TALES FROM CANNES 2017 – PART 8: The Beguiled, The Florida Project and more

Day 8 (Wednesday May 24th 2017)

Sophia Coppola’s remake of The Beguiled, Don Siegel’s lurid 1971 Clint Eastwood Civil War vehicle ditches much of the sleazier teenage male fantasy elements in favour of a quieter, more nuanced and decidedly feminist approach.

Shifting the perspective from the central wounded soldier figure to that of the group of women who find and care for him is a successful conceit and allows for plenty of tension – sexual and otherwise – to simmer and bubble over in this engaging and often highly amusing piece of southern gothic melodrama.

The afternoon was spent with two exceptional and wildly contrasting documentaries, the first of which – The Prince of Nothingwood – was exactly the tonic I needed after a solid week of arthouse viewing.

It follows the efforts of gonzo Afghan filmmaker Salin Shaheen who has churned out 108 no-budget B-movies, his indefatigable optimism, energy and enthusiasm proving infectious despite the hilariously meagre fruits of his labours.

Screening in Critics Week, minimalist African tour-de-force Makala observes the labours of an impoverished charcoal producer  as he transports his wares by bicycle to sell in town. A forensic focus on one man’s gruelling experience, Makala is a profound, insightful journey. The film was a worthy winner of the Best Film in this year’s Critics Week selection.

Moonee, the six year old protagonist of Sean Baker’s (of Tangerine, the iPhone movie fame) The Florida Project lives with her young mother on the margins of society in a low-rent flat on the outskirts Disneyland.

We are experiencing this environment through the optimistic and joyful eyes of a youngster who has never known another yet Baker invites us to see through this veneer of endless fun and assess just how precarious their situation is. Screening in the Director’s Fortnight sidebar, the film is an unqualified success and one of the most purely enjoyable and moving I have seen in the festival.

Check back soon for more updates from Cannes 2017.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7


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