By Robert Koehler
(Click on the thumbnails for larger pictures.)
Apichatpong approximately 72 hours before he won the Palme d’Or. He had just arrived in Cannes from turmoil in Bangkok, as a group of us greeted him at the Princess Stephanie Hotel (also home to the premiere screenings of films in the Quinzaine). He presented his producers (and partners in the UK-based Illumination Films) with gifts of electric mosquito swatters, which are featured in an amusing nighttime scene in Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. At this point during the festival, nobody had inflated expectations that Uncle Boonmee would win, though given the generally tepid reception which much of the Competition lineup had received up until this point, the chances of a win for the most daring film appeared better than ever….
Apichatpong arrives in Cannes (literally just off the airport shuttle), and greeted by Simon Field, former International Film Festival Rotterdam director and now producer extraordinaire of artists such as Joe in Illumination Films, his partnership with Keith Griffiths–whom I caught up with at the Cannes train station that morning after the Palme win, and who felt ad if he were floating on clouds (which may be a viable locale for Joe’s next film). Field and Griffiths, along with fellow Uncle Boonmee producers Michael Weber (of The Match Factory in Germany) and Luis Minarro (of Eddie Saeta in Spain) were relieved that Apichatpong had arrived. Until he did, amidst the turmoil and political violence afflicting Thailand, and various bureaucratic screw-ups, there had been real concern that Apichatpong wouldn’t make it to Cannes. It was the first of two very happy endings for one of the world’s greatest working filmmakers….
Oliver Laxe, flat-out the discovery of this year’s Cannes, with his free-spirited and sublime You Are All Captains in the Quinzaine. Here, he’s enjoying his Fipresci prize for best film in the Quinzaine and Semaine at the awards ceremony at Plage du Palme…
And here’s Woo Ming Jin again, a bit more relaxed a day or so before the premiere….
Abbas Kiarostami (all together people, accent on the third syllable!) at his official Cannes TV interview for Certified Copy, which won best actress for Juliette Binoche. The Iranian director had made strong protests against the continued imprisonment of fellow director Jafar Panahi, who declared a hunger strike during the festival….
And no gallery would be complete with director Monte Hellman, whom I had chatted with on the first night of Cannes and then ran into in Heathrow Airport, en route back to The States. During Cannes, word slipped out that Hellman’s hotly anticipated Road to Nowhere will premiere in Venice…..