Cannes 2015

The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan)

By Jordan Cronk The sounds of silence reverberate loudest in The Assassin, Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-hsien’s first feature in eight years. The film’s opening image, of a donkey quietly grazing in a field, immediately suggests an acute awareness of natural ambience. This impression manifests itself as the most frequently felt resonance in a work largely…
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Son of Saul (László Nemes, Hungary)

By Richard Porton Dennis Lim’s Artforum dispatch from Cannes pauses briefly to ponder the merits of László Nemes’ Son of Saul and concludes that, either despite or because of Nemes’ “showboating” tendencies, it’s a film that will “spawn a thousand think pieces.” If the ruminations that follow will, I’m afraid, constitute one of the first…
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Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UK/France/Germany/Malaysia/Thailand)

By Kong Rithdee Midway into Cemetery of Splendour, Jenjira Pongpas visits the Shrine of the Two Goddesses with her American husband to make offerings: she gives the goddesses a cheetah figurine for blessings on her bad leg, a gibbon for her strong limbs, and a tiger for the strength of her new son, Itt, one…
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Sleeping Giant (Andrew Cividino, Canada)

By Jason Anderson Almost 90 per cent of Canada is uninhabitable. Of those who live in the rest, the overwhelming majority live within 500 miles of the US border. So maybe it’s not so surprising that the nation’s filmmakers—themselves largely clustered in the same few square miles of Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal—regard the hinterlands with…
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Cannes 2015:  My God, It’s Full of Stars!

By Mark Peranson Well, at least the weather was good. Every year another leak threatens to spring in the dam, but the Festival de Cannes is not going to die a death of a thousand, or even a million, cracks. I started to vomit up the Kool-Aid at least a decade ago, and harbour no…
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Italians Abroad: Youth, Mia Madre, Tale of Tales, The Other Side

By Celluloid Liberation Front “To support Italian cinema is a crime against humanity.”—Franco Maresco Even more provincial and mediocre than the three Italian films in the Cannes Competition was the reaction of the mainstream media in Italy when they woke up to what they perceived and reported to be an unforgivable affront. None of their…
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