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Palestinian thrillers about violence and vengeance electrify Cannes So it was for Ruin a taut, atmospheric and darkly comic thriller from a largely unknown American director and featuring no big name actors, which screened in independent side section Fortnight over the weekend and quickly became the talk of the town.
After seeing the film, which revolves around a drifter (played by Macon Blair as one of the most likeable looking killers to appear onscreen in a long time) out to avenge the murder of his parents, Harvey Weinstein snatched it up for US distribution. Critics, meanwhile, drew comparisons to the Coen brothers noir d Simple and their magisterial chase film Country for Old Men The film baby faced, Brooklyn based 36 year old director Jeremy Saulnier was deeply flattered by the response (especially since he counts the Coens, along with Michael Mann 1981 film as influences), telling FRANCE 24 that his first outing at Cannes has been an exhilarating whirlwind. been overwhelming, there a feeling of excess and the parties are a little sleazy, he said. beyond the velvet ropes and underneath the blaring techno, people love films. I feel a deep, cultural appreciation for cinema here. It not necessarily like that at American film festivals. Saulnier (right), whose first movie was the under the radar horror comedy Party is originally from Virginia, where much of Ruin takes place. The film contains frequent bursts of gun violence, and nearly everyone onscreen of both genders owns a weapon and knows exactly how to use it. At the screening we attended, some of the most blood soaked moments earned guffaws. But Saulnier explained that he wasn out to get laughs. wasn necessarily trying to be satirical, the director explained. from Virginia, and louis vuitton purses brown thomas guns are everywhere there. It the reality. But seeing my film through the eyes of a French audience, I realized that there are indeed comic elements to how many guns are seen in the film. Saulnier admitted that he himself enjoys guns at ranges but does not own a gun. Conscious that gun control has become a burning issue in the US in the wake of a spate of deadly mass shootings, the filmmaker clarified his own position. think the government should ban assault weapons, he said. said, I didn want the film to be preachy, and I actually removed lines of dialogue that were overt references to the politics surrounding the gun laws. Saulnier wasn the only one from Ruin enjoying Cannes louis vuitton purses brown for the first time. Amy Hargreaves (left), a 43 year old actress who has been working since she was 12 but is best known these days for her role as Claire Danes sister on hit show plays the main character sister in the film. is a thrill, she told FRANCE 24. said to me last week that it like the Oscars meets Mardi Gras. That hits the nail on the head. Hargreaves, who makes a vivid impression in her small, but key part, wanted to be in Ruin as louis vuitton tote amazon soon as she read the screenplay. get a lot of scripts for independent films and often there something missing, but I knew this was unique, she said. Between Ruin and especially which starts shooting its third season at the end of May, Hargreaves star seems to be on the rise. the same actress as I was two years ago, she said. changed is that before I was getting a lot of: you great, but the role not going to you Now it going to me. not my job to give hope Palestinian director says Another very warmly received thriller outside the main competition was Palestinian film screened in the Certain Regard side section on Monday. Telling the story of three friends who take up arms against the Israeli occupation (and clash over the sister of one of the young men, whom the other two love), the movie is from Hany Abu Assad, director of 2006 Foreign Language Oscar nominee Now about a pair of would be suicide bombers. Though isn as gripping or urgent as the earlier movie it has a rather conventional narrative arc and there are lulls in the rhythm it remains an absorbing, powerfully directed look at hopes and relationships ravaged by the world most intractable conflict. In the film, an Israeli agent tries to turn one of the Palestinian militants into a mole, and the two characters share a few surprising bonding moments. Still, Abu Assad (who has an Israeli passport but considers himself 100% Palestinian) was careful to point out that he was not pushing a message of peace in his film, which ends on a note of bristling anger. not my job to give hope louis vuitton alma 30 for reconciliation, he said. job is to let audiences, whether it Palestinians, Israelis, Europeans, anyone, live a life that they can live in reality. And while Cannes artistic director Thierry Fr introduced the film as an example of the cinematic fertility of Israel and the Palestinian territories, Abu Assad (right) resists being lumped in with Israeli peers. don feel connected to Israeli cinema. There a kind of barrier between me and the art of the occupier, he confided. I too traumatised. He did, however, admit to liking some Israeli movies and there citing Ari Folman (at Cannes in the Fortnight section with Congress as a filmmaker As for his next project, Abu Assad said only that it is about a road trip and is not directly about Israeli Palestinian strife. He also acknowledged the challenge of making a Palestinian film that is not, in some way, about the occupation. you show Palestinians travelling in a car, you have to show the checkpoints, he offered as an example. if the story isn about the conflict, you can fully avoid it.
FRANCE 24 film critic Jon Frosch left New York in 2002 for Paris, the best movie going city in the world. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Boston Globe, The Atlantic, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and other publications, and he has served on critics juries at the Venice Film Festival and Montreal Film Festival. In this Cannes blog, Jon brings you the latest on the movies, people, controversies, and gossip at the year biggest international cinema event.
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