May 27, 2008

Report on Two Female Directed Films from Cannes

Here's some info on a couple of the women directed films that premiered at Cannes.

A Lesson in Perseverance
Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David) hasn't made a film in 15 years since that debacle that was Boxing Helena (if you don't remember it, that's ok.) Glad she didn't give up. Her new film Surveillance stars Julia Ormand and Bill Pullman as FBI agents investigating a crime in Nebraska.

Here's one question from her Hollywood reporter interview:


Lynch: I took a breather. It was very sad. It was not my cut of the film. And then there was the trial and all that insanity around it. It became an incredibly blown up thing. I spent some time working on a novel, because my other love is writing and telling stories, and I was busy producing and shooting commercials and stuff. Then I became pregnant, and raising a child on my own became my priority for a while. Because of a car accident, I also had to have three consecutive spinal surgeries. Throughout that I was always writing, because it helped to deal with the pain. I am sober and refused to take pain medications. The art of distraction is the art of parenting and pain management. Finally, I got back to the point where I could walk comfortably and my daughter was old enough, so I could go back to work.

Boxing Helena Director on the Combat Trail (AP via HR)
Director Jennifer Lynch reemerges with the thriller Surveillance. (LA Times)

The Press Ignore Class Issues
Salon critic Andrew O'Hehir is one of the most interesting film writers. He writes about many films that the throng of studio pleasing bloggers ignore. This is the first article I have read about this film coming out of Cannes.

He reports that Lucrecia Martel's new film The Headless Woman about class issues in Argentina received boos at its premiere and believes that the reception is because "people just didn't get what Martel was driving at, and that clearly bothered them."
On one hand, maybe people here didn't like "The Headless Woman" because it's a quiet, careful picture that lacks the sexual undertow of "The Holy Girl." On the other hand, maybe they just didn't understand it it because they almost literally couldn't see it. When I met Martel during a group interview session here, I suggested to her that there was a certain irony at work: A bunch of journalists from around the world, assembled in an elite resort town, can't understand a story about the invisibility of class privilege. (Properly speaking, that's not even irony. It's just a striking illustration of the film's point.)

Martel has enlisted herself in a different and less beloved tradition, the tradition of art as a deliberately provocative intellectual exercise designed to compel the viewer to face unpleasant facts about the world, or about himself.
Read the whole piece: Why the Cannes boo-birds are wrong (as usual) (Salon)