And life imitates art (or maybe more accurately, Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale) with a real life million euro jewel heist from a safe at the Cannes Marriot Hotel where Chopard jewels intended to dress the stars on the red carpet have been pinched… It wasn’t me… I was busy staring at an empty baggage carousel weeping for my lost suitcase.
The following day I spend most of it sitting in my apartment frustratedly waiting for a courier to deliver my suitcase… But when I do get out its too a fantastic start.
My first film is Asghar Farhadi’s The Past which has a lot to live up to following his previous Berlin Golden Bear and Oscar wins for A Separation. Thankfully, it does just that and is very strong. Perhaps it lacks some of the formal grace of A Separation, but it delivers a perfectly calibrated pitch perfect grown up film about the effects of divorce on a Parisian family as the estranged father returns from Iran to divorce his French wife. A classy act all the way.
I follow this with Tulpa, a patchy, but if like me you have a soft spot for 70’s Italian horror, intermittently successful slasher thriller which wears its influences proudly, mainly Argento meets De Palma in a very violent, occasionally stylish and frequently silly slasher movie set against a backdrop of shamanism, sex clubs and corporate politics. Bonkers – but a great soundtrack from it’s Italian rock star and second time feature director Federico Zampaglione.
After a couple of meetings, next up is Miele (Honey), one of the curiously few films from a female director in this years selection. Valeria Golino (who you may have seen in Quiet Chaos or IVANSXTC) acquits herself well in her debut feature about a young woman who performs euthanasia services for the terminally ill. However, she has a crisis of confidence when she realises she has been duped into providing poison to a man suffering depression and seeks to stop him taking his own life. It’s visually inventive and walks the line of indulgence and sentimentality with great skill giving us a gripping complex human treatment of what might easily have been a far less engaging film in lesser hands.