Tag Archives: Marcello Mastroianni

Cannes 2015 – “You never look as ugly as you do in a selfie”

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The lineup for the Cannes Film Festival 2015 was announced today in Paris. The festival begins on May 13 with a jury chaired by Joel and Ethan Coen.

Reportage of the announcement has been varied, but the most unique news item concerns selfies. The Telegraph leads its article with the festival’s ban of red-carpet selfies, quoting festival director Thierry Frémaux: “We think it’s ridiculous and grotesque and really slows things down,” he officially declared, adding, “you never look as ugly as you do in a selfie.”

As always there is a wide ranging mix of international films and stars on display. Some outlets celebrate actors, others auteurs.  People zeroes in on the stars in attendance, under the banner “Charlize Theron, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman Headline Star-Studded Festival Slate.” The article goes on to mention Joaquin Phoenix, Matthew McConaughey, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jesse Eisenberg, Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek,  Rachel Weisz and others. The Huffington Post, on the other hand, concentrates on “cinema heavyweights including China’s Jia Zhangke, Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino and the United States’ Gus Van Sant.”

No surprise to see the parochial nature of some of the journalism; national interests drive regional reporting. The Guardian sulks, bemoaning the almost total absence of British directors: “Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy, about Amy Winehouse, has been selected for a midnight screening, but there are no British directors elsewhere.”

Down Under, news.com.au cheers on Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts. Strangely, the Aussie site also promotes the out of competition screening of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road” with a photo of Mel Gibson, who originated the role, instead of a photo of Tom Hardy, who stars in this reboot.

Variety notes that “Asia will enjoy its strongest competition presence in some time with Our Little Sister,” a Japanese comicstrip adaptation from Hirokazu Kore-eda; “Mountains May Depart,” a three-part drama from mainland Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke; and “The Assassin,” a long-gestating martial-arts epic from Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien. Cannes 2015 also looks to be a robust edition for Italian filmmakers, with Palme bridesmaids Matteo Garrone (“The Tale of Tales,” a lavish, effects-driven fantasy starring Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel and John C. Reilly) and Sorrentino (“Youth,” toplining Michael Caine and featuring Weisz, Jane Fonda, Paul Dano and Harvey Keitel) duking it out with Palme laureate Nanni Moretti, back with his semi-autobiographical drama “My Mother.”

The official festival poster features Ingrid Bergman this year. Some journalists, such as Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon, are underwhelmed by this design, preferring the style of  posters from the past few years. 2014 presented Marcello Mastroianni, 2013 had a great photo of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, 2012 delivered a striking shot of Marilyn Monroe, and 2011 showed a sophisticated Faye Dunaway. Each one combines text and image in a powerful graphic interplay. Each one epitomizes cinematic glamour; no selfies here. Check them out below: 2014-cannes-film-festival-poster2013-cannes-film-festival-poster cannes-poster-2012-marilyn-monroe_02282012_234555 cannesposterlargecannes_2015

Fellini’s 8 1/2 has been restored

Kevin Jagernauth at The Playlist writes:

“There are cinema classics, and then there’s Federico Fellini‘s “8 1/2.” Sight & Sound placed it in the top ten of its Greatest Films Of All Time list, filmmakers like Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese adore it, and you haven’t seen it, you can’t call yourself a true cinephile. Folks in the UK have a chance to see Fellini’s film as it was meant to be experienced —on the big screen.

The British Film Institute has dropped a trailer for the newly restored “8 1/2,” and of course it looks gorgeous. The iconic Marcello Mastroianni leads the cast which includes Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée and Sandra Milo in a dreamlike movie scored by the always terrific Nino Rota.

“8 1/2″ returns to UK cinemas on May 1st.” Hopefully the print will come to the USA soon!

The film earned Fellini an Oscar, and has been called a masterpiece by many, but its appeal to those in the industry is certainly due to the subject matter: it is a film about the filmmaking process. Derek Malcolm, writing in his Century of Film series in The Guardian, says “8 1/2 is probably the most potent movie about film-making.” But opinions are divided, in the same way that opinions about BIRDMAN are divided. Some find 8 1/2 sublime, others find it self indulgent. Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius debate the point at Film School Rejects:

Landon:  8 1/2 has a special place in the hearts and minds of cinephiles. It’s almost a rite of passage for movie lovers. So my question is, what does Fellini say about filmmaking that’s so damned special?

Cole: It’s not really about making movies so much as it is about a man struggling with his work…which happens to be making movies. It’s a great movie, but it’s also hugely, unrepentently self-aggrandizing. It makes the work of filmmakers seem terribly important.

Landon: Yes, to your point, 8 1/2 is at its core quite self-indulgent. Do you think it’s self-awarely so, or is its opinion of the seriousness of filmmaking worn on its sleeve?

Cole: That might be entirely up the each viewer. Those who see Guido as a serious hero may place the ideas behind the film on a pedestal that’s on top of a pedestal. Those who see Guido as taking himself far, far too seriously might roll their eyes through the laughter of his experiences and hand-wringing.

Landon:  My bet is that this doesn’t resemble in any way the day-to-day process of filmmaking.

Cole: But 8 1/2 gets at the feeling of the creative process. It bottles the impossibility and the absurdity of filmmaking.”

It’s helpful to note that the director knew he was poking fun at both the filmmaking process and the human condition. Fellini took “a little piece of brown paper tape” and stuck it near the viewfinder of the camera. Written on it was Ricordati che è un film comico — “Remember that this is a comic film”.