Post Sarkozy Cannes 1

MOONRISE KINGDOM (Wes Anderson)

By Robert Koehler

“Why,” asked a skeptical-sounding Chinese TV journalist with an assertive microphone of those exiting the Wednesday afternoon press screening of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, “is Moonrise Kingdom the opening film of Cannes?” To which one could only respond, “Why not?” I thought back on my impassioned support for the decision to program Anderson’s previous and best film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, as opening night film of AFI Fest in 2009, and realized, as the microphone inched closer to my face, that Anderson’s cinema contains a peculiar mix that makes it an …

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Reemergence

After a lengthy hiatus, Film Journey is gearing up for new activity, so make sure your RSS feeds are well-oiled and in good working order. As Paul Brunick wrote in Film Comment some 18 months ago, the site has always been “updated on a schedule that’s leisurely but sustained,” and that will continue.

Last year, I became the web editor at UCLA Film & Television Archive (where I continue to work), and in my spare time published articles in the LA Weekly, hosted a monthly screening/discussion group at Echo Park Film Center, and helped with AFI Fest programming, …

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53 at Locarno 64

By Robert Koehler

While writing about various aspects of the 64th edition of the Locarno film festival for MUBI, I also didn’t want to leave aside a bonus for readers of Film Journey. So, in an impulsive act that strikes in the small hours of the night when a visit to as large a festival as Locarno triggers a slightly feverish state (not literally, but the fever of watching up to as many as seven films a day), a simple, mad gesture: A list, in order of preference, of the films seen from August 3 to 13, through three …

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A New Direction for Directors Fortnight

By Robert Koehler

Barely a month after the Society of French Directors (SRF), which runs Cannes’ Directors Fortnight (aka Quinzaine des Réalisateurs), unceremoniously dropped Frederic Boyer as artistic director, film critic and festival director Edoard Waintrop has been named to replace Boyer. A fixture in the French cinema culture as longtime critic for Liberation (and currently blogging on Libe’s website with his column, “Le cinoque”), Waintrop had just departed Fribourg after a successful four-year run as artistic director, and had been named in March to run the Grutli cinemas in Geneva, which formerly housed the Voltaire Center of …

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What Matters at the Los Angeles Film Festival


Drive and The Tiniest Place

By Robert Koehler

A running conversation at film festivals in the US and abroad (mostly abroad): The urgency of film criticism to advocate for certain cinema, and ignore the other cinemas. The best reason? Life is too short to deal very much or very long with crap, and is much better spent considering the good work, and why it is good. Most American criticism is not founded on this principle; rather, it tends to be dominated by a consumerist mentality that says that all films which can be seen commercially should be written about, and …

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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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