|The good news: for those of us who couldn't finagle our way to Cannes this year, there is a way to see Chacun son Cinema (To Each His Own Cinema), the omnibus film commissioned by Gilles Jacob in celebration of the festival's 60th anniversaire. Thirty-three films. Three minutes each. A celebration of cinema itself. An unbelievably impressive roster of international auteurs asked to illustrate "their state of mind at the moment as inspired by the motion picture theater," In other words, stag loops for cinephiles.|
Released on DVD in France last Friday, the good people at FNAC whisked a copy to my doorstep in a matter of days (albeit with a shipping charge equal to the price of the disc, but, hey...it's worth it.)
The bad news (well, for me at least): Of all the films in the programme, the one I was most excited about was World Cinema, from the Coen brothers. It featured Josh Brolin as a cowboy in front of an art house theater, mulling over the decision to see either Renoir's Rules of the Game, or Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Climates. Coens + my favorite film of 2006 = cinematic gold. (How can it not?) Yet for some unknown, unexplained reason, World Cinema is absent from the DVD. (Close your eyes for a moment and imagine Filmbrain having a mini-tantrum at 2:30 in the morning.)
Still, the remaining 32 are all present, with the added bonus of extended versions of Anna (Alejandro González Iñárritu), The Electric Princess Picture (Hou Hsiao-hsien), and No Translation Needed (Michael Cimino).
As tempted as I am to watch the entire film in a single sitting, part of me feels I should savor each one slowly, as one would a box of rich, delicate confectioneries. At the moment I've only treated myself to a single film -- Lars von Trier's Occupations, which finds the depressed Dane suffering the boorish shenanigans of a fellow audience member during the black-tie premiere of Manderlay. The outcome is expectedly dark, amusing, and the kind of act many of us have no doubt secretly fantasized about. (Well, maybe not quite as extreme, but there was that one time at Film Forum...)