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Samson & Delilah In Cannes

Amazing news came out of Cannes this morning with Samson & Delilah winning the prestigious Camera D’or prize. This honour to given to the best film from a first time director. Previous winners include Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise), Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!) and Steve McQueen (Hunger). The last Australian to win was Shirley Barrett in 1996 for Love Serenade. Strangely, it didn’t propel Barrett to major success. She made only one other film – the so-so Walk The Talk in 2000.

I’ve been talking about Samson & Delilah for the past few weeks in my blog and this is an incredible honour for the cast and crew. It might even give the film a chance internationally.

It’s going to be difficult but I still think this film is best seen with no expectations. Whenever you build something up, there’s an increased likelihood that you’ll come away disappointed. Still, I had read many of the great reviews beforehand and still enjoyed it. Make sure you do see it.

Director Warwick Thornton has done a great job and I’m glad to see him recognised. He’s taken two dislikeable Aboriginal teenagers living in the remote outback and created a moving love story with zero dialogue. You won’t see too many other films take on such a gamble… except for Antichrist (see below).

Other Cannes Winners

The most prestigious prize of the festival, the Palm D’or, was won by French director Michael Haneke and his film, The White Ribbon. As per a news report – “It tells the story of strange goings-on in a repressed and maliciously nasty northern German village shortly before the first world war.” That’s about all I know. Oh, it’s got no music, it’s in black and white and it’s close to three hours long. Hmmm, tough sell that one.

I became a fan of Haneke after he released Hidden in 2005. It received a rare A+ from me and is one crazy movie. I wasn’t a huge fan of his recent Funny Games remake but I look forward to seeing this new work.

The best actress prize was won by Charlotte Gainsborough for Antichrist – the same film I spoke about last week which was booed loudly at its premiere. How bizarre. I can’t really describe the stuff which is in this movie (I’d like to keep it PG) but you can read more at the following link http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/film/article6322432.ece. Open it if you dare.

Best actor was won by Christoph Waltz in Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Inglourious Basterds. I’m really looking forward to this film too. Early reviews have been mixed but the fact that it too is controversial has only further wet my appetite. As per the IMDB, it’s set in Nazi-occupied France during World War II and tells the story of “a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.”

Until we meet again.