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Cannes 2012: The Winners and Losers

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. For the past fortnight he has been reporting for us from the Cannes film festival, and here he reveals the big winners. 

The cloud filled skies in the middle days of Cannes 2012 also coincided with some of the darkest films, three of which are already described here in this blog. Despite their "feel-bad" impact, their artistic quality was such that they finally ended up with awards at Sunday night's closing ceremony.

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Films to Match the Weather at Cannes

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. Here he looks at three difficult but brilliant films that have perfectly matched this year's dark, wet Cannes film festival:

"After a somewhat stuttering start, over the weekend, the Cannes Competition delivered three hard-hitting quality films from three directors who have also shone darkly in the past. Their individual subject matter springs from the banal and the quotidian, but is cruel and sometimes difficult to watch. There is hardly a joke made or a smile raised during their combined running time of over six hours.

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Cannes 2012 Preview

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. Here he previews this year's Cannes film festival. 

"Moonrise Kingdom is this year's Cannes opener. It also opens in UK cinemas on May 25th, giving a welcome opportunity to keep up with the latest buzz from planet cinema, a world that systematically migrates to the French Riviera once a year in May. As usual it will have a Cannes competition programme that goes beyond the standard all-American multiplex fare and will again provide a wide range of celluloid offerings from the planet's finest filmmakers.

American Offerings

This said, Cannes 2012 also offers a particularly fine crop of quality contemporary American movies. For starters there is the afore mentioned opener, Moonrise Kingdom by Wes Anderson. On the surface it tells an all-American simple story of a little boy who loves a little girl in 60s USA, all trammelled with scout camping trips and indulgent parents, too dim to understand the essence they lost by growing up. But add the oddball, the quirky and surreal, the habitual tones of Wes Anderson's cine-palette, and you have quite a different and hilariously memorable experience.

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London Mayoral Election 2012

Millions of people throughout London will (hopefully) be heading to polling stations today to vote on their next Mayor of London. There have only ever been two mayors since the position was created in 2000. Ken Livingstone held it for 8 years, before the current mayor, Boris Johnson, took over in 2008. So, you'll never guess who the two frontrunners are this year.

That's right, the mayoral election is looking like a straight up two-way battle between Boris and Ken...again. However, though you wouldn't know it, there are other candidates. Here we give a run down of all the main candidates and what changes they are likely to make to the Capital if they get in to power.

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Tragic Death During London Marathon

The annual London Marathon took place on Sunday, with almost 40,000 runners raising millions of pounds for good causes. However, despite the usual excitement, fancy dress and fun, there was a tragic side to this year's Marathon. A 30-year-old runner collapsed during the final stretch of the race and died soon after.

Claire Squires was a hairdresser who had run the Marathon once before, and had even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in March. Despite appearing in good health she collapsed near St James's Park for unknown reasons and paramedics were unable to revive her.

A statement on the London Marathon website yesterday confirmed her death, saying:

"The organisers of the Virgin London Marathon would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. We would like to emphasise that our immediate concern is for the family of the deceased. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them at this difficult time."

Claire Squires is the tenth runner to die during the London Marathon since it began in 1981. Though the reason for her collapse is still unknown, five of the previous runners who died had been suffering from heart disease that they were unaware of.

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