Day 9: The festival winds down with baffling movies, a Roman Polanski short and a giddy Kim Kardashian
Kristen Stewart showed up, and the fans' screams were deafening. Kim Kardashian came to town with Kanye West, partied on Diddy's yacht and tweeted, "What an incredible night in Cannes, France!" And Alec Baldwin was overheard badmouthing Harvey Weinstein for declining to participate in a James Toback Cannes documentary that Baldwin is working on.
Sometimes, Cannes doesn't have a whole lot to do with the movies that are supposed to be the focus of the festival.
But as a wet and relatively uneventful Cannes winds down and goes into its final four days, big-ticket screenings do remain. Thursday, Friday and Saturday will bring screenings of Lee Daniels' "The Paperboy," David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" and Jeff Nichols' "Mud," among others.
Apparently, though, the atmosphere changes. Or, as Sight and Sound's Nick James put it, "Cannes in the decadence of its final days becomes zombie ghost town. You have to be careful someone doesn't pull your head off."
That line fits right in with something that came up at the press conference for "Holy Motors," the film that seems to have thrilled, baffled and angered viewers in a way nothing else at the festival has done. Director Leos Carax was asked about the public reaction to his film – and according to the Guardian, his response was, "I don't know who the public is, except a bunch of people who will soon be dead."
Another competition entry, Carlos Reygadas' "Post Tenebras Lux," drew the loudest boos of the festival, according to Jeff Wells. It also left Wells puzzled, and looking for "a staunch … Reygadas fan who … could maybe share his or her interpretation." He noted the three scenes of abrupt violence and the "Hieronymous Bosch-like orgy scene in a Turkish bath sex club," but on the whole found it "slow, lumpy, indulgent and mystifying."
Dennis Lim of the New York Times, meanwhile, talks to South Korean director Hong Sang-soo, an old hand at Cannes, where eight of his 13 films have shown. His new one, "In Another Country," stars Isabelle Huppert, who plays different characters in each of the film's three different parts.
The director says that Huppert deliberately didn't pay much attention to the translation of the dialogue spoken by the film's Korean characters, because she wanted to be lost. But his technique might have helped with that regardless of the language: He says he writes the script for four or five hours "the morning of each shooting day."
The Roman Polanski ad for Prada, which debuted before a screening of the restored print of Polanski's "Tess," is now available online. It's no "Rosemary's Baby" or "The Pianist," but if you want to see Ben Kingsley wearing a woman's purple fur coat, this is just the ticket.
Finally, Ben Wheatley's "Sightseers" sold to IFC on Tuesday night, and James Rocchi at the Playlist approves. He says the film will "make you laugh until you sound like a hole in the side of an airplane," whatever that means. Apparently it's a good thing, because he gives the movie an A.