Good Morning, Cannes: From Bloody Fun to Bloody Schlock

Jim Jarmusch's vampire movie "Only Lovers Left Alive" wins over the critics, but can it possibly be as entertaining as the marketplace title "FDR American Badass?"

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 12:37 PM

And then there were two.

As Saturday broke in Cannes, 18 of the 20 films in competition for the Palme d’Or had screened. Only Jim Jarmusch‘s vampire movie “Only Lovers Left Alive” and Roman Polanski‘s presumably kinky “Venus in Fur” remained.

And with the Jarmusch taking the 8:30 a.m. slot on the heels of its Friday sale to Sony Pictures Classics, reactions quickly began coming in on the latest film from the man who’d been to Cannes with “Stranger Than Paradise” and “Mystery Train.”

Only Lovers Left AliveA few samples from Twitter:

Guy Lodge from In Contention: “Jarmusch! Vampires! Exactly what you'd expect! Droll enough, but an extended sketch, badly in need of eroticism.”

Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere: “Jim Jarmusch's ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is a perfect William S. Burroughsian nocturnal hipster mood trip…I sank into it like heroin.”

Eric Kohn from Indiewire: “Surprised to find Jarmusch's ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ is a charming deadpan comedy that resurrects the spirit of his '80s movies.”

TotalFilm: “No surprise that Jarmusch's ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ offers a singular vision. Big surprise it's so funny.”

Jordan Hoffman of “Undoubtedly the coolest movie at Cannes.”

Electric Sheep Magazine: “Dreamy, romantic vampire tale ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ sees Jim Jarmusch back on top form in his deadpan, warped sense of humour.”

Nobody's calling the Jarmusch film a masterpiece, mind you. In fact, the word masterpiece hasn’t been thrown around much at this Cannes, with lots of films winning admirers but few prompting expressions of shock and awe.

But Grantland’s Wesley Morris decided on the spur of the moment Friday to see a four-hour-and-10-minute Filipino movie called “Norte, the End of History,” which is playing in the Un Certain Regard section.  And after wondering for the first 45 minutes if he should leave, he wound up sticking around, then leaping to his feet and joining in the lengthy standing ovation. It was, he said, the first time he’s ever applauded for a movie.

“This is the sort of masterpiece the main competition has yet to produce, an astonishing work of life, death, and art that isn't bluntly political, vapidly violent, or completely self-obsessed,” he wrote. “It's a crime for the directors on the jury – [Steven] Spielberg, [Naomi] Kawase, Ang Lee, Cristian Mungiu, and Lynne Ramsay – not to have the opportunity to see it.”

And from the (reportedly) sublime to the (unquestionably) ridiculous, for most of the past 10 days we’ve avoided rounding up much news from the Cannes Film Festival’s evil twin, the marche du film, where schlock is bought and sold in the shadows of the high art being celebrated at the festival. But the Guardian’s Friday roundup of the 12 worst posters of projects up for grabs in the marche is irresistible.

There’s “Copposites” (“A crook. A cop. A body swap.”), and “Sharknado” (yeah, it’s a tornado full of sharks), and “Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman,” and “FDR American Badass” and “Abner the Invisible Dog” and eight more. We’ve put a couple of choice posters here, but it’s worth the trip to check out the whole batch, and to imagine the hundreds that just missed making the cut.