MIDNIGHT IN PARIS: Woody Allen “Light” in the City of Lights

As charming as it may be, “Midnight in Paris” is not among Allen’s best. Even though it has most of the director’s trademarks (a neurotic, insecure main character; existential angst; infidelity and a touch of magic), it lacks the moral fiber and deep philosophical questioning of his better works.

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson), a successful Hollywood screenwriter is visiting Paris with his fiancée Inez (an effectively insufferable Rachel McAdams) and her wealthy—and equally insufferable—right wing parents. Gil regrets not staying in Paris when he had a chance earlier in his life and sees the trip as an opportunity to start his career as a novelist. However, Inez and her parents’ plans are not conducive to inspiration: all they want to do is shop, eat at fancy restaurants and see the occasional tourist attraction.

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‘Malick the Maverick’ Wins Cannes’ Top Prize

In spite of  the  French cinema vs. Hollywood cinema perception,  the truth is that nobody loves American films as much as the French, especially when they come from auteurs—a concept they invented—who moved to Paris at the height of their careers, as Terrence Malick did.

This year’s Palme d’Or, Cannes’ top prize, went to Terrence Malick for “The Tree of Life”. He had won one prior, in 1979, for the convoluted “Days of Heaven”. The film spent two years in post-production, during which Malick and his crew experimented with unconventional editing and voice-over techniques. “Days of Heaven” won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, but was a monumental flop that almost ruined his career, as well as the studio that produced it, Paramount. Continue reading

Cannes’ List of Winners

Palme d’Or (Golden Palm): ‘The Tree of Life” by Terrence Malick (United States)

Grand Prize: Shared between “The Kid with the Bike” by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium) and “Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey)

Jury Prize: “Poliss” by Maiwenn (France)

Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for “Drive” (Denmark)

Best Actor: Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” (France)

Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia” (film from Denmark, actress from United States)

Best Screenplay: Joseph Cedar, “Footnote” (Israel)

Camera d’Or (first-time director): “Las Acacias” by Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina)

Best Short Film: “Country” by Maryna Vroda (Ukraine)

Un Certain Regard – Special Jury Prize : “Elena” by Andrey Zvyagintsev.

Cannes: Films in Competition

Films In Competition

  •  Pedro Almodóvar La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In)
  •  BertrandBonello L’Apollonide Souvenirs de la Maison Close (House Of Tolerance)
  •  Alain Cavalier Pater
  •  JosephCedar Hearat Shulayim  (Footnote)
  •  Nuri Bilge CeylanBir Zamanlar Anadolu’da  (Once Upon A Time In Anatolia)
  •  Jean-PierreEtLucDardenneLe Gamin Au Vélo (The Kid With A Bike)
  •  MichelHazanaviciusand Aki Kaurismäki The Artist Le Havre
  •  Naomi Kawase Hanezu No Tsuki
  •  JuliaLeigh Sleeping Beauty (1st Film)
  •  MaïwennPolisse (Police)
  • TerrenceMalick The Tree Of Life
  •  Radu Mihaileanu La Source Des Femmes (The Source)
  •  Takashi Miike Ichimei (Hara-Kiri: Death Of A Samurai)
  •  NanniMorettiHabemus Papam
  •  LynneRamsay We Need To Talk About Kevin
  •  MarkusSchleinzerMichael (1st Film)
  •  PaoloSorrentinoThis Must Be The Place
  •  LarsVon Trier Melancholia
  •  Nicolas Winding Refn Drive

Cannes: Opening Night Ceremony

Melanie Laurent-Host Opening Night Ceremony

 The 64th edition of the Cannes Film Festival is in full swing today. The opening ceremony took place last night (May 11) at the Grand Théâtre Lumière located in the legendary Avenue de la Croisette in the small French Riviera town. Hosted by the young and beautiful French actress Mélanie Laurent, (“Inglorious Basterds” “Beginners”), the main guest in the ceremony seemed to be the city of New York. As president of this year’s Jury Robert de Niro received a musical tribute to his hometown and that of the festival he founded, the Tribeca Film Festival. Young jazzman Jamie Cullum played a medley of Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York and Alicia Keys’ New York. There was also a montage of de Niro’s finest film located in the big apple:  “Heat,” “The Godfather,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Raging Bull” and, of course “Taxi Driver.” The selection for the Opening Night film was “Midnight inParis” directed by the most new yorker of them all:WoodyAllen. Finally, when Italian filmmakerBernardoBertolucci received his honoraryPalme d’Or, he dedicated it toAllen and de Niro.

