The 61ST Cannes Film Festival was held on May 14 – May 25 2008.
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ENTRE LES MURS (2008)
Plot : FranÃ§ois and his fellow teachers prepare for a new year at a high school in a tough neighborhood. Neither stuffy nor severe, his extravagant frankness often takes the students by surprise. But his classroom ethics is put to the test when his students begin to challenge his teaching methods.
ÜÇ MAYMUN (2008)
Plot : A family dislocated when small failings blow up into extravagant lies battles against the odds to stay together by covering up the truth… In order to avoid hardship and responsibilities that would otherwise be impossible to endure, the family chooses to ignore the truth, not to see, hear or talk about it. But does playing “Three Monkeys” invalidate the truth of its existence?
VALS IM BASHIR (2008)
Plot : One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.
UN CONTE DE NOËL (2008)
Plot : Abel and Junon had two children, Joseph and Elizabeth. Victim of a rare genetic condition, Joseph’s only hope was a bone marrow transplant. As they and Elizabeth were incompatible, his parents conceived a third child in the hope of saving their son. But little Henri too was unable to help his brother, and Joseph died at the age of seven.
The Vuillard family has never recovered. Many years have passed, and family relationships are more strained than ever. In particular, those between Elizabeth, authoritarian head of the family and Henri, a cynical drop out who divides his time between women and drink. After a violent argument, Elizabeth banishes her feckless brother, cutting him off from his nephew, her son Paul – a tortured adolescent beset by serious mental problems.
TWO LOVERS (2008)
Plot : A Brooklyn-set romantic drama about a bachelor torn between the family friend his parents wish he would marry and his beautiful but volatile new neighbor.
SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK (2008)
Plot : Theater director Caden Cotard’s life in Schenectady, New York is looking bleak. His wife Adele has left him to pursue her painting in Berlin, taking their young daughter Olive with her. A new relationship with the alluringly candid Hazel has prematurely run aground. And a mysterious condition is systematically shutting down each of his body’s autonomic functions. Worried about the transience of his life, he moves his theater company to a warehouse in New York City. He directs them in a celebration of the mundane, instructing each to live out their constructed lives in a growing mockup of the city outside.
Plot : A drama that follows the travails of the Pineda family in the Filipino city of Angeles. Bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest and bothersome skin irritations are all part of their daily challenges, but the real “star” of the show is an enormous, dilapidated movie theater that doubles as family business and living space. At one time a prestige establishment, the theater now runs porn double bills and serves as a meeting ground for hustlers of every conceivable persuasion. The film captures the sordid, fetid atmosphere, interweaving various family subplots with the comings and goings of customers, thieves and even a runaway goat while enveloping the viewer in a maelstrom of sound, noise and continuous motion.
PALERMO SHOOTING (2008)
Plot : As a successful photographer of world-wide renown, Finn leads a life that is as prominent as it is hectic. He gets by with very little sleep, his cell phone is never still, and the music from his headphones is his most constant companion. But when his life suddenly spins out of control, Finn takes off and leaves everything behind. His journey leads him from Dasseldorf to Palermo. There he finds himself persecuted by a mysterious shooter who’s after him with a vengeance. At the same time a whole new life is beginning for Finn. And a great love…
MY MAGIC (2008)
Plot : Since his wife left him, Francis is a broken man. He works as a bartender in a night club, and drowns his pain in alcohool. His ten year old son manages on his own, but he’s angry at his father for not pulling himlself together. Because he loves his child, Francis decides to go back to his old job: being a magician…
LINHA DE PASSE (2008)
Plot : Sao Paulo. 20 million inhabitants, 200 kilometers of traffic, 300,000 messengers on motorcycles. At the heart of one of the toughest, most chaotic cities in the world, four brothers try to reinvent themselves in different ways. With the backdrop of Brazil in a state of emergency, every single one is looking for a way out .
Plot : Julia, a 25 year-old university student, two weeks pregnant, with no criminal record, is sent to prison. Julia murdered the father of her child. This story addresses maternity, jail and Justice; confinement, guilt and solitude; but above all it deals with Julia and her son, Tomas, born inside an Argentinean prison.
LE SILENCE DE LORNA (2008)
Also Known As : Lorna’s Silence
Director : Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
Writer : Jean-Pierre Dardenne (screenplay), Luc Dardenne (screenplay)
Genre : Drama
Country : Belgium | France | Italy | Germany
Plot : In order to become the owner of a snack bar with her boyfriend, Lorna, a young Albanian woman living in Belgium becomes an accomplice to a diabolical plan devised by mobster Fabio.
Fabio has orchestrated a sham marriage between her and Claudy. The marriage allows her to obtain Belgian citizenship and then marry a Russian Mafioso willing to pay a lot of money to acquire the same quickly. However, for this second marriage to be possible, Fabio has planned to kill Claudy. Will Lorna keep silent?
