The Family

REVIEW: ‘The Family’ Relocates the Standard Mobster Comedy to an Inventive Place

In many ways, Luc Besson is the French Steven Soderbergh. Both broke out exceedingly early with remarkable films that catapulted them to the top of the game: Soderbergh was twenty-six when he won the Palm d’Or for sex, lies and videotape, Besson twenty-four when he directed the action hit The Last Battle, which might not have won such a prestigious award, but what better reward could you possibly want  than the sort of career that film helped launch?

I would also call both directors pseudo-auteurs: They might be treated as auteurs, but the breadth and diversity of their work means

Fantasia Redux


by James Killough

It would not be wrong to describe Terrence Malick’s Cannes Palme D’Or-winner The Tree Of Life as a two-hour-fifteen-minute ad for a fictitious Calvin Klein “Existence” perfume, brought to you in part by the Museum of Natural History, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and the Episcopal Diocese of Waco, Texas.

Tree is for lovers of films with no conventional plot like Baraka and Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi series.  In other words, smoke a hefty spliff, stack up on the muchie rations and prepared to murmur “wow.”

The ubiquitous walking-into-the-sunlight shot that seems to have pleased the Cannes jury so much. Step away from the shrooms, Mr. De Niro.

I wasn’t in Cannes this year, and per my earlier post it is unlikely I would have seen the rest of the films in competition even if I had been, but I can understand why awarding the Palme D’Or to this caused so much controversy.  It’s beautiful, yes, but it is not great cinema by my standards.  And this is coming from a huge Terrence Malick fan.  It isn’t even intellectually stimulating from an esoteric spirituality point of view.  But, after all those years in India and with the Sufis, I’m really jaded that way.