Cannes 2021. Logbook, day 9: a catch-up in extremis, then a fireworks display

The July 14 fireworks drew a crowd in Cannes.
The July 14 fireworks drew a crowd in Cannes. (© JBM / 76actu)

July 14th, the Croisette is even more crowded than usual. You add to that the Festival and the blue sky: “There’s a p *** of atmosphere”, as a photographer met in the street said, on a WhatsApp call.

I could not have said better, even if this Cannes sensation of a general film indigestion is beginning to emerge: people are starting to leave again, the more reckless have tired eyes, those who stay are dragging their feet a little more during the sessions of the morning.

Wednesday July 14, 2021, 3 p.m .: Red Rocket

A porn star is back in his lost hometown of Texas, in the working-class suburb of a huge refinery. Sean Baker’s new film after the incredible Florida Project So more or less resumes the system that made his previous film such a success.

A working-class suburb instead of the surroundings of a huge amusement park, and a porn star rather than a brilliant ultra-vulgar kid. Only here, the charm is not the same.

Everything here seems like repetition. There is always a lot of tenderness for these characters all a little lost, even if the camera remains merciless, and it is always fascinating to see on the screen this universe usually so little filmed, but nothing new under the sun: this is Florida Project, less good, less new, (therefore?) less charming, less punchy.

As if Sean Baker arrived in the official competition a film too late.

My grade: 2/5

Wednesday July 14, 2021, 5:30 p.m.

Indigestion. She took me all of a sudden, at the beginning of the film by Mathieu Amalric, titled Hug me tight. Too many films in too few days, too many images, too many characters, too many stories. This overflow happened suddenly, in front of this very meta film, a real reflection on the power of cinema, where we meet Vicky Krieps, already seen a few days ago in a film of the same ilk, signed Mia Hansen-Love and also in competition.

Like a feeling of redundancy. The characters navigate from film to film, live their lives before my eyes, and I stay there, in my seat, in these rooms. I want to get up, stop my Cannes sessions here and go to the beach.

And then a miracle, always the same miracle …

Wednesday July 14, 2021, 7 p.m .: Hold me tight

… Amalric’s film goes in another direction, with a hand brake (subtle, eh, not an American turnaround). This kind of scriptwriting genius that you don’t expect, the secret of which good films are. Cannes cinema always manages to keep us going, when we feel like leaving: that must be the magic of the Red Carpet.

Amalric is making a film here about the power of images, that of bringing people back to life, stronger than death, stronger than flight, stronger than anything. Cinema as the art of creating what life cannot achieve. And the seat to become comfortable again. In extremis.

The festival can resume.

My grade: 4.5 / 5

Wednesday July 14, 2021, 10:30 p.m .: Les Olympiades

A film by Jacques Audiard, it’s always an event. Written with Céline Sciamma, it is an event multiplied by two. The masculine filmmaker helped by the feminine filmmaker in the writing of a black and white film on the 13th arrondissement of Paris (compared to the metro station in the title), that was intriguing.

With the brilliant Rone to the music, appearances of the ex-TTC Téki Latex and, in particular, Noémie Merlant (Portrait of the Girl on Fire) on display. The project is attractive.

It emanates, surprise, a very small film (which is not a fault), recounting destinies which cross, collide, unravel. It’s fun as everything, a nice breeze of freshness, surely the “minor film” that Jacques Audiard needed to give a little boost to his tired cinema.

My grade: 4/5

See you tomorrow !

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