Even though Cannes Film Festival was canceled this year(2020), and no awards were given to any film, the Festival did make the usual 56 selections stamping the great films helping them to achieve the Cannes accolades necessary to advance their films within the other festivals and markets. This report will highlight four films which were selected by Cannes: Steve McQueen ‘Mangrove;’ Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch;’ Peter Docter’s ‘SOUL;’ and Francois Ozon’s ‘Summer of 85.’
Review of Steve McQueen’s ‘Mangrove:’
McQueen’s ‘Mangrove’ is a real-to-life film about the perpetual social injustice in the UK that occurred against blacks in the early ‘60s. McQueen also created a second film that emanated from the same social dysfunctionality as ‘Mangrove’ called ‘Lovers Rock’ which also was selected this year at Cannes 2020 Film Festival. Unlike ‘Mangrove,’ ‘Lovers Rock’ was fictional. Times were terrible for those of West Indian descent which included police harassment of their establishments including a restaurant named the Mangrove in West London. Nine black activists, called the Mangrove 9, were tried in a British court for instigating violent protests to bring omnipresent police brutality to the attention of the UK public and world. The West Indians were at the time, much the same way they are now, a happy people and musically inclined. They cause little crime and have developed a unique culture that is the same now as it was in the ‘60s. The Mangrove restaurant was a hub of the West Indians and a social scene. It was the place to be in West London if you loved the music and ready for a night of happiness. A particular group of London police did not have it in them to appreciate these wonderful people and raided the Mangrove restaurant several times finding no criminal intent. Finally, rather aggressive protests were led by The Mangrove 9, they were arrested and changed. The movie was over the court hearing and a ruling that went in favor of the defendants setting into place important changes in the UK.
Review of Wes Anderson’s ‘French Dispatch;’
One of the best of 2020 and selected the 56 at Cannes, is Wes Anderson’s ‘The French Dispatch’. It truly is another Anderson masterpiece. The star, Bill Murry does a great job at keeping this light comedy intriguing and the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie starts with Arthur Howitzer Jr, played by Murry, an editor of a paper in the mid-west of the US, taking a holiday in France and looking for a retirement opportunity, rather dreading the thought of spending the rest of his life in mid-America. Upon traveling to France, Arthur became an editor of the ‘French Dispatch’, a publication on current world events.
Arthur and his hand-picked experts from the US printed three stories from US travel logs in the publication intending the stories to be real occurring in France. The stories created a huge social-economical upheaval in France allowing for an entertaining satire.
Review of Peter Docter’s “Soul:”
Peter Docter’s “Soul” Is an animation aimed at adults. More so, the film customer it is mainly targeting is those that are on the artsy end of the spectrum. Docter’s ‘SOUL,’ dives deep into the metaphysical. It askes the question, “What happens after death?” It explores the immortal world and a possible scenario of what may happen in the hear-after. The film does have the typical animated characters with lots of black characters. It starts on the streets of New York City when the start, Joe Gardner (Voice over by Jamie Foxx) has just won a new great job performing Jazz on stage. Docter sets his character up by making him a loveable music school music teacher. Now, in Joe’s thrill to start his new gig, while crossing a street, he falls through an open sewer. Now things go wrong when Joe’s spirit is sent into the Great Before.
He then meets 22 (Voice over by Tina Fey) and with the aide of 22, Joe’s adventure is to get back to his old life.
Review of Francois Ozon’s ‘Summer of 85:’
Can you go back to when you were sixteen, or maybe you are sixteen now?
Do you remember the insecurities you had? The battle to find yourself. The fear that everything would not turn out okay. The sexual urges would drive a young body to craziness wondering if you would ever find that special person. Francois Ozon brought it all out in his ‘Summer of 85’ film which took place in the mid-eighties in Normandy France. Alex Robin (played by Felix Lefebvre) was sixteen, gay, and one of those teens trying to figure himself out and deal with the constant sexual issues we all know about. The film took place at an oceanside hotel with the gorgeous French summer waters creating a peaceful atmosphere. Alex was certainly enjoying the summer and one day, when he was boating, the weather turned, and the boat was turned over. Nearly ready to drown, our 16-year-old was then saved by eighteen-year-old David Gorman (played by Benjamin Voisin) Both needed a relationship especially Alex and so began the summer fling. Many of us had a summer fling or at least dreamed of one. Dreaming of one may be better than having one. It is perfect when you dream. Ozon made that dream come to life in his audience’s mind and the summer love affair began. With most of us, it ends not well, one person getting hurt because the other wants it to be just a fling. Or parents get in the way and soon the superficial love goes to someone else.
However, Ozone gives Alex and David an ending that will stay with them, or at least with Alex, the rest of his life.
David dies with Aides leaving sad young Alex with changes he will take with him for the rest of his life.