Friday, May 25, 2007

Odds and Ends

While my compatriot gallivants along the Croisette interviewing Wong Kar-Wai, I'm rubbing two sticks together, gathering second-hand info from the fine folks at Greencine and Indiewire. Even so, I've cobbled together a list of the films I'm most excited about seeing, if they ever manage to cross the ocean.

1. Flight of the Red Balloon, directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Already picked up by IFC First Take, the latest from the great Taiwanese director is a tale inspired by Albert Lamorisseand 's 1956 children's short "The Red Balloon", and was commissioned by the Musee D'orsay. It's his first film in French, and stars Juliette Binoche as a stressed out single mom tooling around Paris with her son and his nanny. Receiving laudatory reviews from responsible types like Manohla Dargis and Dennis Lim, it's being compared to Cafe Lumiere, and to me that's a great sign.

2. Silent Light, directed by Carlos Reygadas (No distributor)

Let's say I was intrigued by Battle in Heaven, but not entirely sold. His latest sounds like it could put me over the top. According to Variety, it "tells a muted story of adultery and spiritual crisis unfolding amidst a modern-day Mennonite community." It's being relentlessly compared to Ordet, which, being one of my favorite all-time films, certainly piques my interest. The mentions of epically long takes of a sunrise and sunset don't hurt either.

3. Go Go Tales, directed by Abel Ferrara (no distributor)

Inspired by Cassavetes' The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, Ferrara's latest had Melissa Anderson, Dargis, and Lim doing verbal cartwheels. The finds Willem Dafoe's strip club manager defiantly attempting to keep his dive in business against the aggressive offers from a Bed, Bath & Beyond. Asia Argento mouth kisses a dog.

4. The Man From London, directed by Bela Tarr (no distributor)

No one seems to like it. But I like long takes.

5. My Blueberry Nights, directed by Wong Kar-Wai

No one seems to like it. But my loyalty (and Singer's appreciation) keep my interest above water.

6. Secret Sunshine, directed by Lee Chang-dong (no distributor)

Scott Foundas wrote a rave of it before the festival even began, and the positive responses have rolled in after it screened. I was a big fan of his Oasis (2002).

I'm sure I've forgotten some, but no matter.

Oh, and the photo has nothing to do with the festival. It's of Vicincio Capossela, the Italian Tom Waits, who I saw perform at Joe's Pub the other night. He's a hell of a performer.


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