Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Longest Day

So I've been trying to do the math. Let's see here.

Sun came up in Nice, France this morning at 5:30AM. Got on a flight to Amsterdam. The sun was climbing higher and higher into the sky when I landed at 8:00AM. Then, when I got onto another plane to fly to Dallas (for another shoot), the sun continued to move with us across the length of the globe. That flight? Almost 11 hours long. The longest flight I have ever been on.

So, take that into account along with the fact that it is just getting dark now in Texas. This means that I'm looking at a day of sunshine that lasted twenty two hours. Twenty two hours since I witnessed night.

Simply. Incredible.

I've had a chance to sort of recollect on my trip now that I'm back in the States, and of course, I couldn't help but look over the winners from the Cannes Film Festival. Here's a brief list for those who haven't heard:

1) Palme d'Or - Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon"
2) The Grand Prix - Jacques Audiard's "A Prophet"
3) Jury Prize - (joint winners) Andrea Arnold's "Fish Tank" and Park Chan-wook's "Thirst"
4) Best Actress - Charlotte Gainsbourg in Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist"
5) Best Actor - Christoph Waltz in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds"
6) Best Director - Brillante Mendoza for "Kinatay"
7) Best Screenplay - Lou Ye for "Spring Fever"
8) Best Short - "Arena"

Hmmm. Well, now it sucks even more than I missed seeing Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" by just three people! I completely support the choice of Christoph Waltz, and though I didn't see "Thirst," a vampire film made by Park Chank-wook sounds rather interesting.

And as for "Arena," a short film that I had placed low on my list of favorites, I'm not really sure what to say. Guess it's safe to say that I simply do not understand what the judges see or think when they're picking the winners.

Overall, I will admit that the Cannes Film Festival likes to pick films because they usually have some element that makes people talk about them. Cannes wants to be talked about, and so even if a movie isn't the best but features something taboo, it still might find its way into the festival. And with all the films I saw, that seemed to be case, whether it was the violence, the sex, the absurdity, or just the plain absolute weirdness. This isn't to say that the films I saw weren't quality (because most of them were), but that the festival is also looking for that little something extra even if it means that the film sacrifices some quality.

But you need to remember that a film festival is a money-making endeavor like any other, and a film that has a lot of press (which may not be so good BUT has THAT scene in it) will garner many festival participants and interest from sponsors. It just makes sense for them to pick films of this nature.

And with that, I close the book on this years 62nd Cannes Film Festival. I've traded out my wineries and red carpets for strip malls and name brands. So although I loved traveling abroad, I must admit it feels good to be home.

But give me a week and I might feel differently.


  1. Cannes voters have an unreasonable love of Lars von Trier and Quentin Tarantino. Tarantino was at least good once upon a time (and may still have a good movie or two in him), but Lars von Trier, as far as I can tell, has always sucked. I don't take a Cannes prize as a sign of any real quality.

  2. Liking your blog a lot and really enjoying hearing your thoughts...would a highlights/lowlights blog from you be too much to ask? As in, blog about the best and worst things you learned from traveling?

    Just a thought, not a homework assignment :)