French ambassador: ‘Taklub’ should’ve won in Cannes
If you ask Gilles Garachon, France’s ambassador to the Philippines, Filipino filmmaker Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Taklub” should have topped the Un Certain Regard section of the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival.
“It deserved to win,” Garachon told the local media during the press conference for the 20th French Film Festival in Manila.
He hailed the Filipino film’s message as timely. “Taklub” tells the intersecting stories of three survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” which claimed thousands of lives in Western Visayas in 2013. “Taklub” won Ecumenical Jury Prize-Special Mention at Cannes.
“It is a moving, powerful film … it talks about the consequences of global warming and its effects on ordinary people,” he pointed out.
The film is particularly relevant in light of the UN Climate Change Conference, which the French government will host in Paris in December.
“The film shows that the people of Tacloban are still facing numerous challenges, but they remain strong and hopeful,” he said.
He described lead star Nora Aunor’s performance as “subtle yet breathtaking.” “She doesn’t show off. She communicates emotions effortlessly.”
To express “admiration” for the Filipino film, Garachon said “Taklub” will open this year’s French film fest, along with Eric Lartigau’s “La Famille Bélier” today.
To mark its 20th year, organizers lined up 20 films, most of which are recent productions, released either in 2014 or 2013, Garachon said.
“La Famille Bélier (Bélier Family)” won most promising actress for Louane Emera at this year’s César (France’s Oscars) and Lumière Awards. Karin Biar won best actress at the Lumières, too.
French screen icon Catherine Deneuve has two films on the list: André Téchiné’s “L’Homme qu’on aimait trop (In the Name of My Daughter)” and Pierre Salvadorri’s “Dans la cour (In the Courtyard).”
For Salvadori’s film, which was also shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014, Deneuve was nominated for best actress at this year’s Césars.
Seven other films competed in major festivals all over the world: Mia Hansen-Love’s “Eden” at San Sebastian; Philippe Garrel’s “La Jalousie (Jealousy)” and Benoit Jacquot’s “3 Coeurs (Three Hearts)” at Venice; Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu’s “L’Amour est un crime parfait (Love is the Perfect Crime)” and Cedric Jimenez’s “La French (The Connection)” at Tokyo; Solveig Anspach’s “Lulu femme nue” at Hong Kong; and Guillaume Gallienne’s “Les Garcons, Guillaume, a table” (Me, Myself, Mum)” at Cannes.
Gallienne’s 2013 film won the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) award and SACD Prize (Directors’ Fortnight) at Cannes and won five César and two Lumière trophies (including best actor for Gallienne). It was also shown at the Seattle and Sao Paolo fests.
Aki Kaurismaki’s “Le Havre” won 16 awards all over the globe, including the Fipresci award and Ecumenical Jury Prize-Special Mention at Cannes in 2011.
Garachon explained that, apart from award-winning films, the fest also features popular genre movies.
Christophe Gans’ lush fairy-tale romance “La Belle et la bete,” inspired by a “tale as old as time,” won best production design for Thierry Flamand at the recent Césars.
Pascal Morelli’ s animated adventure “108 Rois-Démons,” which premiered at the Forum des Images last year, is based on the novel “Water Margin,” set in 12th-century China.
Thomas Litti’s medical dramedy “Hippocrate,” which won best supporting actor for Reda Kateb at this year’s Césars, tells the story of a reluctant intern’s rite of passage in a city hospital run by his father.
Bertrand Bonello’s biopic “Saint Laurent,” which chronicles a decade in the colorful life of fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, won best costume design for Anais Romand at the 2015 Césars.
Cédric Anger’s thriller “La Prochaine fois je viserai le coeur (Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart),” which recounts how a serial killer terrorized northern France in the late 1970s, earned
best actor nods for Guillaume Canet at this year’s Césars and Lumières.
David Andre’s documentary “Chante ton bac d’abord (We Did It on a Song),” which won at the Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming last year, follows high-school seniors who are tasked to sing for their final exams.
Volker Schlondorrf’s historical drama “Diplomatie (Diplomacy),” which won best adapted screenplay at this year’s Césars, recreates the German occupation of Paris during World War II.
Another highlight of the festival is Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” which earned a nomination for Mauritania in the best foreign language category of the Oscars. “Timbuktu” won 17 awards—including seven Cesars and two Lumières (including best film and director), the Ecumenical Jury Prize and Francois Chalais Awards at Cannes.
Garachon related that these “diverse” films show different kinds of families struggling and surviving in spite of contemporary sociopolitical problems.
The French Film Festival in Manila will have screenings at Greenbelt 3 and Bonifacio High Street, starting today until June 9.
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