Home Arts & Culture CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: Three for a bet

CANNES 2022. Special correspondence from Eugenia Vodă: Three for a bet


For example, the Swede Ruben Östlund has only made four films so far. With the fourth – “The Square” – he struck at Cannes in 2017, when he won the Palme d’Or. Now he’s back with the Triangle of Sadness. The film is also conceived as a “triangle”, an original triptych, of an explosive and implosive comic, which deeply hides the tragedy … An unleashed satire of our world. In the first chapter we enter behind the scenes of an always artificial and always seductive world: the world of “fashion” and “influencers”, plus, with a subtle irony, a Jarmusch-style love story.

In the second chapter, the “influencer” couple arrives on a luxury cruise, on an ocean, and what happens (cinematically speaking) on ​​that cruise provides a brilliant film in itself, a directorial tour de force, a roar of laughter. crazy, an explosion of imagination and creative freedom – in short, a masterpiece! All the stupidity and ridiculousness of our world fits on that boat, about to be bought for 250 million (not rubles) by a Russian oligarch on the deck (enriched “from garbage”), who keeps drinking and quotes correct, even drunk, on Marx, in dialogue with a ship’s captain (Woody Harrelson, with the well-known charm!) who would rather be locked in the cabin and drink nonstop than lead the ship!

The third chapter suddenly turns into another register, symbolically pressed: the ship is torpedoed, it jumps into the air and only a few passengers manage to sink on a desert island. Here, a Rolex means nothing! Here, the hierarchies will be turned upside down spectacularly, because only the modest and tired Asian, with a tired air, hired on the vessel to wash the toilets, only she knows how to light a fire and catch a fish … as she will proclaim herself commander the group! This last part of the film – although full of psychological depth – is lacking in grace, it’s totally lengthy and sometimes boring – it pulls everything down, it’s like a stone in the neck of a film that could have been great! And the ship goes! It does not mean that the author does not prove that he is, by far, one of the most inventive and original contemporary filmmakers! However, the chances of accessing “Palm” are low, for several reasons, one being that such an award, at this time, would not rhyme with anything, politically speaking …

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While Armageddon Time, by James Gray, rhymes with “politics” too! It’s a quality American film, it has two beloved actors from all over the world, Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway. at the beginning of Reagan’s term … A rebellious teenager in his naivety finds out what racism means, what lies means It’s unfair, son “… At the end of the film, we hear a line (something like,” .. “), which propels us from the 80’s directly into 2022! “Armageddon Time” is still today! So far, at a betting exchange, James Gray has the best chance at the Palme d’Or.

Anthony Hopkins and Anne Hathaway in Armaggedon Time

A surprise of the competition was “Boy from Heaven”, by Tarik Saleh, about whom I knew nothing, except that he had never been in the official selection before. I discovered a captivating film, at the intersection between the police film and the brave “current affairs” film, a true portrait of a complicated society, be it today’s Egyptian society …

A poor boy, Adam, the son of a fisherman from a remote village, happens to be sent to Cairo, to the Al-Azhar University, famous in the Islamic world … In Cairo he does not discover the “sky”, but discover that “McDonald’s is halal” and discover, above all, the secret services! In fact, the secret services discover him as a possible informant “fallen from the sky” to save their mission: elections are taking place at the university, the Grand Imam (a “patriarch” of the place) has died, and the “President” has a clear preference for a particular puppet candidate, who initially had no chance. The president, we are told, if he could, would proclaim himself the great imam, but he can’t, that prestigious religious center has retained its independence – and to take it by force would be a civil war … A thrilling scenario and densely walks us through the underground corridors of the university, of religious and political power, but especially of the secret services, with all of them, anywhere in the world … The pure Adam stares at murder, blackmail, betrayal, terror , he is obliged to become a useful informant, and after the mission has been accomplished he becomes an undesirable witness, which must be cleaned, because “stories like this must not leave traces” … But, with a twist of the pen, we see him , finally, “in civilian clothes”, in a poor boat, going out to sea fishing with his father … Better a fisherman in your village than a vicious imam in town!

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The movie “Boy from Heaven” is a fresco of Egyptian society

Any neutral viewer sees this movie as a surprising, very interesting “Egyptian” product! When you find out that the film was made in Turkey, without any Egyptian money, and the director, Tarik Saleh, is in fact … Swedish, born and educated in Sweden, and declared, for a long time, ” persona non grata “in Egypt …

If it was up to this movie – what will it be from now on ?!

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