Ah, running on 3.5 hours of sleep – that’s the Cannes I know and, have to admit, love. And I can’t even blame it on a cool party. Stayed up working late, but wanted very much to see the new Asghar Farhadi film, The Past, which was screening in the early morning. I managed to make it in and it was well worth the scrum.
Farhadi meticulously works to create a slow-burning film that’s so riveting, as it inch by inch peels back the layers of character and story until the final shot, where all the conflicting emotions drawn out from watching the film are contained within a single piano-played note. It’s a sign of a great film when during the pauses you’re making up dialogue and thinking thoughts the characters might be having – that’s when I know I’m truly in. And with The Past, Farhadi had me in all the way. It deals with his familiar territory of love, separation, and domesticity, but in a way that suggests he is still confounded by these complex matters of the heart.
Off screen, drama of a different kind played out in Cannes last night when jewellery from Chopard, one of the festival’s main sponsors for the past 16 years, worth around $1 million was stolen from a hotel room here, just a short walk from the Palais. The items were meant to be worn by the actresses and models who take to the red carpet. Apparently Nice police say it is an inside job and they’re questioning hotel employees. Then early Friday evening, blank gunshots were reportedly fired on the Croisette where a live TV show was being filmed. I prefer my drama onscreen, thank you!
On a happier note, I saw a screening of the South African animated film, Khumba, which is showing at the market, and listened to Kagiso Lediga, one of the actors in Blitz Patrollie talk about bringing a comedy film to the market.
And in more SA film news, The Weinstein Company, which has the North American distribution rights for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, revealed the poster for the upcoming film, which shows Idris Elba as Madiba and that famous quote from the Rivonia Treason Trial.