LA MUJER SIN CABEZA (2008)
Plot : A woman is driving on the highway. She becomes distracted and runs over something. On the days following this incident, she fails to recognize the feelings that bond her to things and people. She just lets herself be taken by the events of her social life. One night she tells her husband that she killed someone on the highway. They go back to the road only to find a dead dog. Friends close to the police confirm that there were no accident reports. Everything returns to normal and the bad moment seems to be over until the news of a gruesome discovery again worries everyone.
LA FRONTIÈRE DE L’AUBE (2008)
Plot : Carole is a movie star, she lives alone. Her husband works in Hollywood and neglects her. A photograph comes to her place to do a reporting on her.
They become lovers. They live in the hotel in which Francois settles his shootings during two weeks, stopping by Carole’s place once in a while.
IL DIVO (2008)
Plot : Award-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Family Friend) writes and directs this cinematic portrait of seven-time Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, whose controversial legacy peaked when he was tried for Mafia ties and subsequently acquitted. A leader with close ties to the Vatican, Andreotti was also tried and acquitted for the murder of an Italian journalist, and remains a senator for life.
Plot : Power, money and blood: these are the “values” that the residents of the Province of Naples and Caserta, have to face every day. They hardly ever have a choice, and are almost always forced to obey the rules of the “system”, the Camorra. Only a lucky few can even think of leading a “normal” life. Five stories are woven together in this violent scenario, set in a cruel and apparently imaginary world, but one which is deeply rooted in reality.
ER SHI SI CHENG JI (2008)
Plot : Chengdu nowadays. The state owned factory 420 shuts down to give way to a complex of luxury apartments called “24 CITY”.
Three generations, eight characters : old workers, factory executives and yuppies, their stories melt into the History of China.
Plot : A quiet young man returns to the wild, isolated landscape of the Delta. It is a labyrinth of waterways, small islands and over-grown vegetation, where the villagers are cut off from the outside world. The young man, who has been away since early childhood, is introduced to a sister he never knew he had. She is frail and timid, but resolute when she decides to join him in his run-down hut on the shore. Together they build a house on stilts in the middle of the river, far away from everyone else. One day, they invite the villagers over to share a meal together, but it becomes apparent that the coarse locals do not accept their “unnatural” relationship.
Plot : Los Angeles, 1928: On a Saturday morning in a working-class suburb, Christine said goodbye to her son, Walter, and left for work. When she came home, she discovered he had vanished. A fruitless search ensues, and months later, a boy claiming to be the nine-year-old is returned. Dazed by the swirl of cops, reporters and her conflicted emotions, Christine allows him to stay overnight. But in her heart, she knows he is not Walter.
Plot : A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant “white blindness”. Those first afflicted are quarantined by the authorities in an abandoned mental hospital where the newly created “society of the blind” quickly breaks down. Criminals and the physically powerful prey upon the weak, hording the meager food rations and committing horrific acts.
There is however one eyewitness to the nightmare. A woman whose sight is unaffected by the plague follows her afflicted husband to quarantine. There, keeping her sight a secret, she guides seven strangers who have become, in essence, a family. She leads them out of quarantine and onto the ravaged streets of the city, which has seen all vestiges of civilization crumble. Their voyage is fraught with danger, yet their survival and ultimate redemption reflect the tenacity and depth of the human spirit.
Plot : Director Atom Egoyan explores the concept of cyberspace as a place for redemption in this drama about an adolescent boy named Simon (Devon Bostick) who reinvents his life on the Internet. Before long, Simon’s deeply personal journey provokes strong reactions from around the globe. Rachel Blanchard and Scott Speedman co-star.
Also Known As : The Argentine
Director : Steven Soderbergh
Writer : Peter Buchman (screenplay), Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (memoir “Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War”)
Genre : Biography | Drama | History | War
Country : France | Spain | USA
Plot : PART ONE
On November 26, 1956, Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with eighty rebels. One of those rebels is Ernesto “Che” Guevara, an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro – to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.
Che proves indispensable as a fighter, and quickly grasps the art of guerrilla warfare. As he throws himself into the struggle, Che is embraced by his comrades and the Cuban people. This film tracks Cheâ€™s rise in the Cuban Revolution, from doctor to commander to revolutionary hero.
After the Cuban Revolution, Che is at the height of his fame and power. Then he disappears, re-emerging incognito in Bolivia, where he organizes a small group of Cuban comrades and Bolivian recruits to start the great Latin American Revolution.
The story of the Bolivian campaign is a tale of tenacity, sacrifice, idealism, and of guerrilla warfare that ultimately fails, bringing Che to his death. Through this story, we come to understand how Che remains a symbol of idealism and heroism that lives in the hearts of people around the world.
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