Boyer Out, 108 and Decline In

By Robert Koehler

The Society of French Directors (SRF), which governs the Quinzaine des Realisiteurs, or Directors Fortnight, has dismissed Quinzaine director Frederic Boyer after his second and stormy year. The 2011 edition was roundly criticized and even lambasted (see Jacques Telemacque’s widely discussed Le Monde attack that ran during the festival), and suffered particularly in comparison to the past editions directed and programmed by Olivier Pere, who left after the 2009 edition to take over Locarno in 2010. It further didn’t help Boyer’s position that Locarno 2010, with its overall superb program, only tended to remind people of what …

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Cannes 2010 Awards: The Future of Cinema Wins

By Robert Koehler

You would have to go back to either 1999–when the Dardennes won for Rosetta–or 1997–when Abbas Kiarostami won for Taste of Cherry in a tie with Imamura Shohei for The Eel and when Tim Burton was a member of the jury–to find a Palme d’Or winner quite as satisfying and unconventional as tonight’s prize for Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s endlessly inventive, mystical and funny Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.

Going in, there were plenty of concerns about a jury comprised of such wildly disparate personalities as Tim Burton, Victor Erice, Alberto Barbera, Benicio Del …

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Cannes 2010: Before the Awards

By Robert Koehler

Less than an hour before the announcement of the Palme and other prizes, rumors are swirling over possible winners based on sightings of who’s in Cannes….and who’s not.

In the latter category, count Mike Leigh, which makes Another Year unlikely to win any prizes. Based on who has returned or stayed in Cannes, look to the following as strong contenders for awards: Apichatpong for his masterpiece on Monkey Ghosts, catfish, rookie monks who can see themselves and the infinite recyclings of life, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (pictured above); Xavier Beauvois for the widely …

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Update on LACMA Film


“Where’s the significant fine art?” Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Lakeside Landscape (1889) and Jean Renoir’s A Day in the Country (1936), courtesy of the excellent Landscape Suicide.

After several months in which the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was presumably doing good on its promise to re-prioritize and promote its threatened film program, my Save Film at LACMA partner, Debra Levine, and I have posted a new update on the museum’s progress: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, or “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”…

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Yuri Norstein in Los Angeles

Word is quickly spreading that the man whom many regard as the world’s greatest living animator–Yuri Norstein–is making a brief US tour, with visits to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Olympia. My 23-month-old daughter routinely requests viewings of Hedgehog in the Fog, but I’ve been an admirer of Norstein’s work for years (and wrote about Clare Kitson’s biography in 2005).

Norstein is renowned for his attachment to his Russian homeland and his refusal to work abroad, so I was shocked several days ago to stumble upon the announcement of his visit to the University of …

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LACMA Film Wrap-up

The Wall Street Journal published an article this weekend–“LACMA and the Cinéastes”–that provides a good account of the efforts of my colleagues and I during our previous five-week campaign to convince the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to reverse its decision to end its 41-year-old film program this October. At the moment, films have been announced for November, the program has been guaranteed to continue at least until next summer, and LACMA has promised to seek out large donors (with the help of Martin Scorsese and others) to fund the program on a long term basis. The …

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