Thursday, May 10, 2018

Wandering through the Shelves- Cannes Film Festival


This is THE film festival that started in 1946 and many film people coveted the Palm d’Or  for their film with many winning, but many more losing out. This showcases many foreign films because it caters to all films plus the city becomes deluged with film people, paparazzi and naked gals on the beaches. I wish I have the ability to see more foreign films but I am unable to, so my choices are English speaking films. Head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what fun films the others have chosen.

1. MARTY-1955


I only saw this film about a year ago and it is a sweet film done on a style that was quite typical for the 1950s. A play created for film, shot in black and white, showing average people in full-on angst. This film is about a lonely butcher who still lives at home, caring for his mom, who happens to meet a lonely teacher at a dance. They strike up a romance and each must overcome hurdles...but will they? I actually found this sweet and not as heavy handed messagy( yes, I created this word) as other films from this time. It’s well acted by Earnest Borgnine who normally played thugs until this point and showed a range not yet shown before and he won the Oscar.

2. M.A.S.H.-1970


I love the great comedy/drama series starring Alan Alda and Loretta Switt that still has the largest amount of people ever to watch a series end. It is a brilliant series but it is based on a film starring Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland as 2 doctors patching up people at the 4077 MASH unit in Korea during the war..um...Police Incident( insert eye roll). It is a dark comedy with the doctors drinking, screwing and creating chaos wherever they go but providing excellent care to the wounded. There are some brilliant shots especially the last supper scene. I found this an excellent comedy that came out at the height of the Vietnam War.

3. THE PIANO-1993


This is the first film to win this prestigious award that was directed by a woman, Jane Campion. It takes place during the mid 1800s  where a woman, with her young child, is sold by her dad to a plantation owner in New Zealand. The young woman has not spoken since she was 6 and finds solace in her piano. This is one sensual movie even though you see Harvey Keitel in full frontal. It is actually tastefully done and well acted. You really feel for the woman and the man who plays her wanna be lover dealing with the oppression of, not only her husband but of the heat of this damp jungle. Her daughter is excellent as her mother’s voice and young Anna Paquin won an Oscar for her performance. I really enjoyed watching this film especially since I don’t have to listen to Holly Hunter talk who also won the Oscar that year.

45 comments:

  1. M*A*S*H is an excellent choice.
    I've seen a lot of foreign films over the years, but not sure which ones were specifically features at the festival.

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    1. Yeah...there are so many and not sure which all showed up at Cannes. Glad you like MASH

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  2. Hi Birgit...just loved Mash ....not seen the piano...may have to give it a try...xxxx

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    1. Glad you like MASH. The Piano is slow moving but I like it

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  3. Three for three this week. Not sure I have ever seen all of your picks. Good choices. I love foreign films except that it prevents any kind of multi-tasking (like getting a drink) since I have to sit, stare at the screen and read the dialog.

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    1. I’m glad you saw all 3 and I know what you mean about foreign films

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  4. Hi, Birgit!

    Bingo, dear friend! I have seen all three of these movies!

    Marty is a great little film. It is another that I studied in my cinema history course at college. Ernest Borgnine was the ideal casting choice whenever a script called for a "regular guy," an ordinary blue collar working stiff. I first saw leading lady Betsy Blair in The Snake Pit starring Olivia de Havilland. Natalie Shafer, later of Gilligan's Island, also appeared in that 1948 film, one of the first films I remember watching as a boy. Notice in the Marty trailer how Burt Lancaster refers to the film as a "picture," a term commonly used at the time.

    I am probably one of the few people on the planet who didn't follow the MASH television series of the 70s and early 80s all the way to its conclusion. I did not consider it "brilliant" and lost interest after McLean Stevenson left. Truth is that I much preferred the original film with Elliot Gould and Donald Sutherland.

    Holly Hunter was red hot in the 80s and 90s. I enjoyed her performances in Raisin Arizona, Miss Firecracker, Broadcast News, paired with Richard Dreyfuss in two films - Always and Once Around - Copycat, and the fetish film Crash co-starring the kinky James Spader. I also saw (but didn't hear) Holly in The Piano. I agree that the film is tastefully done and well acted.

