×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Underground’ mines Cannes d’or

Emir Kusturica’s “Underground,” a flamboyant, 3 1/4-hour tale spanning 50 years of friendship and strife between two Belgrade men, on May 28 snared the Palme d’Or to bring the 48th Cannes Intl. Film Festival to a close.

With his win, the Bosnia-born Kusturica became only the third director – after Francis Ford Coppola and Bille August – to twice take the top prize at Cannes, having won 10 years ago for “When Father Was Away on Business.”

Popular choice

Based on the wild applause that greeted Kusturica’s triumph inside the Salle Lumiere of the Palais, the jury’s decision was a popular one. There was one visible dissenter: Greek director Theo Angelopoulos.

When Angelopoulos was called just moments earlier for the runner-up Grand Prix du Jury for his three-hour poetic drama “Ulysses’ Gaze,” he appeared stunned, ventured to the stage and muttered, “I prepared my speech for the Palme d’Or, but now I’ve forgotten it. Thanks, anyway.” He then walked gracelessly offstage.

The remaining jury awards were dominated by French and British entries. For the first time in recent memory, American films were shut out.

“Carrington,” a study of the enduring relationship between writer Lytton Strachey and artist Dora Carrington that waved the British flag, picked up two scrolls – a Special Jury Prize (with particular mention to its script) for writer and first-time director Christopher Hampton, and the best actor nod for Jonathan Pryce.

Brit Helen Mirren scored the best actress prize for “The Madness of King George.” With Mirren busy on Broadway in “A Month in the Country,” co-star Nigel Hawthorne accepted the award for her. “We’ve lost her to the Colonies, what what?,” Hawthorne quipped, in his best “King George” manner.

French features took two honors, with the directing prize going to Mathieu Kassovitz for “La Haine” (Hate), an edgy black-and-white tale of violent youth in Paris suburbs, and the Jury Prize being awarded to Xavier Beauvois’ AIDS-themed “N’Oublie pas que tu vas mourir” (Don’t Forget You’re Going to Die).

Special mention

The jury, headed by actress Jeanne Moreau, cited the Russian animated pic “Gagarine” by Alexei Kharitidi and Gregor Jordan’s Australian “Swinger” as, respectively, winners of the Palme and Jury Prize in the short subject competition.

Non-jury awards announced at closing ceremonies included the Technical Prize to Zhang Yimou’s “Shanghai Triad” for its visual splendor. The prestigious Camera d’Or for first feature was given to Iranian Jafar Panahi’s Directors Fortnight entry “The White Balloon.” Same pic also took the Fipresci Intl. Critics Prize for non-competing entries.

“Denise Calls Up,” American Harold Salwen’s tale of dating angst, was given a special-mention in the Camera d’Or.

Heavy favorite

The Angelopoulos film had been heavily touted for top honors and shared the top award from the international crix with Brit director Ken Loach’s Spanish Civil War drama “Land and Freedom.” Latter was cited as best of fest by the Ecumenical Jury but was shut out of top prizes by the main fest jury.

Moreau shared jury duties with Nadine Gordimer (South Africa), Maria Zverva (Russia), Gianni Amelio (Italy), Jean-Claude Brialy (France), Emilio Garcia Riera (Mexico), Gaston Kabore (Burkina Faso), Philippe Rousselot (France) and John Waters (U.S.).

More Film

  • Halloween

    Movies Featured More Female Protagonists in 2018, But It's Not All Good News (Study)

    “Halloween,” “A Star is Born,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” made headlines for featuring strong roles for women, but even though the number of female film protagonists hit a high in 2018, the movie industry still offered its juiciest parts to men. At a time when Hollywood is under pressure to become more inclusive and is [...]

  • Colin Farrell Dumbo

    Colin Farrell To Star in Andrew Haigh's BBC Two Thriller 'The North Water'

    Colin Farrell is set to star in “The North Water,” the BBC Two thriller which will be directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker Andrew Haigh (“Lean on Pete”). Based on Ian McGuire’s novel, the four-part series is being adapted by Haigh and produced by See-Saw Films for BBC Two. Set in the U.K. and in the [...]

  • New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to

    New Fox Appoints Wayne Borg to Los Angeles Studio Role

    Wayne Borg, who has headed the Fox Studios Australia operations in Sydney for the past four years, has been appointed president and general manager of studios at New Fox. He will relocate from Australia to Los Angeles. Fox Studios Australia, which is to remain part of 21st Century Fox and will become part of Disney [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Keira Knightly as "Rachael Morgan" in

    Film Review: Keira Knightley in 'The Aftermath'

    Less widely seen (and acclaimed) than it deserved to be, James Kent’s debut feature “Testament of Youth” was one of the great recent love-in-wartime dramas, translating the intimate romance and sprawling human tragedy of Vera Brittain’s WWI memoir with a grace and heft worthy of its David Lean allusions. Four years on, it’s not hard [...]

  • Inside Amazon's New Feature Film Strategy

    Amazon's New Film Strategy: Straight-to-Service Titles and Starry Sundance Buys

    It was close to midnight when Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke got the text. The company had failed in its quest to acquire “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” a body image dramedy that captivated Salke when she saw it at Sundance. A sales agent on the project messaged her to say that a competitor offered a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content