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  • Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

    Posted by Ben Fong-Torres

    Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’
    By Ben Fong-Torres It’s short shrift time. I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating. I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone...

Thai Film Wins Top Prize at Cannes Film Festival by Stephen Rakower

Posted by Stephen Rakower

 

UNCLE-BOONMIEBy Stephen Rakower

Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethaku wins the Palm D'or for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives a mystical reincarnation tale of a man with acute kidney failure who chooses to spend his final days with his loved ones in the countryside.

Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave - the birthplace of his first life.

The film is the sixth for the 39 year old director who likes to be called by his nickname, Joe, and the first Palm d'Or for Thailand.

Joe is outspoken about the current political troubles in Thailand, and the recent deadly clashes in the streets of Bangkok.

He says the clashes are due to the wide divide between the rich and the poor.

He is lobbying for more Thai government funding of films. This year he said, Thailand announced a new government film fund of $6.2 million, with half going to one film directed by a Thai prince to do a historical film. Just before flying to France to the Cannes Film Festival, he said he was lobbying Thailand's Ministry of Culture for more transparency in film funding.

Joe is the son of two doctors who moved from Bangkok to the northeast part of Thailand and built a hospital there. His film is set in the same northeast location as his childhood.

From 1994 to 1997, Joe attended the Chicago Art Institute where he was exposed to many kinds of films, especially experimental films. He initially had alot of challenges adapting between life in Thailand and Chicago.

The Cannes Film Festival competition jury this year was headed by Tim Burton. While the feature film was a favorite among critics and festival attendees, some oddsmakers thought the prize would go to one of the Cannes veteran filmmakers.

Lee Chang-dong won the Best Screenplay prize for Poetry , and special recognition Un Certain Regard went to
Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema HAHAHA directed by Hong Sangsoo.

The list of Cannes Film Festival prizes for 2010:

Feature films

Palme d'Or
LUNG BOONMEE RALUEK CHAT (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives) directed by Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL

Grand Prix
DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX (OF GODS AND MEN) directed by Xavier BEAUVOIS

Award for Best Director
Mathieu AMALRIC for TOURNÉE (ON TOUR)

Award for Best Screenplay
LEE Chang-dong for POETRY

Award for Best Actress
Juliette BINOCHE in COPIE CONFORME CERTIFIED COPY directed by Abbas KIAROSTAMI

Award for Best Actor Ex-aequo
Javier BARDEM in BIUTIFUL directed by Alejandro GONZÁLEZ IÑÁRRITU
Elio GERMANO in LA NOSTRA VITA (OUR LIFE) directed by Daniele LUCHETTI

Jury Prize
UN HOMME QUI CRIE A screaming man directed by Mahamat-Saleh HAROUN

Short Films

Palme d'Or - Short Film
CHIENNE D'HISTOIRE BARKING ISLAND directed by Serge AVÉDIKIAN

Jury Prize - Short Film
MICKY BADER BATHING MICKY directed by Frida KEMPFF

Un Certain Regard :

Un Certain Regard Prize - Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema
HAHAHA directed by HONG Sangsoo

Jury Prize - Un Certain Regard
OCTUBRE (OCTOBER) directed by Daniel VEGA, Diego VEGA

Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress
LOS LABIOS (THE LIPS) played by Victoria RAPOSO, Eva BIANCO, Adela SANCHEZ

Cinefondation :

1st Prize Cinéfondation
TAULUKAUPPIAAT (THE PAINTING SELLERS) directed by Juho KUOSMANEN

2nd Prize - Cinéfondation
COUCOU-LES-NUAGES (Anywhere out of the world) directed by Vincent CARDONA

3rd Prize Cinéfondation Ex-aequo
HINKERORT ZORASUNE (THE FIFTH COLUMN) directed by Vatche BOULGHOURJIAN
JA VEC JESAM SVE ONO ŠTO ŽELIM DA IMAM (I ALREADY AM EVERYTHING I WANT TO HAVE) directed by Dane KOMLJEN

Golden Camera :

Caméra d'or
AÑO BISIESTO directed by Michael ROWE