Finally yesterday, Palm Springs fest artistic director Helen du Toit, programmer Therese Hayes and I managed to cross paths. We had a quick meeting about our favorite films so far and special initiatives for our 25th anniversary edition. Announcements will appear in due course.
After writing a Variety review of the Un Certain Regard entry by Iranian filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof called “Manuscripts Don’t Burn,” I attended the first press show of Jim Jarmusch’s latest “Only Lovers Left Alive.” It’s a wry, romantic, perfectly cast vampire tale with pale-skinned, tousel-haired Brits Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as the leads. As always with Jarmusch, the music track was great, particularly a live performance featuring Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan, the wife of Palestinian director Elia Suleiman.
As the awards of Cannes parallel sections are announced, I am pleased to see two of my favorite films claiming prizes in the Directors Fortnight. “The Selfish Giant” won the Europa Cinema Labels prize and was picked up for the U.S. by Sundance Selects. Meanwhile, the touching French comedy “Me, Myself and Mum” won the section’s two top awards.
Next week, I will write a Cannes fest wrap for the A&E section. Until then, ciao.