    Thank you, dear friend BB. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

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    1. We are 3 for 3 which is great. I like Marty for its quiet style. I love MASH but it did go a bit heavy handed in the later episodes which I think is due to Alan Alda’s influence since he gained more and more control. The Piano is so good and I don’t mind Holly Hunter in Copycat and in The Incredibles as well as Raising Arizona but, sometimes, her voice gets to me.

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  5. True to form, I haven't seen a single one of these films. I've never heard of two of them. I've only heard of MASH, but that may be because it was also a tv show, which I also didn't watch. I always love reading your synopses, though.

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    1. Hahahaa but at least you heard of MASH which is good.

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  6. We match with The Piano! I adore that movie, it's so good.

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  7. Marty is such a sweet gentle film. I don't agree that it should have won for Best Picture or Best Actor that year (my heart goes with East of Eden and James Dean in it especially since Night of the Hunter was shut out) but both are exceptional.

    I prefer the television show to the film M*A*S*H but more because they were able to really deepen the characters over its long run. The movie is very good however.

    Looks like The Piano is going to be popular today but it didn't work for me. The performances were adequate but Hunter would never have won with me (not when Angela Bassett was right there!!), Paquin deserved her nom but Rosie Perez should have come out on top in Supporting.

    Actually Cannes began in 1939 but then was tabled during the war resuming in '46. I know that sounds like nit-picking but it matters with my picks for the week. :-)

    Union Pacific (1939)-As the Union Pacific Railroad stretches westward across the wilderness toward California corrupt banker Asa Barrows (Henry Kolker) hopes to profit from obstructing it. Troubleshooter Jeff Butler (Joel McCrea) has his hands full fighting Barrows' agent, gambler Sid Campeau (Brian Donlevy) and his partner Dick Allen (Robert Preston) who was Jeff's war buddy and rival suitor for engineer's daughter Molly Monahan (Barbara Stanwyck). Rivalries escalate until a fateful showdown set piece. Big rollicking Cecil B. DeMille directed adventure was the winner of the first Palme D’Or.

    Rome Open City (1945)-In Nazi occupied Rome regulations have been somewhat relaxed so the inhabitants can move freely during daylight but danger still lurks everywhere as food is rationed, curfews enforced and resistance fighters rigorously hunted. This focuses on the search for one freedom fighter and the people working to help him. Directed by Roberto Rossellini with a fierce lead performance from Anna Magnani this was the leader in the birth of the neo-realism movement. It won the Grand Prize of the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

    Cranes Are Flying (1957)-In Moscow as the winds of World War II approach young lovers Veronika (Tatyana Samoylova) and Boris (Aleksey Batalov) watch the cranes fly overhead and promise to rendezvous before Boris leaves to fight. Boris misses the meeting and is off to the front lines, while Veronika waits patiently, sending letters faithfully. After her house is bombed, Veronika moves in with Boris' family and seeming safety. But Boris’s cousin Mark has darker intentions and as the war rages sorrow spreads in all directions. Winner of the 1958 Cannes Grand Prize.

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    1. I agree with you about the Oscars and that East of Eden should have won as well as James Dean although Night of the Hunter would have had my vote. I really love the tv show MASH. I have seen Union Pacific and that is a good film. I haven’t seen your other 2 and Rome, Open City has been on my watch list for years. Great picks

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  8. I love Marty so much. So low-key and relatable and I really felt for the characters.

    To my shame, I still haven't seen The Piano or MASH.

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    1. We match with Marty. One day you will see the other 2

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  9. BIRGIT ~
    I've seen MARTY a few times, which obviously means I really enjoy it. ("I don't know, Marty. What do YOU want to do?" My great buddy Marty and I got a lot of mileage out of that line... until he was killed in 1989, anyway. I met Ernest Borgnine once, and he seemed rather shy in real life, too.)

    I agree with Joel, though: EAST OF EDEN & James Dean should have won the Oscars in '55.

