cannes

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Cannes 2015: Nothing Catching Fire in the Home Stretch

Our guest film correspondent Séamas McSwiney is sending us special reports from the Cannes 2015 film festival.

The sun shines down on the boulevards and beaches of Cannes, though inside in the sumptuous cinemas nothing is really catching fire yet.

Heading into the home stretch, the general feeling among the critics is that this is not a classic vintage. The promises haven't been kept. At best they deliver in a minor key, like Moretti's Mia Madre, while his compatriots Matteo Garrone's Tale of Tales and Paolo Sorrentino's Youth both really miss the mark leaving a whiff of overblown self-indulgence. Both seem to fall foul of the luscious Anglo-Saxon casting the producing gods offered them, maybe taking the edge off their usual artistry and originality.

In Youth (pictured above) we visit a luxurious hotel in Switzerland where the rich and famous go to reminisce in the spa and recover from their successful artistic careers. It opens on Michael Caine who plays Fred, a composer who wants to compose no more and refuses a request to conduct his work for a royal gala. He prefers to reminisce in a sometimes insightful, sometimes cod philosophical way with his old friend, Mick Boyle, a filmmaker played by Harvey Keitel.

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Cannes 2015: Does CinEsperanto Colonise Multicultural Cannes?

Our guest film correspondent Séamas McSwiney is sending us special reports from the Cannes 2015 film festival.

Let's face it, to paraphrase Cannes programmer Thierry Frémaux at this year's Cannes press conference, English has become the Esperanto that idealists dreamed of when inventing a unique universal language.

He went on to say that more films are proposed to Cannes each year in English, but most are excluded as they portray stories taking place in cultural communities for which English is not the natural language.

He was responding to a question from an Italian journalist who observed that two of the three Italian films in Competition were in English; Paolo Sorrentino's (whose The Great Beauty recently took the best foreign language Oscar) is there with Youth starring Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine, and Matteo Garrone (director of previous Cannes prize-winner Gomorrah) brings an adaptation of fantastic Neapolitan classics in Tale of Tales.

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Cannes 2014: From Gender Issues to Money Troubles

Séamas McSwiney has decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in top international publications. As our guest film correspondent he will be sending us special reports from the Cannes 2014 film festival.

More than halfway through and it's time to look back and forward to see if we can spot winners and thematic trends among the films in competition. The kick-off topic was the perennial Woman in Film debate; both in front of the camera and behind it, what is made of women's identity and if women get enough opportunity to give their vision.

Italy's Alice Rohrwacher's The Wonders and Japan's Naomi Kawase's Still The Water both employ the mysteries of mother nature as a sounding board for human nature. The former does so in a hippie-ish pastoral Tuscan environment involving beekeeping, the latter on a storm lashed island in Japan as it explores fishing, death and the depths of human fidelity. Both films contrast the intelligence of boys and girls. Guess who come out best? Both are free flowing, individualistic and stylistically ambitious; audience patience is rewarded ...or not.

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Cannes 2014 Preview

Séamas McSwiney has decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. As our guest film correspondent he will be sending us special reports from the Cannes 2014 film festival, starting with this preview.

It's that time of year again, where Glamour, Art and Business get together on the Riviera, in search of attention, glory and profit.

The press conference to announce the fifty or so films in the Official Selection of the Festival de Cannes, (Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out-of-Competition, Midnight screenings, etc) was a jovial event, it being the last over which Gilles Jacob would preside.

He and the General Delegate, Thierry Frémaux, were sat beside the official posters featuring a shot of Marcello Mastroianni from Fellini's . He's the Cannes ‘poster boy' to counter the recent series of alluring actresses who have adorned recent years' posters, considered by some to be a tad sexist. Marcello is therefore this year's ‘male object' for the ogling eyes of all admirers.

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Cannes 2013: The Runners Up

After looking at the Palme D'or winner at this year's festival Blue is the Warmest Colour last week, our film correspondent Séamas McSwiney explores those that missed out on the main prize but took others.

"To reinforce Cannes' role in projecting cultural diversity, the festival's other prizes went to a disparate mix of films.

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