M
O
R
E
OF CANNES AND GOLDEN PALMS -2001
HOORAY FOR BOLLYWOOD  INDIA
GOLDEN LIONS - VENICE - 2001
SEXY BEAST -UNDERWORLD BRITAIN AND THE GANGSTER RAP
"After all those interchangeable gangster flicks with Ray Winstone putting the frighteners on folk in Thameside-Tarantino dialogue, all hail to SEXY BEAST, the best British crime pic in years. Following the promise of Paul McGuigan's 1999 GANGSTER NO 1 (by the same screenwriters, Louis Mellis and David Scinto), Jonathan Glazer's film isn't just about crime, it is about life, death, birth, love, pain and the whole damn thing..."
American Cinema Papers
CINEMA:



"Showmen are people who must please the world. Artists are people who must please themselves.  If they have a strong communicable vision, they will please other people in the process."  -Harlan Kennedy
"And some veterans never grow old at all; for them death shall have no run at the Dominion.  Jean-Luc Godard is still annoying us at age 70 and has a film in this year's fest,  ELOGE DE L'AMOUR...The ageless Ermanno Olmi contributes THE PROFESSION OF ARMS.  Japan's twice-palmed Shohei Imamuri is back with LUKEWARM WATERS UNDER A RED BRIDGE
("Er, Shohei, about this title, we at MGM/Miramax/Sony Classics think.").  And how can we suppose there won't be a film from Manoel de Oliveira,  Portugal's famous ninety-something, and Raul Ruiz, France's most famous Chilean."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"The great game at movie binges has always been to define the Big Idea underlying all the films.  It could be feminism, or bank-robbing, or the influence of Bakunin on modern philosophy, or sex.  Actually it is always sex. That is the constant, merely changing partners from year to year (sex and feminism, sex and bank-robbing, sex and Bakunin) ..."
p
M
O
R
E
M
O
R
E
"India is a land of beautiful, inspired madness: Edward Lear out of Rudyard Kipling. It is make-believe posing as reality, or vice versa. It is a sumptuous mythological theatre where foreign guests are granted a priceless privilege....Ah India, ah cinema. Its national industry has no equal in the world. It lures 12 million people daily to movie theatres. It makes 800 films a year, twice Hollywood's number."
KILTSPOTTING -SCOTTISH CINEMA HIGHLAND REELS
"From Rob Roy, Braveheart, and the retro-whimsical Loch Ness it is a small but quantum leap to Danny Boyd's Shallow Grave successor, Trainspotting, and Gillies MacKinnon's Small Faces. Scotland's soul is being bared by her native helmers with increasing wit and mordancy..."
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 2002
"The German soul: now there's a subject that could keep us up all night.  The horrors of history were opened up on film like the contents of an infinitely capacious Pandora's Box at the 52nd Berlinale."
M
O
R
E
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
CANNES - 2002 -GOLDEN PALMS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"The great, the grand and the gaga.  The new, the nude and the numinous. What a wonder of the world is the Cannes Film Festival..."
VENICE - 2002 -LIONS, LIONS EVERYWHERE
M
O
R
E
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
STANLEY KUBRICK'S BARRY LYNDON
"Like a Michelangelo stone figure trying to wrestle itself into life, Stanley Kubrick's film BARRY LYNDON is a work of genius hidden in embryo  inside William Makepeace Thackeray's original novel."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"As a film festival Berlin is still out there at the barri­cades, promoting the new and sometimes jaw-dropping. The early attention-grabbers in the Competition..."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"As Gore Vidal quipped in Fellini Roma, some cities are better than others to watch the end of the world from. Or the beginning of a new world... Now 50, a movie event that used to be leftishly sectarian is becoming startlingly evenhanded with age and national unification."
M
O
R
E
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 2001
GOLDEN BEARS -BERLIN  FILM FESTIVAL -2000
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL '99
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"LOSING THE PLOT has become the great artistic development in late-century cinema. Raúl Ruiz, Lynne Ramsay, Léos Carax, Werner Herzog, and Bruno Dumont all did it at Cannes, in high style."
Click below on an article you wish to read
or click the links above.
VENICE 2000 - OF GOLDEN LIONS
"Amazing changes. In the 100 days between Cannes and Venice the world has re-learned the art of economy."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"It's full of silence and poignancy of the time. Set during a famous 1970's garbage strike, when black bags blobbed the land from scotland to land's end and rats thought heaven had arrived early, the film all but equates detritus and disorder with life, and hope; order, cleanliness with death."
