This week on Fandor: An encore for these fabulous foreign films, just because we “Cannes”.
The red carpet has been rolled up and the theaters (and the Riviera) have emptied out, but the “post-game analysis”, if you will, of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival has just begun. It will be a while yet before we know which of this year’s fare will earn its place in “best-of-the-decade” lists, like this one compiled by our ever-astute Keyframe Video Essayist Kevin B. Lee:
In addition to the official competition categories at Cannes (the Palm D’Or, Grand Prix and Prix du Jury being the three top awards, in descending order), did you know that there are also a multitude of independently-bestowed honors? In this moment of consideration after the fact, we wanted to highlight a few Fandor films that have earned past awards in some of these emerging categories:
The Vulcan Award was created in 2003 as an update of a long-standing technical award that had been given as part of the festival for fifty years (1951 – 2001). Acknowledging the collaborative nature of cinema, the prize goes to a technician, rather than a director or actor, and is determined by the films in that year’s official competition. Ten years after the reboot, it was awarded to cinematographer Antoine Heberlé, for his work on Grigris. A tale of big dreams and bad decisions set in the director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun‘s native Chad, the film has a quiet pace and a beautiful look underscored by fantastic performances throughout.
To recognize the treatment of LGBT themes within the Cannes Film Festival, the Queer Palm was established in 2010. Only the Golden Eye Award, which started in 2015, is newer! You may recognize the name Xavier Dolan from his hotly contested win of both the Grand Prix and this year’s Ecumenical Jury Prize, or from the already-iconic music video for Adele’s Hello, but the truth is that Dolan has long been a celebrity director as well as a Cannes darling, even though he’s only twenty-seven years old. His third film, the gorgeous and devastating Laurence Anyways, earned the Golden Palm in 2012 for its perspective on transgender life and love. In the oeuvre of an enfant terrible marked by excellence and accolades, this nearly three-hour-long drama more than holds its own. For a teaser of the beauty and pain that await you upon viewing, look no further than this video essay:
And finally, at a fest that seems to be such serious business — serious glamour, serious cinema, serious controversy — it can be fun to inject an element of the absurd. The Palm Dog award, the pinnacle of achievement for man’s best friend on film, does just that, sometimes to the confusion and mild chagrin of hardcore festival-goers! Bestowed annually since 2001 to the best performance by a live or animated canine (or team of canines), this year the leather and gold collar was conferred posthumously for the first time, on the English bulldog from Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson. Last year, it went to Lucky, the maltipoo from Arabian Nights I: The Restless One. This Portuguese epic (pictured in this week’s main image) is far more than a showcase for an adorable dog and its many sweaters, however: it blends beauty, austerity, fantasy and reality in a series of stories-within-stories set in the struggling economic climate of a contemporary European nation. It’s also the first of a trilogy, and all three installments are currently streaming on Fandor for your bingeing pleasure!
With that, we’ll leave you to your own devices (be they television, desktop or mobile) and return next week with another roundup of news, links, movies and more. Until then, as always, happy watching!