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Cannes Day 2

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Mark Kermode | 08:09 UK time, Saturday, 15 May 2010

Where's the best place to form a considered critical opinion of a movie like Oliver Stone's new Wall Street movie? How about in the middle of an overexcited, overdressed crowd of film buffs while a brass band plays cover versions of old movie themes?

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  • Comment number 1.

    Is it just me, or does the entrance to the cinema look like a shoddy set piece out of a Flash Gordon serial?

  • Comment number 2.

    Which begs the question, if you have to watch all the movies again why go in the first place? Hope you're not falling prey to the celebrity lifestyle!

    Glad to see you took a suit, but where was the bag?

  • Comment number 3.

    YOUR homework, Mark, is to attempt to have a 1:1 interview with Russell Crowe.

  • Comment number 4.

    an interesting point how the context in which you watch a film changes what you think of it.

    however, he's fishing for sympathy again!

  • Comment number 5.

    I think that that there is an analogy to be found here. Cannes must be like having a brass band blasting tunes a few inches from your face thus preventing your critical faculties from forming any kind of opinion on what you are listening too. My advice, retire back to your hotel at every opportunity to gather your thoughts.
    I like the image of you going out to greet the crowd from your balcony at the very end of that clip. Reminiscent of Mussolini!(just kidding!)

  • Comment number 6.

    Tip #147 for surviving Cannes: avoid the balconies. You may eventually give in to the temptation to throw yourself off.

  • Comment number 7.

    Is it just me or is Mark's hair a little shabby today? Maybe this is what happens to people, especially critics, when they go to Canne; it begins to destroy the one thing that you love the most, which, by reverse logic, is what we most fear. Canne has already begun to chip away at you Mark and it shows. I predict that we shall see a full on Erazerhead by the end of the week. Leave now, just leave! We need you Mark, I mean for the love of film! It's only day 2 and I counted 6 moans in that blog, not including the review of Wallstreet. By my prediction day 7, if you make it that far, will just be one big rant (which I would like) or you'll be in the sort of catatonic torpor that would befit your Erazerhead hair. I wouldn't be surprised if Werner Herzog is relishing the fact that you go to Canne so he can make a documentary about it when you finally snap and descend into *German accent* 'Chaos, destruction, disharmony, and ultimately death.' As O'Brien famously says in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, 'You asked me once, what was in Canne 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Canne 101 is the worst thing in the world.' I think it was something like that anyway...

  • Comment number 8.

    Look Doctor what you clearly need to do here is swap with me back here in London. I have a nice (small) digital video camera with one of those little gorilla armed tripod things that I can tie to my popcorn and record away. I can then send you back the video of the movie and you can– in complete comfort and with a calm balanced frame of mind – critique to the high level that we all expect. While I stand around and suffer the indignities of hobnobbing with the celebs! – OK?

    PS I would love to track down Ridley Scott and tell him that we have had enough of his repetitive war movies and that he should get back sooner (before he shuffles off) to the genre that he obviously excels at...

  • Comment number 9.

    i have become a big fan of senhores kermode and mayo's film podcast....though i just wanna let them know that the titans do clash...medusa vs the kraken (however minimal the confrontation actually is)...and hence the film name and, though pathetic, tagline.
    The original....great....the recent abomination. Keep up the good work guys :D

  • Comment number 10.

    I’m currently revising for my A Levels but, despite the pending exams, I now refuse to work in the college library because it is, wait for it, too quite. Everyone writes or taps at computer keys in relative silence with any noise above the accepted level immediately repressed by a shushing librarian. I find it oppressive. When in there, I’m always looking around the room for distractions or listening to others hushed conversations instead of concentrating on my own work, before finally running out in relief to fresh air and noisy crowds. Instead, I work in the canteen surrounded by chatting students and continuous comings and goings. I can plug in my ipod and study in peace.
    The point being….. maybe it’s not Canne… it’s you.

  • Comment number 11.

    who films all your video blogs by the way?

  • Comment number 12.

    He says Wall Street : Money Never Sleeps is a bit baggy and it may well be. But I think people's memories of that film are wholly consumed by that terrific Thatcherite speech in the middle. Overall, the original is pretty baggy and slow as well - not all the scenes land, Darryl Hannah, much to her oft-reported frustration, is given very little to do other than look pretty, and I'd even say that the central performance by Charlie Sheen is a bit too much of a blank slate. Douglas's Gekko is indeed terrific and terrifying but he's not in the movie that much, as is also the case with the brief but equally powerful support by Martin Sheen as the blue collar father, who I'm sure was conjuring some genuine anger toward his real life, tabloid-leading son. Hell, it even pulls the old tape recorder gaffe and we don't get to the satisfaction of seeing Gekko being tried or convicted. All in all then, a good morality tale but full of arch dialogue given to ciphers rather than well-rounded characters, so not quite the masterpiece every critic remembers it as.

  • Comment number 13.

    The original Wall Street, like Platoon before it, is just Oliver Stone lecturing us for two hours. There is no subtlety to Stone's work - he just oversimplifies everything and covers his tracks by appealing to bizarre conspiracy theories. American Psycho is a much better examination of 1980s greed, and it's a damn sight funnier.