    Considering the fact that I'm STILL making money for stuffs I did on MASH back in the late '70s and early '80s, it's somewhat ironic that I never really cared for the TV show... nor the movie. FUN FACT: The author who wrote the MASH novel did not like the TV show, either.

    THE PIANO -- tried to watch it once but couldn't make it more than halfway. I feel it suffered from the same affliction that so many foreign movies do: It was slow and ponderous and did not exhibit the essentials of the screenwriting craft which, when done correctly, drives a story forward from plot point to plot point with action more than dialogue.

    I don't really pay any attention to things like the Cannes Film Festival and the Academy Awards, but I was going to mention that one movie I do like that did well at the Festival was DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS. Especially since I was growing up in Dogtown right at the time the whole "radical skateboarding" phenomenon was being born:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogtown_and_Z-Boys

    But looking into it further I discovered that the movie had done well at the Sundance Film Festival (which I also don't pay any attention to), and wasn't really associated with Cannes.

    Oh, well. I tried.

    ~ Stephen
    STMcC Presents 'Battle Of The Bands'

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    1. I love the tv show and am glad you still receive money from being on the show. I agree with you about James Dean. I don’t know Dogtown or Z boys so I will have to look this up.

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  10. Hi Birgit - I've not seen any of these! Loved to see 'The Piano' sometime ... and I need to check in on Cannes this year - cheers Hilary

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    1. The Piano is good, I think. You might have seen some Cannes films already

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  11. I saw one of three; I think that's a record for me :) I saw the Piano; I do remember a lot of it from all those years back so it must have made some type of impact on me in one way or another.

    betty

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    1. The Piano is a good film and I need to see it again.

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  12. I have yet to see Marty, but I am aware of it. Maybe one of these days. I've seen the other two. Not a fan of Holly Hunter? I guess she's going to get some mileage out of The Incredibles 2 this summer.

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    1. I don’t mind Holly Hunter in some films like Copycat, Raising Arizona and The Incredibles but, on occasion, she just gets to me and I wish I knew why she bugs me

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  13. 3 amazing films that I've seen and love as it's why I love Cannes.

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  14. Don't think I've seen the Piano. MASH is a great film and series indeed.

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    1. MASH is good and love the series

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  15. I've seen all three of your choices, but Marty came into my life quite recently. I watched it on Turner Classic Movies and thought it was lovely. I think The Piano is great and has some beautiful shots.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I watched Marty on screen classics that I have. I wish I had Turner Classic Movies. Marty is a good movie

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  16. I've seen them all. Marty is my favorite. I've seen a lot of foreign films, but I don't keep up with Cannes nor the awards.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Marty is great and I have seen many foreign films but not as many as I would like

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  17. When I saw Mash the movie (many, many years ago), I found it irreverent. Of course, I took thinks a little too seriously in those days:) I think if I saw it today, I'd find it a hoot:)

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    1. There are movies I’ve seen and didn’t like for whatever reason. Now I watch them and can often change my opinion. I realize I was taking things too seriously

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  18. MASH was one of the movies I saw with my brother. He was on crutches and bored, so he let his little sister drive him to the movies. The things we remember. :)

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    1. That’s funny...not that he broke his leg but how you remember the reason for seeing this movie...made me giggle

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  19. Ernest Borgnine showed just how good of an actor he was in "Marty," didn't he?

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    1. He did! I really enjoyed him in this movie

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  20. I haven't seen any of these but I'll definitely check out The Piano.

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    1. Oh yes and will look forward to your review

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  21. (M*A*S*H the TV series was based on the movie, which was based on a book.)

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  22. Birgit,

    I have not seen these movies nor did I ever see the movie production of M*A*S*H. I don't know if I watched the TV show at the time of it's original air date but I do recall catching some of the episodes as re-runs. Alan Alda was purrrfect in it! He rolled off comedic lines so naturally and effortlessly. :)

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    1. Alan Alda was great in the TV show but you can see how he slowly took over the show abd veered away from the caustic humour and made it a dramedy.

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  23. The only one I've seen is The Piano, that was a long time ago and I would love to see it again.

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