a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Sunday, May 23, 2004


During the thrilling conclusion to this year's Cannes FF, Quentin and co. perverted the rules of the planet's logic by handing not a wimple to Wong Kar-Wai's 2046. Was the spastic one, who helped to make a name for Wong in this country, voted down by his underlings -- even the great Tsui Hark?

Fortunately, at least for logic's sake, they chose the predictable runner-up: Michael Moore. Word has it that, as with most Moores, you'll only care for it if you agree with his politics. If you can't, however, contend with his bullying, his didacticism, his twisting of facts, and his occasional formal incoherence, you, um, won't. I'm one of the three good liberals out there who neither genuflect in his purported majesty nor detest him for preaching to the choir. I'm in the middle, though the guy bugs me -- it's as though he's just there to empower us, not with strong arguments but with simplified slogans and rants. Why do so many lefties seem to settle on him as the last word? He's clearly just there to stir up some shit and maybe, just maybe, plant the seeds of dissent in teenagers' minds. But I digress.

While Park Chan-Wook's Old Boy walked off with the Grand Prix ("Okay, this is fun, but it's kind of silly, no?," declares MD'A; good work, Quentin) and Exils's Tony Gatliff was clad in the Best Director trophy, Maggie Cheung, of Olivier Assayas' allegedly silly chick-rock pic Clean, finally got the Best Actress award she deserved four years ago. Irma P. Hall, quite sharp in The Ladykillers, tied for the Jury Prize with Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Thai film Tropical Malady, the only film MD'A went bonkers over. (Sadly, the former was hospitalized in the U.S. at the time...and most likely still is since this occurred mere hours ago.)

Until these -- or most of these: two of the films in competition are or have been in theaters -- spread throughout the globe, we have but A.O. Scott, J. Hoberman and D'Angelo to count on. The latter was so underwhelmed as to flirt with existentialism. While you often have to bump a grade up a bit (or down) with him, there's no doubt as to his critical perspicacity; in other words, it's hard to predict that most of these will leave you (or me) with an indifferently pronounced "feh." (Maybe even the dreaded "meh.") If Cannes is the arbiter of what the rest of the planet's fest will be like, then this is going to be one blah year for fest-going. Yea.

Oh. And I promise to get out to some new releases if not today then sometime during the week. Coffee and Cigarettes, Super Size-Me, Troy, Mean Girls, Shrek 2 -- I know nothing about them.


<< Home