Newsnight Review special from Cannes
Here's Kirsty Wark to tell you what's coming up in Newsnight Review tonight:
Hello from Cannes,
We are always thinking of language to convey the excitement of the film festival, and I confess, that in the past, I may have been guilty of hyperbole, but this time it is for real.
2009 is a truly exciting Festival - great films, coruscating criticism of a major director, diabolical films, tiny films with "un grand coeur", and a huge change in the atmosphere wrought by the global recession.
There are fewer Americans in town, and on the great gin palaces on the water, and so there is a more European feel to the Festival, complimented by the tone of the films in competition.
Natalie Haynes, Paul Morley, Sarfraz Manzoor and I will be discussing the contenders for the Palme d'Or, including:
Cannes super fan Quentin Tarantino's World War II Spaghetti Western Jewish revenge fantasy fairy tale, Inglourious Basterds, which for me was one of the most exhilarating films of the Festival.
A Prophet, a French prison thriller starring the amazing Tahar Rahim as a young Muslim prisoner tied up with the Corsican mafia;
Jane Campion's beautifully designed story of the doomed romance between Keats and Fanny Brawne, Bright Star;
Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, one of the few films ever to revisit the most famous musical moment of the hippie era;
Eric Cantona's ghostly character in Ken loach's Looking for Eric;
Lars Von Trier's Antichrist, his story of death, loss and genital self-mutilation which has caused the most controversy at Cannes, and which we hear will have to be severely edited before it can be released in most territories, such is the distressing nature of some of the scenes;
and Pedro Almodovar's latest movie with Penelope Cruz, the film within a film, Broken Embraces.
Apart from all that we have been to see Terry Gilliam's keenly anticipated The Imaginarium of Dr Paranassus this morning which is an extravaganza of CGI and which features Heath Ledger's final performance before his death.
Natalie, Paul, and Saf have been ducking and diving around other films too and will be delivering some of their top tips.
One result of the global recession is that apparently it has been easier to get "facetime" with the financiers who are here.
Last night we spoke to one Irish Producer, Shane Whelan of OnePunch films who has managed to get funding for a Manga film on the basis of a short promo, which I saw and it looked terrific. He said he had spoken to five potential backers - and when he made it onto the yacht... Bingo!
There have been some great feelgood moments here, not least the joie de vivre surrounding the ultra low budget Charlie Noades RIP, featuring a cast of Liverpool characters (a la Looking for Eric) written by and starring Neil Fitzmaurice from Pheonix Nights.
Their beachfront party, sponsored at the last minute by a Liverpool lawyer, was a raucous family affair and the perfect antidote to the starlet-spangled foyers of the five star venues... which look so "derniere siecle".
We're at the same beach front venue, the British Film Council Pavilion tonight. I hope you'll be with us, Kirsty.
You can read Paul Morley, Natalie Haynes and Sarfraz Manzoor's accounts of their Cannes experiences here.