RATCATCHER
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
CANNES 2000 - ON GOLDEN PALMS
"Narrative cinema is going through convulsions at present, stretching sprinter's muscles to long-distance runner's (think Magnolia).  And in many films the in-betweening  the scenes or details that old producer-pressured auteurs might have left on the cutting-room floor  are becoming the essence not the grace-notes."

©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
"In Berlin the new hotels and cinemas are rising. They make gleaming Metropolis canyons from the once drab and sprawly streets near the ex-East/West border Wall."

BERLIN -OUT OF THE SHADOWS - '99
M
O
R
E
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE '99 - A GONDOLA IN TIME
"The Venice Casino  second floor, gambling; ground floor, press shows  would have been the perfect site for a prefest sweepstakes: Place your Armani shirt on the chance of ..."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
ROBERT MITCHUM - AN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"...I'm with Robert Mitchum in a seaside saloon. Outside, the rattle of California palm trees wrestles with the smack-thud-hiss of long Pacific waves breaking fifty feet away."
NOSTROMO
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"Question for screenwriters and Sir David Lean? How do you extract the ore from a mineral-rich literary masterpiece never mined before and turn it into silver for the screen?."
M
O
R
E
"The Silence is the great watershed movie of Ingmar Bergman's career: the work of a filmmaker no longer able to contain the creatures and archetypes surging in the playroom of his imagination."
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO INGMAR BERGMAN
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE gave us a rococo-arched light-ribboned little theatre for nightly TV interviews.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL '98 -SPEARS OF LIGHT
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
DATELINE GERMANY. Berlin welcomes explosions of controversy...Here I am...
LEFT LUGGAGE -BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL '98
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL '98
Sun shone, birds flew, corks popped. Critics trampled each other to get into movies and only occasionally trampled each other to get out.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
M
O
R
E
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL '97
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Fluttering mane, crackling wings, six-track roar: The Golden Lion of Venice...
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL '97
THE EYES HAVE IT. Berlin was obsessed with themes of seeing and spying...
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL '97
M
O
R
E
DAVID  LEAN  IN  INTERVIEW: A  PASSAGE  TO  INDIA
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Sir David Lean's early, brisk rise was devoid of any hint of the Brobdingnaging film- making to come. Once a clapper-boy...
"The French provided the momentous event, a Golden Jubilee filmfest, while the Brits provided the momentous movies. It was party-crashing without pity. "
THE  PIANIST
Roman Polanski's new ghetto-set movie is copping all the glittering prizes...
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
CAMMINACAMMINA -THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Innocense, astonishment, questioning, doubt, these are the sacraments of life. Christ came to us in the form of an ordinary human being and thus made ordinary humanity divine. Camminacammina is a little chant you might use to a child. It means: Keep walking, keep walking!
BLADE RUNNER: RIDLEY SCOTT INTERVIEWED
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The texture of Blade Runner is a densely figured kinetic tapestry. There are antiphonal layers of color and shading. The burnished gold skyscrapers glint above the the Stygian forlornness of the streets. Bulging Egyptian-style pillars stand amid the grime of sidewalks. There are tangy mixtures of race, color, and lingo out in the streets, as Hispanics Orientals, and WASPs jostle in an eternal film noir nighttown. And then there are the 'replicants'...
M
O
R
E
TARKOVSKY -A THOUGHT IN NINE PARTS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"Andrei Tarkovsky spent 30 years plowing up movie convention so that a new kind of cinema could grow. His imagery was one of reversal: op­posites coexist or swap places. The world is renewed when seen inside-out or mir­ror-reversed."
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL -1996
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Arctic weather leaked through windows --my hotel, for instance, with its wall-sampler reading "Strength Through Cold" -- but the festival was red hot.
M
O
R
E
Context is a sobering thing.  The big-bang 53rd Berlin Film Festival coincided exactly with the 12 billionth year of the universe's creation and the 4 ½ billionth year of the Earth's.  Talk about timing....talk about movies....
