Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Burton Announces Palme d'Or Winner at Cannes

Yesterday, Tim Burton announced the winner of the coveted Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Last Lives. The fantasy film follows the past lives of a dying man, which include a water buffalo and a catfish.

Tim Burton, head of the jury, gave his own sincere endorsement. "I liked it because it is a movie that you normally don't see, not Western, with fantasy elements done in a way I have never seen before. It is a beautiful strange dream. It has a quiet reflective nature, full of surprises."

Jury member Shekhar Kapur, Indian director, gave his own thumbs up: "The director has great compassion. The film gives a sense of eternity, of people who live in an eternal state, and these ideas came across so simply, that this film made us ask these questions in a compassionate way."

Another favorite of Burton and the rest of the jury was Mathieu Almaric's Tournee, a lively story of a French man's tour with American burlesque dancers through France--Tim Burton commented that he liked the "vitality of it." He noted that everyone on the jury felt the same. "It was one of the first films of the festival we saw, and it was one that remained. It is one of the strange things about this festival: some films leave you, some films don't."

In related news, Iran has released award-winning Iranian film director Jafar Panahi was released on $200,000 bail. Tim Burton and numerous other filmmakers called on the release of Panahi, saying that his jailing was an infringement on his right to freedom of speech. He was released from the Evin prison in Tehran, where he had been held since March on charges of producing an “anti-regime” film.

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