62nd CANNES FESTIVAL 2009 - Brillante Mendoza got Palme d'Or Nomination

a look at this year's Cannes

[main source - Variety fresh since April 23]
[images from ABC news]
[also from Cannes Website]

Chris Mingiu with Jane Fonda. His entry won Palme d'Or last year.

annes Film Festival
, the most prestigious film festival where true and dedicated auteurs clash to win the greatest award a film can achieve, Palme d' Or, and i would certainly stress this, an award superior to OSCAR'S Best Picture, starts on May 13, 2009 and will end with a ceremony on May 24. Certainly, this years Cannes, celebrating its 62nd anniversary, is packed with roster of auteurs that would definitely rock the international film culture.

Pedro Almodovar. Jane Campion. Quentin Tarantino. Michael Haneke. Lars von Trier. Ken Loach.

All of them are undeniably cinema's greatest auteurs to compete at this year's Cannes. With the increasing public awareness of their significance the palm leaf shall be a witness for another golden year of cinema. One must be aware that during such events as Cannes Film Fest certain historical cinematic trends might come up. To award Palme d'Or to a film is to recognize its importance to film history and to the development of cinema.


A significantly absorbing list of all films to be shown during the event was released last April 23, about a two weeks now, and i hope this blog post is not too late to give a comprehensive look at Cannes this year. With four days away from the closing this might not be the last one to peer into the list.

This years Cannes line-up has a characterized variety and has truly evolve culturally. There is a stronghold of Asian competitors, especially from the Philippines.

Three Filipino filmmakers with three films got into the event. The Filipino auteur, Brillante Mendoza, known for his mercurial neorealist style and his epidermal penetration to the Philippine society, got a nomination for Palme d'Or with his new film "Kinatay". Adolf Alix Jr. and Raya Martin's "Manila" is granted a special screening. Also a Raya Martin film, "Independencia", was nominated for Un Certain Regard.


This is, in a way, a confirmation of what Richard Bolisay said in his manifesto ([Gibbering] On the Importance of Establishing a Film Magazine), that, and i quote his bold words:

"This movement of independent cinema is an earthquake that needs to be recorded in every possible point by the very few serious seismographs we have (most of them online), like news reports sensationalizing a national disaster."
The independent film movement of the Philippines is indeed pushing a new grounds for a new Philippine cinema. This extensive publicity of Mendoza to Cannes Film Fest since last year, when his neorealist feauture, Serbis (2008) got nomination for Palme d'Or, is parallel to Lino Brocka's Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim (1985) and possibly a new frontier for the Filipino independent cinema.


Mendoza splits Cannes critics and judges for the second year this year. I am particularly interested in Medoza's changing style in film making. Masahista (2005) wasn't much of blood and body part mutilation, but his exceedingly slow rhythmic style is a unique venture to a maturity in the field. His epidermal use of the body to exhibit intense multi-layered society started at last year's Cannes with his first Palme d'Or nominated film Serbis.

This is year follows this thematic focus. From an interview with Claire Rosenberg, i quote:

"Mendoza in "Kinatay" traces 24 hours in the day of a trainee policeman, happily beginning with his wedding in the morning to close with the young man's first outing at night with a band of corrupt colleagues.

To his surprise, fear and anguish, they pick up a prostitute accused of betrayal and wind up torturing, raping, killing and hacking her before disposing of the body parts across Manila.

"This is not just entertainment, these kinds of stories are real," Mendoza said at a news conference.

Asked about his novel style and the lack of action and slow rhythm of his films, Mendoza said "I want people to have a different kind of experience, to be with the character rather than just watching from outside." [link here]

With Isabelle Huppert as president, the Jury has a stronghold of female cinema giants which will favorably launch Jane Campion's Bright Star for her second Palme d'Or. Of course, Mendoza's Kinatay and Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds would not appeal much to the Jury if this is the case. Pedro Almodovar's Los Abrazos rotos (Broken Embraces) starring Penelope Cruz is definitely plump for the golder palm. Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock will take nods and also Tsai Ming-Liang's Face. I would certainly love Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon to win Palme d'Or and also Lars von Trier's Antichrist because it is shot using a Red One digital camera, a common tendency of von Trier's experiment on style. Alain Resnais, back from the dead, will surely rock Cinema Lumiere with his Les Herbes Folles. Resnais was a part of the historical French New Wave fifty years ago with his film Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959). This film is contains the most stylized flashbacks scenes i have ever witness, such a grandeur to find it so riveting.

In summary my top 5 films in no particular order to win the Palme d'Or:

1) Bright Star
2) The White Ribbon
3) Broken Embraces
4) Antichrist
5) Kinatay

I shall end here with this one :