You can watch the entire opening ceremony at:


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Cannes: Feature Films Jury


Robert de Niro-President of this years Cannes Film Festival


Robert DE NIRO, President – Actor, Director / USA; Martina GUSMAN Actress and producer / Argentina; Nansun SHIProducer / Hong Kong – China; Uma THURMAN Actress, scriptwriter, producer / USA; Linn ULLMANN Writer, journalist, literary critic / Norway; Olivier ASSAYASDirector / France; Jude LAW Actor, producer / UK; Mahamat Saleh HAROUNDirector / Chad.

 Members of the Jury BIOGRAPHIES Continue reading

Cannes 2011:Short Films Competition

The Short Films Competition


As with feature films, the prime distinction in the Short Film Competition is aPalmed’Or. This competition for new works of up to 15 minutes in length has launch the career of many filmmakers who found a place in the official selection a few years later.  Among themJaneCampion,XavierGiannoliand Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Meeting with the directors in the competition offers all the short film professionals visiting Cannes opportunities for discussion that can open doors to different production modes and International funding.

Among the many special sections that the Short Films Competition provides, there is the Short Film Corner.

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David Hasselhoff Rounds Out Cast of Piranha 3DD

David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff heads back to the water in this year’s PIRANHA 3DD.  He joins the previously announced cast which includes Ving Rhames, Christopher Lloyd, Paul Scheer, Gary Busey, Katrina Bowden, Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, Chris Zylka and David Koechner.

Trading in the sandy beaches of “Baywatch” for terror at The Big Wet Water Park, Hasselhoff will face off with the flesh eating fish of PIRANHA 3DD.

PIRANHA 3DD opens nationwide on November 23, 2011.

Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas at the Cannes Film Festival

On Wednesday, May 11th 2011, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, stars of “Puss In Boots”, “towered” over the Carlton Pier for the first major event of the Cannes Film Festival, which opened that night at the French Riviera.  Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots) and Salma Hayek (Kitty Softpaws), voices in DreamWorks Animation´s PUSS IN BOOTS, emerged from a giant pair of boots on the Carlton Pier in Cannes, France. PUSS IN BOOTS will be released by Paramount Pictures on November 4, 2011.

‘Kung Fu Panda 2′ Is Coming to DC!


KUNG FU PANDA 2’s Po is Kung Fu-ing His Way Through DC!

What:  Po, star of KUNG FU PANDA and KUNG FU PANDA 2 is coming to Washington, DC and will be meeting fans at various locations around the city. Po will be taking part in this year’s Guppy Gala at the National Zoo. He will be doing a meet and greet and taking photos with fans. Po will also be making appearances in Chinatown and local elementary schools.

Why:  Po is touring the country to promote his highly anticipated sequel, KUNG FU PANDA 2 in theatres May 26, 2011!  The first film KUNG FU PANDA, which received rave reviews, grossed over $600 million and was the highest grossing animated movie of 2008.

When:  Friday, May 12th, 2011
Where:  Po will be making multiple stops during his visit to Washington, DC including: 

  • Friday, May 12th, 2011
    12:00pm – 1:30pm Meet and Greet/ Photo Opportunity at the Chinatown Friendship Archway (H and 7th Street)
    6:00pm – 8:30pm Guppy Gala at the National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Avenue NW)


More:              KUNG FU PANDA 2 opens in Real D 3D and Digital 3D theatres May 26, 2011.