Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Reports still pouring in from Cannes

Cannes may be over, but the news is continuing. The Nation today carried a followup report, expanding on comments about the Thai film, Tropical Malady, made during a news conference with Quentin Tarantino and the Cannes jury.

"This was one film which had the staunchest defenders in the jury," Tarantino said.

The article, written by Nation correspondent Lekha Shankar, offers more color from the awards ceremony as well.

"When the tuxedo-clad director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and actor Sakda Kaewbudee strode onto the stage of the Grand Theatre Lumiere to collect the award, there was as much applause from the celebrity-studded audience in the 2,000-capacity auditorium as there was debate among film journalists watching a large video screen in the press centre."

The movie evoked diverse reactions, with a press screening ellicting boos and walk outs. Trade magazine Screen International referred to it as "not the most accessible competition debut".

Said one critic: "It's the shock film of the festival."

The film was discussed during a press conference held on Sunday by the jury, headed by Tarantino. Other members included actress Kathleen Turner, writer Edwidge Danticat, director Jerry Schatzberg , actress Emmanuelle Beart, Belgian filmmaker Benoit Poelvoorde, actress Tilda Swinton, director Tsui Hark and critic Peter Von Bagh. They gave frank and honest "inside" details about the selection process of the awards.

"Some of us were moved by the film to a staggering degree," Tarantino said. "This jury was passionate about films and were articulate about their passion. The Thai film provoked this passion."

At a press conference after the awards ceremony, Apichatpong said, "People will continue to love or hate the film, the reactions will be black or white."

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