As we’re approaching the starting line of our 2000 Cannes project, it’s time for a little warm up. Here in this Preview both Armitage and myself will give you a rundown of our initial impression and expectation towards the 2000 Cannes lineup and Cannes itself.
Mario: My prime reasons for picking the year 2000 as our first edition are due to the fact that it was the first year of the whole new century and what a year to kick-start a new millennium with style. It was the year where Asian cinema took the world by storm with the massive cultural impact of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon to the Western world and many other works like Platform, Suzhou River, Battle Royale that didn’t make this official list but proudly stand the test of time. Iranian cinema had a good showing as well with The Circle,The Day I Became a Woman and a young talented voice in this Official list.
As for the lineup, I have only seen 7 films out of the Main Competition so far, which is to say that there’s a lot more to unravel, and I’m more than happy to revisit films that I am always fond of. It’s worthy to note that 2000 was one of the last years where Gilles Jacob was the president – the current-director Thierry Frémaux would later replace him as artistic director in Cannes 2004 after a general negative reaction over the quality of the Official Selection in 2003. It remains to be seen on which side this programme will befall, but if I have some minor complaint as of now it would be the decision to place Luc Besson as a Jury President. I don’t mean to disrespect one of the best action auteur working today, but his works have never been in Cannes In Competition, making the decision feels more because of his star-power status. The rest of the jury was in great shape, in contrast, with a 50/50 ratio between the ladies and the gentlemen.
My most anticipated titles: Sight-unseen: Eureka
Already-seen: In the Mood for Love
Armitage: Hello, dearest readers of the blog, how are all of you doing these days? I know you must be unfamiliar with who the new girl on the block is, but in the coming days, I hope to be better acquainted with you all.
I shall be joining Mario (as the voice of reason) as we watch movies together over the coming weeks. We are going to undertake the ‘Cannes: Year in Review’ project this time around but there are many more such projects to come in the near future. The reason we picked this project is because Cannes film festival has always held a special place in the hearts of both of us. I have never personally been to see a movie there but some of my all-time favorites have been part of past Cannes line-ups and I have discovered many hidden gems which I would have never gotten around to watching if not for the recognition they received there.
As for what these favorites might be, all I can say is some people like movies to lift up their mood while some people like it when they are able to shed a tear or two while watching one. Out of these two, I fall more in the later category. My favorite genre of media has always been understated character dramas. Though, I can always appreciate if a movie has real ambition behind its story-telling no matter how flawed it may be. I particularly enjoy the works of Andrey Tarkovsky, Richard Linklater, Michael Haneke and Lars Von Trier. The latter two being perennially beloved at Cannes.
And over the coming weeks, I hope to discover many new favorites as we delve into the short-listed movies at Cannes from the year 2000. There is no great metaphor at play in why we decided to start with this year apart from the fact that well, what better way to start a new series than with the start of this century!
With that, I conclude my introductory monologue. As for you all, come join me and Mario as we watch some great movies over the coming month. It’s gonna be real fun!!
Below are the films that competed for Palme d’Or 2000, and their official programme:
Wed, 10/05 – Opening Ceremony
Thu, 11/05 – Bread and Roses (Ken Loach – UK) – With a Friend Like Harry (Dominik Moll – FRA)
Fri, 12/05 – Nurse Betty (Neil LaBute – USA) – Blackboard (Samira Makhmalbaf – IRN)
Sat, 13/05 – Devil in the Doorsteps (Jiang Wen – CHN) – O Brother Where Art Thou? (Joel & Ethan Coel – USA)
Sun, 14/05 – The Golden Bowl (James Ivory – UK) – Faithless (Liv Ullmann – SWE) – Estorvo (Ruy Guerra – ESP)
Mon, 15/05 – Yi Yi (Edward Yang – TPE) – Svadba (Pavel Lungin – RUS) – Fast Food Fast Women (Amos Kollek – USA)
Tue, 16/05 – Sentimental Destinies (Oliver Assayas – FRA) – Taboo (Nagisa Oshima – JPN)
Wed, 17/05 – Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier – DEN) – Chunyang (Im Kwon-taek – KOR)
Thu, 18/05 – Eureka (Shinji Aoyama – JPN) – Kippur (Amos Gitai – ISR) – Esther Kahn (Arnaud Desplechin – FRA)
Fri, 19/05 – Code Unknown (Michael Haneke – FRA) – The Yards (James Gray – USA) – Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson – SWE)
Sat, 20/05 – In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai – HKG)
Sun, 21/05 – Awards and Closing ceremony
As with my previous project, because of our real life commitment, we are going to watch and review one film per day. 23 films to watch are fair, 23 films for 23 days with reviews are going to be challenging (I speak for myself here mostly), so we see how well we go and adjust along the way.
Tune in on 15 May for our start of first film in Competition, Breads & Roses by the veteran Ken Loach (he was still Palme-less then). I hope you enjoy along the way and if this project inspires you to check out some of the titles, why not joining me and Armitage as well?