    I haven't seen Robin Hood yet, but I would like to agree with the earlier post. I don't find his war films boring but he should make another sci-fi film. And no, I'm not talking about the planned Alien prequel (please don't do 3D Ridley, you're so much better than that), but the planned adaptation of Brave New World that he's listed as doing on IMDB. Considering that Robert Altman was still directing into his 80s, Ridley's got a few years left to do it - but please get a move on just to be sure! You are the only living director who can do Huxley's masterpiece justice!

  • Comment number 14.

    You seem to be holding up well under the stress of Cannes, Mark (whiner). As others have noted, your quiff does appear to have a few locks askew on your left side. I don't think I've seen that before. I hope you make it through the whole Cannes ordeal (a little sarcasm there).

    I enjoyed (as always) your takes on the new releases (Robin Hood, the Bill Hicks doc., Das Tank, the Mussolini Was A Horrible Guy To Be Around film,etc...), BUT... (yes, 'but')... I just returned from seeing the new Robin Hood flick and I enjoyed it much more than you did. Mr. Scott delivered on all of the things that he does well. Awesome war scenes. Interesting concepts. Fairly clear storytelling. Amazingly artistic visuals.... I also enjoyed the Middle Ages version of the opening of Saving Private Ryan (that was fun). This wasn't one of Ridley Scott's best, but to me his mediocre films are better than most of the other stuff that's out there (and is always very watchable).

    And being American, I thought Crowe's accent was fine. But what do I know? Everyone in the movie sounded like they were from Australia to me.

  • Comment number 15.

    I can relate. When I go to the cinema with a group of friends we always end up having the compulsory post-film discussion in the lobby. It is rarely a discussion of more than a few words each. Speaking for myself I can't get past that slight sense of bewilderment on my return to reality. We now follow our films with a trip to the pub. That extra bit of time and space to think about it properly often changes our outlook and enables us to speak in full sentences, sometimes paragraphs.

  • Comment number 16.

    Cannes looks like great fun. Lots of film screenings, random events, celebrity appearances and partying. It's like the cinematic equivalent of Glastonbury (but with less mud and drugs). Mark, just do what people do at music festivals; walk around in a semi aware daze and stumble into whatever seems appealing at the time.

    Also, if you really don't enjoy it this year then why not set up a competition on this blog for your spot next year? We'll all put forward our cases for why we think we should go and whoever is the most convincing gets to take your place. Deal?

  • Comment number 17.

    Is Oliver Stone going soft in his old age? What happened to his baking, blistering diatribes at the bloated, entrenched authorities? When I saw Dubya, I was expecting the cinematic equivalent of watching Bush being repeatedly smashed in by a breezeblock but instead got a ruffle of his hair, a pat on his head and a 'cheeky little scamp, don't do it again.' For his next movie, Stone needs to employ someone to poke him in the eye and kick him in the shins before every take so he's in the proper fiery spirit.

    As for Ridley Scott; has that man ever had a sense of humour? His movies, especially his most recent ones, have been exceedingly dull and po-faced. If I have to witness yet another gritty close-up of a grim-faced Crowe I'm going to poke someone in the eye or kick them in the shin... Hey Oliver, call me okay?

  • Comment number 18.

    Dr K

    It looks like the Circus I have always imagined it to be, two years ago during the Autumn I happened to be in Cannes for the day passing through during a holiday. Of course as a film geek I couldn't resist the temptation to wander along to the theatre to see what all the fuss was about. It's location is rather wonderful an ideal setting some would say, but the town itself had a 'shallowness' to it that was probably even more obvious once the circus had left town.
    My 'Cannes moment' was purchasing a cheap and cheerful Al Fresco lunch from one of the many vendors and realising it was enough to feed a small army, I spotted two street drinkers sitting on a bench swigging cheap red wine (who looked totally out of place there) looking longingly at my lunch purchase. Being brave I walked over to them and gave them the remainder of the French Bread Feast. Much to my surprise and amusement one of them kissed or rather mauled my hand, whilst the other hastily divided the spoils! Wish I'd had a hand held camera with me could have made a short film and put it in the competition..........Entitled .....Biting the hand that feeds you perhaps? ;-)

  • Comment number 19.

    The other thing Kermode hasn't mentioned - the most obvious thing - is that's it's pretty sad seeing Stone reduced to having Shia LaBouff in his film and bringing it in for the massive handicap of a PG-13 rating. It means in a dialogue-driven movie Gekko doesn't get to be as foul-mouthed as the character requires. Doesn't these obvious studio demands make Stone at least partly a sellout to the corporate America, he so furiously rails against?

  • Comment number 20.

    All of these Hollywood films make such a loud noise at Cannes and ultimately the best they ever get are mixed reviews. I would like to take a moment to champion some of the short films on offer, some of which are in Competition at the Cannes Short Film Corner Award. I saw a number of these films in the short film corner and two British entries to the competition are wonderful animations, Crash Bang Wallow by Jon Dunleavy is a hilarious tale of an ex stuntman, and BAFTA winner Mother of Many by Emma Lazenby is a fine film about the important role of midwives. Check them out on Youtube where you can also vote for them for the public award.

  • Comment number 21.

    The Cannes noise would explain the Dr's somewhat misguided judgement of Lars von Trier's films.


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