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL -2003
M
O
R
E
CANNES 2003
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Ah Cannes.  Twenty filmmakers are invited to a spot isolated from the rest of civilization. A mysterious host has left mysterious instructions.  Then, one by one, the films are shot dead - by critics and a gang of jurors - until only one is left alive and kicking.  That film and its owner then claim the grand prize: the Golden Palm of the Cannes Film Festival.  And the adventure's worth it!
VENICE - 2002 -LIONS, LIONS EVERYWHERE
"Everyone went crazy. Cheers rang out in the lush Palazzo del Cinema auditorium. Men stood up, women stood up. Ageing dignitaries in the balcony ratcheted themselves into an ovation position. From wall to wall swept the Venetian wave of movement, the sea-like surge of applause."
VENICE - 2003
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Stinging jellyfish were leaping onto the beach  or was it really just the Golden Lions mane?  It's party time as Venice becomes the worlds' first film festival to reach sixty.  Read on...
M
O
R
E
RIO DE JANEIRO FILM FESTIVAL -2003
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Rio is the world's most beautiful city, a rock kingdom cradled among gleaming seas -- a jewel compacted of impossible realities...
M
O
R
E
People will walk.  Poetry-in-locomotion in two films by Gus Van Sant.

GOING WALKIES - ELEPHANT
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL -1994
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Midnight in Berlin. When the wall comes down, nothing's there to stop you going in the wrong direction. Lost,lost,lost.
M
O
R
E
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1996
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Rain sliced the palais steps on opening night, turning the years smile-and-flashbulb gala into an even more defiant artifice than usual.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL  - 1996
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The mournful sound of tourists' waiIing across the Venetian Lagoon...
TREASONS OF THE HEART
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Another Country attempts to take on the treachery of youth. An Englishman Abroad deals with the results when How-to-change-the-world has turned into How-to-get-through-the-day.
DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES - TERENCE DAVIES IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
For Davies, if the past is a foreign country, it's guerrilla territory: not a sedate outpost of our existential empire, but a Vietnam of the mind.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1995
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Festivals without stars are darkness without light. And this year is the screen's hundreth birthday.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 1995
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
If you stood on any dock on the Venice Lagoon and swung a cat -- dozens of these offer themselves for hire -- you would hit someone famous...
M
O
R
E
M
O
R
E
SHAMROCKS AND SHILLELAGHS - IRISH MOVIES
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"Terrible Beauty" now describes Ireland's uniqueness as a battle zone. Hills and hedgerows, dunes and seashores, sun-lanced forests are the camouflage of everyday terror.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1994
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Cannes has happening movies, comfortable hotels, beautiful people and Gallic courtesy. Who wouldn't want to be here?
LA CONDANNA - MARCO BELLOCCHIO
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Italy, sex, madness, Marxism. The law, Italy, sex, madness...
M
O
R
E
EXCALIBUR  - JOHN BOORMAN INTERVIEWED
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Excalibur has to do with mythical truth; it has to do with man taking over the world on his own terms for the first time...
TESS - POLANSKI IN HARDY COUNTRY
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Tess is about regeneration and continuation...  The author, Thomas Hardy, links her to the rhythm of nature, within a Victorian society at odds with everything spontaneous and natural. She is the first truly modern heroine.
NASTASSIA KINSKI  - IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Taking tea with Nastassia Kinski and talking of her role as "Tess".
M
O
R
E
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL- 1995
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Taking all your cloaths off on a Cannes beach is not necessarily the best thing to do. But there were photographers...
M
O
R
E
EUREKA -  NICOLAS ROEG INTERVIEWED
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Eureka is a treasure-trail of optic clues, mythic psychedelia and eyeblink rags of illusion and allusion, which leads into one of the richest movie labyrinths since Citizen Kane.
BAD TIMING  -  NICOLAS ROEG  IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Roeg pulls images out of his pocket in apparently random order, gradually the bits and pieces build into a pattern, forge a meaning, cast a fascination.
M
O
R
E
ROMAN POLANSKI'S BITTER MOON
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
A folie à quatre on the Parisian high-seas... but will there be blood before bed time?
THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN
The French Lieutenant's Woman is about the way the Past and its accretions are impacted in the Present, and how modern freedoms rise on the strata of bygone tyrannies.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL  - 1994 -- STONE EAGLES...
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Brobdingnagian candles gutter. Stone eagles sit in stony introspection.... whorls and curls and spirals run riot.
