of the gods of cinema, they booed L'ECLISSE.  Enough said for me: though I could say a lot more, and their history is long and extraordinarily demented.)  I know you love your film festivals, but most of them sound far more interesting, and worthwhile, than these bozos.  I hope you have better fun at the next one.

And may I say a word about Todd Haynes?  We should start a competition, you and I: Who is THE least talented filmmaker inHollywood (or Trumperica) today?  I know: the competition would be murderous, and picking a winner would be a very tough slog; and as long as Chris Columbus continues to breathe, any other competitor will have an exhausting time winning that Golden Shower Palm.  But Todd would definitely be in the running.  His lack of talent is truly ghastly.  Exactly eight days ago one of my cable channels started broadcasting the much-lauded six-hour mini-series MILDRED PIERCE, from his pen and eye; and because I have a great interest in James M. Cain, I watched the first two hours (of six.  I must repeat that yet again: six.  Can you believe it!  Six hours of Todd Haynes!).  Kate Winslett is absolutely brilliant as Mildred (which is no surprise: she is the real thing, as opposed to so many); but the "film" is still appalling.  Haynes doesn't know where to put a camera, where or how to move it, where or how to cut, so he makes up for his staggering deficiencies with arty frou-frou.  Hey!  Let's shoot a meaningless scene through flowers!  Hey!  Let's deliberately put obstructions in the way so we can't see the people, can't even see Winslett (the only thing truly worth tuning in for), and maybe people won't be able to figure out how atrocious my script is.  James M. Cain was one of the tautest and tighest writers who ever pecked at a typewriter; and he must be puking in his grave even now.  I did not watch the middle two hours last night, despite Winslett.  Another Todd Haynes triumph!

And may I also say aword about Michael Haneke?  The word is: VOMIT! And may I say a third word about the egregious D Hoffman?  Oh, hell: forget it.

But in Joaquin Phoenix we finally have a real talent, to go along with Kate.  He has been wowing me, very quietly, for years; and did you ever happen to catch THE MASTER, that film from another fantastically overrated filmmaker, Paul Thomas Anderson?  The Master is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman (are you as sick of these triple-barreled names as I am?), but it is Phoenix's film.  He is devastatingly good.  He is usually devastatingly good; and yet he never seems to be nominated for anything.  Maybe he just doesn't draw enough attention to himself, shoes notwithstanding.  I would take him over Dustin a thousand times over.  I would take him over Philip S as well.  Oh, well: at least he did win the Golden Dingbat at Cannes.

And on a personal note: what happened to you?  Where are you now?  Back in Pest-Buda, I assume.  I know you always think about coming here after Cannes and never do, but this time you seemed closer to it than in previous years and I was looking forward to our long and exhaustive dissections of Le Kinema.  Maybe next year.

If you insist on tormenting yourself with the CANT Film Festival…

P

Bretagne, France

gersbach.net