Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back (side) from Cannes

I spent a few days in Cannes last week, having what are euphemistically known as 'meetings'. This should mean, in normal (i.e. non film industry) circumstances, that you arrange to meet someone who might, perchance, be beneficial to your current endeavour, and that you meet at arranged said time and place, and business proceeds forthwith. In Cannes, however, that usually means that whoever you have arranged to meet isn't actually there when you turn up, and you then spend all your available time trying to leave messages for all the people you missed, while trying to see some films and having a bloody good time. Because, if you don't have the latter, the whole business is a waste of time. I mean, on the one hand, you have the great auteurs and a few geriatric critics expressing their belief that film is/can be/ought to be an art form here and there, but for most of us, it's not; it's sadly a load of old shite most of the time.

Look at the poor response Béla Tarr's marvellous The Man from London got in Cannes. Is this a recognition of art? No, it's a bunch of ignorant, self-appointed cultural arbiters (e.g. Simon Mellons or whatever he's called at The Grauniad) talking about that which they are not intelligent enough to talk about, except which parties they've been to. Whoever said there is no high culture or low culture, there's only culture, is clearly wrong. Most of our self-appointed experts are decidely low culture, and they wouldn't recognize a masterpiece if it came up behind them and had their way with their fat ignorant bottoms. Viva Béla!

Anyway, enough of ranting about the intellectually challenged. Better out than in, as Jung said. (Well, it might have been that Freudian who encouraged his patients to go to the toilet as often as possible.) There are vague filigrees of interest in Folie, from various parties in Europe, North America and the UK being the usual wastelands of the Challenged, as I think I shall refer to them from now on. We are still ploughing on with post, just in case. Wendy is trimming the film down a little, as I feel we could improve the pace somewhat. The film is 90% there, it just needs that little extra je ne sais quoi. (For the Challenged, that's French for 'I don't know', whose meaning is rather more along the lines of 'A Certain Ineffable Something'.)

I did manage to chill out on my last afternoon there on the wonderful Ile St Honorat, where I visited the C11th/12th fortified monastery, and generally tried to think about what really matters (in other words, Cannes wasn't on my mind much).

Congratulations, finally, to Christian Mungiu, whose 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - which cost under £500,000 to make, had no stars and was about a tricky subject - won the Palme d'Or. I wonder which party Simon Mellons was at when that was screened?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Off to Cannes

Off to Cannes first thing tomorrow. I don't normally go this late in the festival, but was away last week in the wilds of North Wales, writing. While in Cannes, I hope to sign a distribution agreement for Folie à Deux, and also discuss festival strategy with the sales agent.

We are hoping to get a near-finished version ready by the end of June, so that we can get it into the Mannheim Film Festival, but that all depends on raising more money. Right now, the piggy bank is empty, and more of the old folding stuff needs to be procured ASAP.

I also hope to visit St Honorat and go to the monastery, catch the new Béla Tarr, The Man from London - the first time the great man has been in Competition - and of course visit the Scandinavian Terrace every day for Happy Hour. (The one place you're always guaranteed to find me.) Wih me luck. We need more cash, otherwise the film will remain an unseen and rumoured masterpiece...