179 posts categorized "Cannes Film Festival"

July 01, 2024

THE OLD OAK — CANNES 2023

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.comCurrently at age 88, Ken Loach is a senior statesman of Socialist Cinema. It's questionable as to whether or not "The Old Oak" will be his final film.

As such, "The Old Oak" arrives with a palpable sense of import.

Working with his longtime screenwriter Paul Laverty, Ken Loach gives us a great litmus test of a movie to guide minds toward communal understanding and mutual support.

ColeSmithey.com

Still, "The Old Oak" will not do much for the tourism trade in North East England's County Durham.

Bitter and nasty right-wingers openly attack Syrian refugees brought by social workers into their neighborhood.

ColeSmithey.com

Scripted with Paul Laverty's reliable ear for accurate dialogue, "The Old Oak" is special film that fits well beside other Ken Loach/Paul Laverty masterpieces as "Carla's Song," "Ae Fond Kiss," and "The Wind That Shakes The Barley."

Communities are only as good as their infrastructure.

ColeSmithey.com

Socialism is everywhere you look.

Paved streets, street lights, sidewalks, bridges, plumbing and running water, are all socialist constructs.

Getting your head out of your ass is just the first step toward a better world.

"The Old Oak" is a fine place to start.

Not Rated. 113 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE — CANNES 2000

ColeSmithey.com Welcome!  

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. Punk heart still beating.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

Where Secrets Are Kept

Wong Kar Wai Tells All

By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.com"That era has passed. Nothing that belonged to it exists anymore."

Wong Kar Wai's masterpiece of romantic longing, emotional expression, unrequited love, and unresolved jealousy, is a cinematic poem that stretches across time and Asian social barriers.

The film's indisputable beauty radiates with a burning glow that emanates from its charismatic lead actors, Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung. 

Set in Hong Kong, circa 1962, shared experience of wounded romantic repression plays out between neighbors whose spouses are sharing an affair.

ColeSmithey.com

The Korean War rages distant to our would-be lovers. Love is always an escape from loneliness.

A mutual decision to play out an imagined version of their spouse's affair, gives way to a simmering erotic tension barely masked by gesture, habit, and style.

Formality, dignity, and respect are unwritten rules of the couple's sexless romantic game of curiosity.

ColeSmithey.com

Every atmosphere is furtive.

Secrets are kept.

Erotically tinged gemstone colors explode in carefully crafted set designs and wardrobe elements that bleed off smoke from the burning chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung.

ColeSmithey.com

Hollywood should be jealous, very jealous.

By this standard, Hollywood knows nothing of nuance.

The early '60s political and economic atmosphere of Hong Kong informs the way that Wong Kar Wai's iconic couple interact.

Public appearances are kept up.

ColeSmithey.com

Erotic sparks can ignite from a spoonful of mustard shared at a restaurant table.

Lust is secondary, but just barely.

ColeSmithey.com

The intimate negotiation that transpires between our star-crossed lovers takes place in an aura of negative space where things such as wallpaper designs and dress patterns set boundaries of sexual restraint.

There is a BDSM undertow to the couple's interactions. Theirs is a private code told in silences, and muted responses that no lie detector could catch.

ColeSmithey.com

Although the film's ending feels rushed, it speaks to the audience as a cauterizing effort at mirroring the disjointed fragmentation of quickly passing time and far lost promise.

Epochal change has come.

Memories are lasting, especially when the romantic stakes are so deep.

ColeSmithey.com

The film's impeccable soundtrack places the characters in an era of Big Band music whose standards fueled a utopic atmosphere of charm, class, and romantic connection.

You'll be humming Nat King Cole's version of "

ColeSmithey.com

"In The Mood For Love" was an instant classic when it premiered at Cannes in 2000. It remains Wong Kar Wai's finest cinematic achievement.

In the words of Lou Reed, "you're over the hill, right now."

Relax, the romantic pressure is over.

ColeSmithey.com

Memories are all that's left in a lover's memory box.

ColeSmithey.com

Tear up the letters; they don't prove anything.

Keep your secrets.

Rated PG. 98 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

June 20, 2024

KINDS OF KINDNESS — CANNES 2024

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

Theater of Cruelty

Yorgos Lanthamos Regresses

By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.comSince going mainstream with the shockingly delightful "Poor Things," the heir-apparent to such Cinema heavyweights as Michael Haneke, Peter Greenaway, David Cronenberg, and David Lynch, serves up a half-baked mess.

Unintelligible.

Greek avant-garde filmmaker Yorgos Lanthamos re-teams with regular co-writer Efthimis Filippou to create a triptych of stories, each one more morose than the last.

ColeSmithey.com

It's the same poorly articulated breed of satire that hobbled other Lanthamos/Filippou projects — see, or rather don't see: "Dogtooth," "Alps," "The Lobster," and "The Killing of a Sacred Deer."

Here is feel-bad Cinema for the masses.

Pointless misery.

Eat up babies.

ColeSmithey.com

In "Kinds of Kindness," the viewer is left to their own devices to extrapolate on narcissist bosses, trigger-happy cops, group sex with friends, health cults, and, well yes, cannibalism. Rape and incest also get the Lanthamos spotlight.

If you are going to punish your audience, there ought to be a good reason for it. You will find no such purpose in "Kinds of Kindness" unless you are willing to put yourself through days of mental gymnastics.

The concept for the movie seems to spring from the Annie Lennox/Dave Stewart song "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)," that introduces the movie.

BDS&M misery.

ColeSmithey.com

It is telling that Lanthamos's most successful film "Poor Things" was written by other writers, namely Tony McNamara and Alasdair Gray.

Telling too, is Filippou's explanation of "Kinds of Kindness."

"Our main concern is to observe people, behaviors, clothes, and reactions and create a story that relates to something almost real and relatively believable."

How vague can you get?

ColeSmithey.com

I dare say that this particular approach will never lead to the narrative heights that David Lynch reached with "Blue Velvet" or "Mulholland Drive," much less Lars von Trier's challenging high-wire act.

ColeSmithey.com

Lanthamos flagrantly disregards one of Cinema's strongest precepts, namely that the filmmaker is responsible for sustaining an audience's trust. One reason that Alfred Hitchcock's movies are so good is due to the way Hitch treats his audience. You know that you are in capable hands.

If he were a doctor, Yorgos Lanthamos might, for example, want to amputate your thumb just to see your reaction. Fun for him perhaps, but not for you.

Rated R. 164 mins.Zero StarsZERO STARS

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series