Honor roll: Festival de Cannes Jury Awards for Feature Films

Each of these films has been nominated for a Festival de Cannes Jury Awards for Feature Films. They are ranked by honors received.

Film:Farewell My Concubine

Farewell My Concubine: (Ba wang bie ji)

Kaige Chen

The panorama of 20th-century Chinese history swirls past two men, celebrated actors with their own decidedly specialized view of things. We first observe their lives as children at the Peking Opera training school, a brutal and demanding arena for future actors. While still in training, the effeminate Douzi is chosen to play the transvestite role and the masculine Shitou is chosen to play the royal role in a ritualized play about a king and a concubine. The actors are so good at this performance that they become identified with these roles for their entire…

Film:The Best Intentions

The Best Intentions: (Den goda viljan)

Bille August

Film:Barton Fink

Barton Fink

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

A darkly comic ride, this intense and original 1991 offering from the Coen brothers (Fargo, Blood Simple) gleefully attacks the Hollywood system and those who seek to sell out to it, portraying the writer’s suffering as a loony vision of hell. John Turturro (Miller’s Crossing, Jungle Fever) plays the title character, a pretentious left-wing writer from New York City who is brought to 1930s Hollywood to write a script for a wrestling movie for palooka actor Wallace Beery. Fink thinks the job is beneath him, but his desire for acceptance…

Film:Wild At Heart

Wild At Heart

David Lynch

David Lynch’s 1990 Wild at Heart is an utterly random and ugly experience with pockets of startling imagery and inspired set pieces. Based on a Barry Gifford novel, the film stars Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern as lovers on the lam whose relationship is tested and who meet some truly dangerous wackos (including an almost-simian Willem Dafoe). Lynch’s thoughts seem to be everywhere, and he expects the audience to keep up with a story that seems more a collection of avant-garde whims than a coherent vision with the intuitive brilliance of his…


Humanité: (Humanity)

Bruno Dumont

Bruno Dumont’s (The Life of Jesus) controversial and award-winning film follows a police detective trying to solve a brutal rape and murder of an 11 year-old girl.

Film:The Sweet Hereafter

The Sweet Hereafter

Atom Egoyan

In synopsis The Sweet Hereafter may sound like a devastatingly unpleasant downer, but don’t be discouraged. The real subjects of this luminous picture (adapted by director Atom Egoyan from Russell Banks’s novel) are hope and renewal—avoiding the cheap emotions suggested by those clichéd terms. Like other Egoyan films (Exotica, for one), it’s an intriguing sort of mystery, a puzzle in which the big picture is not revealed until the very last piece is in place. A metropolitan attorney (Ian Holm) travels to a small British Columbian town where 14…

Film:Ulysses' Gaze

Ulysses' Gaze: (To Vlemma tou Odyssea)

Theo Angelopoulos

The Greek director Theo Angelopoulos, winner of the top prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for Eternity and a Day, will never build an audience of casual filmgoers. But then he doesn’t mean to. Demanding, difficult, portentous, Angelopoulos makes films in his own deliberate style: sometimes awe-inspiring, sometimes mystifying. When he’s at his best, as in the beautiful and devastating Landscape in the Mist, the results can be spellbinding. Ulysses’ Gaze is a typically fascinating, typically long (three hours) work. Harvey Keitel, moving…

Film:Burnt by the Sun

Burnt by the Sun: (Utomlyonnye solntsem)

Nikita Mikhalkov

Russian filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov is also the star of this tragic 1994 drama about the last happy season in the life of a Bolshevik hero’s family. The year is 1936, and Stalin’s purges are in full swing. Despite his reputation and revolutionary record, Sergei Kotov (Mikhalkov) seems to be on the dictator’s hit list, as indicated by the insulting arrival of his wife’s former lover, an agent of government police. Mikhalkov treats all this as a matter of personal and political intrigue dropping like rotting fruit in the middle of a sunny and loving period for the…

Film:To Live

To Live: (Huozhe)

Yimou Zhang

One of the best films of 1994, To Live is a bold, energetic masterpiece from Zhang Yimou, the foremost director from China’s influential “fifth generation” of filmmakers. Continuing his brilliant collaboration with China’s best-known actress Gong Li (their previous films include Ju Dou and Raise the Red Lantern), Zhang weaves an ambitious tapestry of personal and political events, following the struggles of an impoverished husband and wife (Ge You, Gong Li) from their heyday in the 1940s to the hardships that accompanied the Cultural…

Film:Faraway, So Close!

Faraway, So Close!: (In weiter Ferne, so nah!)

Wim Wenders

German director Wim Wenders provides another breathtaking angel’s-eye view of Berlin in Faraway, So Close, the offbeat follow up to Wings of Desire. The film revisits all the main characters from Wings: Damiel (Bruno Ganz), now a former angel married to trapezist Marion (Solveig Dommartin), and Cassiel (Otto Sander), who remained an angel at the end of the first film but takes the plunge into human life here. Peter Falk also reprises his unusual cameo role. Newly added to the mix are Nastassja Kinski as another visiting angel and Willem Dafoe…

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