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Ken Loach returns for competition, youngest director's film screened in Cannes

English.news.cn   2014-05-23 05:44:00

by Xinhua writers Yu Zhongwen, Shang Xu

CANNES, France, May 22 (Xinhua) -- British veteran director Ken Loach, 77, returned to compete for the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) for the best film at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, and the new movie of Canadian young filmmaker Xavier Dolan, 25, was screened on Thursday.

Winning the Palme d'Or for "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" in 2006, Loach this time tells a story in the early 20th century.

In 1921, Jimmy Gralton opened a dance hall on a rural crossroads in Ireland, where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream, but above all to dance and have fun, according to the official Synopsis provided by the festival organizer.

With the portrayal of the "uncompromising" character, "Jimmy's Hall" is Loach's 14th participation in the Selection of the Cannes Film Festival.

It is a film "that is true to his style," commented the official daily digest of the film festival.

At a press conference on Thursday for "Jimmy's Hall", Loach and his team spent a while discussing the traditional and the latest technology on filming.

Talking about the difference between the 35mm film and the digital one, Loach said "with 35mm film, which has to be cut, you pay more attention to what you're doing, because it's a much more human cooperation."

"35mm film is something you can touch and see," said the veteran director.

While chief cameraman Robbie Ryan said "it's a shame that things have changed so much. I hope the two systems could coexist but it hasn't turned out that way."

Screenplay writer Paul Laverty said "people like traditional technology so we're going to keep on cutting films."

On Thursday, the latest movie directed by Dolan, the youngest of the 18 selected in Competition, was screened in Competition.

Dolan, who was born in 1989, tells a story of a widowed single mom, who finds herself burdened with the full-time custody of her 15-year-old son with the disease of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), in his new film "Mommy."

As they try to make ends meet and struggle with daily life, they meet their new woman neighbor Kyla, who is willing to help.

It takes Dolan five years to feature in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival since he shot his first feature "I Killed My Mother" in 2009. "Mommy" is the young director's fifth film.

Talking about his choice of a 1:1 aspect ratio, Dolan told a press conference on Thursday that "distractions are removed. The spectator's vision is captured by the character's gaze."

Asked about his decision to work on several aspects of the film, especially the costumes, the young talent said, "They are often neglected in films. Yet it is the first visual contact with the viewer."

"I do what I like to do, I try to stop when I don't know what I am doing," added the director.

Actresses who contributed to the success of his past films Anne Dorval, plays the mother Diane, Suzanne Clement, plays Kyla, and the son Steve is played by Antoine-Olivier Pilon in the maternal eulogy. All the three attended the press conference.

Clement said the filming was well structured, and spoke highly of the director.

"Everything is written down already, even the music, it is all extremely structured," said Clement, adding "Xavier knows all his characters. He becomes each of his characters."

A total of 18 feature films have been selected in Competition. The winners will be announced on May 24, one day before the originally planned date due to the European Parliament elections on May 25.

Meanwhile, the winners of the 2014 Cinefondation Prizes, a parallel section of the official selection of the Cannes Film Festival, were announced here on Thursday, chosen by the 2014 Cinefondation and Short Films Jury led by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami.

The First Prize goes to "Skunk" directed by Annie Silverstein from the University of Texas at Austin, the United States. The Second Prize is awarded to "Oh Lucy!" by Atsuko Hirayanagi, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Asia, Singapore.

While the Third Prize is shared by "Lievito Madre" directed by Fulvio Risuleo, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Italy, and "The Bigger Picture" by Daisy Jacobs, National Film and Television School, Britain.

The Cinefondation Selection consisted of 16 student films, chosen out of 1,631 entries from 457 film schools around the world.

Besides cash prize, the First Prize winner is also guaranteed to present his or her first feature film at the Festival de Cannes, according to an official press release of the festival.

The Cinefondation, a selection for short and medium-length films produced by film school students from all over the world, was set up in 1998.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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