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FilmMattic: Cannes Film Festival 2011 Winners

FilmMattic writes: What's the prevailing message from this year's Cannes Film Festival? Terrence Malick rules the Earth. Listen up Hollywood: It's all about quality, not quantity. The Cannes jury, presided over by Robert De Niro and including Uma Thurman, Jude Law and a smattering of foreign luminaries, has selected the winners of this year's competition slate. The results are illuminating.

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JL4400d ago

I don't get all the hype behind Malick. I've never seen anything from him that really impresses me. And I especially don't understand the hype about Tree of Life. Everything I saw about looked incredibly boring. Now that reviews are coming in, seems a lot of people are saying it is just that too: boring. I'd rather watch...Jane Eyre or something than have to suffer through Tree of Life if everything I've seen is any real indication of what to expect. And there's absolutely no way in the world I'm watching Jane Eyre.

I do wanna check out Drive. Looks like it could be a pretty good movie. I really like Gosling as well, so that helps.

filmmattic4400d ago

The predominant attack against Malick, woefully undeserved in my book, is that his films are pretentious. But to me, when a group of people are arguing that your film is showy and overindulgent while a more respected group is claiming said film is brilliant and breathtaking, I tend to side with the more respected group (plus I evaluate the reasons behind the detractors criticism).

For one thing, Malick's films have always been divisive. Too many moviegoers just CANNOT appreciate intellectually driven, spectacularly shot, moving art. The vast majority of viewers want immediate gratification, relatively easy-to-follow narratives, cool action set pieces and visuals; that kind of stuff (which I also thoroughly appreciate and enjoy). Malick is the antithesis of this style. That reason is precisely why people deride his work, and it's incredibly unfair. There's a reason actors/producers/fans want to work with this guy—they know he takes his work painstakingly serious. Heck, the guy's a friggen Rhodes Scholar.

The critics that claim Tree of Life is pretentious are the same people who claim Kubrick's 2001 is pretentious. At a certain point, you have to ignore misguided sentiment. Critics mistake slow developing films for boring. While said films certainly can be, with Malick (given his track record), you can more readily understand his calculating, methodical pacing.

You probably haven't seen Badlands or Days of Heaven? Either movie would illustrate his genius. Martin Sheen said Badlands is the Best Movie he's EVER worked on (and he was in Apocalypse Now).

You have to appreciate Malick's movies as moving works of art; the breathtaking imagery, the deeply rooted philosophical underpinnings, the purposeful, perfectionist arrangement of shots and sequences...I can go on and on. Malick wants his audience to think critically about his movies. If a moviegoer doesn't take the ample time to really watch his film, feeling it is bland and visually/philosophically indulgent, then they are selling him short, criminally so. He wants you to think about his movies after the credits roll, sort of dissect the proceedings. I appreciate that approach.

I can easily defend him more thoroughly, but I've got to get back to work.

And Drive does look like a good movie.

Defectiv3_Detectiv34400d ago

I love Cannes. It's like unwrapping christmas presents. You get to find out what some of the best movies releasing this year will be. And Lars Von Trier is like your crazy uncle who had a little too much egg nog, and now he is embarassing himself in front of the family.

Can't wait to see Tree of Life myself. The trailer alone gave me chills. I'm just worried that they will edit down the film for an American release.

filmmattic4400d ago

LOL, well said my friend. And your take on LVT's antics are right on the ball.

I'm a dyed-in-the-wool believer in Cannes. Pulp Fiction's magical ride into our consciousness (a film we can all agree is FANTASTIC) began at Cannes, when it won the Palme d'Or; an honor it now shares with Tree of Life. I'm peeping it on opening day.