Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 5

Cannes Film Festival 2019: Day 5

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by Alexa Dalby

CAUTION: Here be spoilers. Full DAW reviews to follow.

Liberté

Following the success of La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV) starring Jean-Pierre Léaud as the Sun King, the distinguished Albert Serra confirms his appreciation for eclectic casts, professional or not, with his newest film Liberté (Freedom). – Festival de Cannes

If two hours of sado-masochistic 18thcentury sex doesn’t sound like a European art film to you, then you haven’t been to Cannes this year… The philosophy itself is never truly explained, and the Marquis de Sade is never mentioned in the film. But the early days of modern sexual obsession are evident here, with nobles and convent members among those in the commune, living far outside the lines of society and testing “the price we must pay for changing the world,” as one character puts it. – The Wrap

Jeanne (Joan of Arc)

Part pop rock musical, part drawn-out chatterfest and part deadpan drama performed by [Bruno Dumont]’s typically rustic cast from the north of France, this is the pure case of a filmmaker doing whatever the hell (sorry, Joan) they want and leaving us to contend with the results…

In the press notes, he explains how he wanted to make “a form of mysticism setting in motion the secret connections in a harmony in which the viewer is a participant and the cinema the framework.” Fair enough, and maybe for a select few, Joan of Arc will actually do whatever that means. For others, though, this patience-testing (or is that faith-testing?) work will remain forever at arm’s length. – Hollywood Reporter

This movie about Joan of Arc is a stately, deadpan classical-absurdist pageant, adapted from Charles Péguy’s writings about her… Lise Leplat Prudhomme has undoubted charisma as the doomed heroine, but Bruno Dumont’s dead-straight biopic is passionless and exasperating… It makes no sense to complain of longueurs in this film: either it is a single 137-minute longueur or the description doesn’t apply. The pace is measured, restrained and often torpid.– Guardian

Full DAW review to follow.

Nan Fang Che Zhan de Ju Hui (The Wild Goose Lake)

A gang leader on the run seeking redemption. A girl in trouble risking everything to gain her freedom. Both hunted on the hidden shores of The Wild Goose Lake. They set a deadly gamble for what may be their last day. – Festival de Cannes

Diao Yinan delivers a definitive Chinese crime noir, in which the ravishing style and inventive staging form the substance…there is something almost profound in how comprehensively “The Wild Goose Lake” imagines film noir belonging in China’s seedy, second-tier suburban underbelly… this is a film that lives in its vibrant craft and fluid reimagining of scenarios that should be stale clichés by now. – Variety

The Chinese director’s followup to his Berlin-winning 2014 drama proves absorbing, original – and psychologically limited. – Guardian

Liberté, Jeanne and The Wild Goose Lake premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.

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