Friday, May 24, 2013

Cannes Film Festival 2013 blog (Part Two)

Day 3 at Cannes began with glorious sunshine and ended with a lot of rain! Would the films follow the same path and start full of cheer and end on a damp note?

My first film of the day - and possibly my favourite to date - was La Jaula de Oro/La Cage doree (unofficial English title: The Golden Cage). This film by Spanish director Diego Quemada-diez was a beautiful and powerful story of three young teenagers trying to flee Guatemala towards Los Angeles. When they meet an Indian boy who joins their group, things begin to change within their group dynamics. Their struggle can be heart-breaking at times and I found myself so drawn into the story that I was just willing them to get a good break. It's tender, moving and beautifully shot and I can't wait for more people to get to see it so I can talk with them about it!

La Jaula de Oro/La Cage doree 

The theme of Wednesday seemed to be people down on their luck and Grisgris - which was playing in Competition - could certainly fit the bill. Despite a paralysed leg, 25-year-old Grisgris dreams of being a dancer. But when his stepfather becomes ill and the family cannot afford the medical bills, he resorts to desperate measures to try to help his family. The actor Souleymane Deme, also paralysed in real life, puts in a moving performance. He scored a lot of points from the Cannes crowd after he danced for everyone on the red carpet before the screening! It's a touching tale by director Mahamat-Saleh Hardoun. 

The Argentian comedy Diablo was next on my list but coupled with a few technical hitches and soaking shoes (yes, the rain had started at this stage), perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind for it as it didn't do anything for me. 

The final film of the night was a special screening of the 1972 documentary Weekend of a Champion which had been re-edited and updated with new material. It follows Roman Polanski and his friendship with Formula One driver Jackie Stewart and focuses on the sportsman's attempt to hold onto his title at the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. For anyone with an interest in motor racing, this film is an absolute must. For the non-enthusiasts, it does go into a lot of detail about which gear you should be in at each turn during the circuit! It was a very special screening however with lots of guests in attendance including Polanski and stars of two of his films' stars Christoph Waltz and Adrien Brody (both sitting just 5 seats away from me!) and lots of people from the motor racing world including Jackie Stewart, Damon Hill and Alain Prost.

Weekend of a Champion

So despite the earlier sunny weather, by the time I dragged myself home at the end of the day after lots of queuing in the rain, I looked like a drowned rat. This Cannes business isn't all glamour you know!

Ross Keane

Read Part One of our Cannes blog. 

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