BLOGS

Two Very Different Film Competitions

by Tippi Blevins April 28, 2008 10:41 am

The Festival de Cannes announced most of its 2008 lineup this week. In a Moviefile entry last week, I mentioned that Hollywood expected to have a meager showing in the competitive portion of the Festival. One article said that Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York might be the only entry, unless Steven Soderbergh could complete his mondo four-hour Che Guevara biopic under the wire. Soderbergh appears to have accomplished this feat, as Che is listed in the Festival's recently released press kit.

Somewhat unexpectedly joining the competitive list is Clint Eastwood's Changeling, starring John Malkovich and Angelina Jolie. (This is not to be confused with another film by the same name, also slated for a 2008 release. I'm pretty sure the Clint Eastwood film doesn't involve goblins that steal babies. I wouldn't want to be the goblin that tried to get between ultra-mom Angelina Jolie and a newborn baby.) Kaufman is the only newbie on the list.

If you're an aspiring filmmaker feeling a little daunted by the prospect of trying to compete at Cannes, Spike Lee has an option for you: He and Nokia have teamed up to create a movie using cell phone footage from "everyday people." You don't need to go to film school or hire a crew or any of that. As Lee himself put it: "With a simple mobile phone, almost anyone can now become a filmmaker." So if you ever found yourself thinking that the two things the world needs more of are people claiming to be in "the biz" and people who spend too much time on their cell phones, this could be the competition for you. "Assignments" will be handed out online and then the resulting efforts will be voted on, with the final selections chosen by Lee. The first assignment? How you came to be known as a compulsive voyeur among your neighbors because you kept whipping out your camera phone all the time.

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