At the end of today’s Roger Ebert tribute at the American Pavilion, the speaker-panelists (moderator Annete Insdorf, Chaz Ebert, Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips. L.A. Times critic Kenneth Turan and Indiewire critic Eric Kohn) joined the audience in posing for this thumbs-up “hail, Roger, good fellow” pic. Nice.
Like Sasha Stone, I’ve succumbed to an emotional downshift attitude as far as the Cannes Film Festival is concerned. Tomorrow is my last full day. James Gray‘s The Immigrant at 8:30 am, Jim Jarmusch‘s Last Lovers Left Alive at 7:30 pm and in-between a Nebraska round-table session at the Carlton. I don’t feel like seeing or doing anything more than these three things. I’ve just about had it with the 18-hour days. I’m getting a little ornery about this stuff.
I saw Nebraska this morning and then Blue Is The Warmest Color, which took me into the early afternoon, and then I did some writing in the Orange cafe, blah blah. And then I began to feel a little bummed about the Payne. I guess I was secretly looking for an emotional-aesthetic Nebraska uplift of some kind, and when it didn’t manifest according to expectations, I went into a private tailspin. I felt as I was in a B-17 over Germany with one of my engines on fire. I bailed out with my parachute and I landed somewhere near my apartment at 7 rue Jean Joseph Mero, dazed and shaken and asking myself “What happened? Who am I? Why do I feel this way?”
I spent three hours watching Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is The Warmest Color (11:30 to 2:30) and then I ran right into the Jerry Lewis press conference and I’ve been diddling around in the Orange press cafe since so I haven’t had time to post anything. And I have to leave for a 5:30 screening in about 15 minutes or so. It’s an involving, very intimate, emotionally readable film about a lesbian love affair…but just one about a love affair, really. People tumble, they’re entranced, they dig into their lives, complications develop and differences occur.
The only presumption that makes sense about why the 11 am press screening for Daniel Noah‘s Max Rose was cancelled is that the sales guys were afraid that the critics would savage it and that they might be forced to take less money as a result. The Rose team wanted the public screening (which is happening at the Salle du Soixantieme this evening at 7:30 pm) to be the only venue, but the festival pushed for a press screening. Or so I gather. At least I got to attend the Jerry Lewis press conference, which happened at 2:30 pm.
Lewis is 87, and he’s still plenty sharp. I laughed out loud several times. He’s cruel and dismissive, okay, but he’s fucking funny.
I don’t want to put Nebraska down too much. I “liked” it as far as it goes, but so much of it is about capturing the banality of sedentary midwestern lifestyles, and the whole thing just feels overly measured and mid-range and almost resigned. Bruce Dern‘s Woody Grant reminded me of my cranky, cantankerous dad during his last days, and Will Forte does a very decent job as a loving if somewhat conflicted and resentful son. It’s a very commendable mood-and-atmosphere piece from a respected, first-rate filmmaker, so I don’t want to be snide or dismissive. It’s fine.
The word is so good on Blue Is The Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adele) that I’m going to catch it at 11:30 am, and in so doing bail on the 11 am screening of Daniel Noah‘s Max Rose. Update: Max Rose press screening cancelled so that settles it. Lesbian flick is three hours long, but people are creaming. The length of Blue means I’ll also miss today’s Jerry Lewis press conference at 2:30 pm.