M
O
R
E
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL  - 1993 -- RUN SCREAMING
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Once more upon the beach. Run screaming into the Adriatic...
ORSON WELLES:  THE THIRD MAN AND TOUCH OF EVIL
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Third Man and Touch of Evil have a likeness of style almost dazzling. It is toppling-over expressionism. Low angles, tilted or cambered framings, shadows that almost drown their owners...
CARRY ON  -- BRITAIN
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
A pinpricking plethora of puns. The Carry-On films deserve pride of place as the collective court jester in those movies where everyone is "on stage" and hunt the subtext becomes a truly underground activity.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL  - 1993
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
King Kong was given the keys to the city and expected to deliver speeches about art, culture, and world peace.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL  - 1993
The Martian school of moviemaking has only one rule: Don't Editorialize. Allow the years their proper time, the characters their proper space...
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
DEREK JARMAN  - A WINDSWEPT STORMY SEA-GARDEN
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Somehow it seems Jarman has all the brainwaves in British cinema and those who come after reap the benefit.
M
O
R
E
BRITISH WAR MOVIES
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
During World War 2 the stiff upper lip became the all-defining heraldic emblem. That odd area of rigor vitae between an Englishman's nose and mouth was an advertisemant for the superglue of empire and Britain's flair for bloody battle and lofty prattle.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL - 2004
In Berlin, anniversaries rose up like Krakens from the deep.  They flailed their tails and gnashed their scaly teeth; they roared, firebreathed and ravened; they woke us with a start in the morning and threw us into bed, exhausted by battle, at night.  All in all. It was a fun time.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST - 2004
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"Halfway through life I found myself in a dark forest" Dante said about Cannes. (No, he didn't ! - ed.) (Ah well, your're right - HK). What Dante meant to say was that the Cannes Film Festival is a movie hot spot filled with champagne light and luscious lollipops...
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 2004
M
O
R
E
THE RETURN
A poignant film, pitch-perfect in mood, tempo and atmosphere – won the top prize, the Venice Golden Lion, for Russian director Andrei Zvyagintsev.  Stop what you’re doing, drop everything,  and go see it now!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 2004
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
An orange fog wrapped Venice in its’ cool fiery cloak – the result of Saharan sands blown high and far.  That was Spring: the Mostra del Cinema was late Summer.  No problemo.
He was an old dogface and proud of it.  Chomping on an ever-present cigar he’d grab you with his intense eloquence and passion about movies, life and the hell of war. The movie battlefield that was Cannes 2004 honoured his memory with special screenings of THE BIG RED ONE; a soldiers view of war and killing, rage and humanity.  Sam left his mark big time and he is missed.
MOVIE LEGEND SAM FULLER - IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS
There is no escaping the velvet claw of Venice, once the lion wakes, stretches itself, and sights you. There is blood before bedtime in this movie, you intuit it early in The Comfort of Strangers..."My friends..."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERNARDO BERTOLUCCI - IN INTERVIEW
".... I cannot plan a film as a script or as a storyboard. I need the camera; I need the actors; I need reality to whisper to me. If you leave the door open to reality, the smell of reality is so strong, it adds so much. It attacks and enters and infiltrates."
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL - 1992
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The remnants of the Berlin Wall are being ever-so-tastefully gift wrapped and hawked on the Kurfurstendamn. Memory becomes memorabilia. Terror, trinkets.
M
O
R
E
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL - 1992
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Free hats, multicolored drinks and snazzy log'd T-shirts. Sip some liquid, don a T-shirt, plop a hat on your head and dash out to the Palais - The Long Day Closes is screening.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 1992
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
If Edith Piaf had been in town warbling her No-Regrets ditty, she'd have been carted off by the festival's culture police. Regret movies were in.
THE BRITISH ARE COMING
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Monty Python: Camp Makes A Stand. Camp is Absurdist de-structuring with its hair let down, its shoes kicked off, and a general air of undoctrinal revelry.
PETER GREENAWAY: HIS RISE AND "FALLS"
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Falls is a dovetailing of lawless arbitrariness with an obsessive orderliness that is spellbinding. Anarchist and activist are yoked together in a demented bureaucratic acte gratuit,as if an existential poetry had blown through the corridors of institutionalism whooshing the dust off the filing cabinets and making the dossiers dance.
PROSPEROS FLICKS: TOSSED BY TEMPEST
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Tempest is High-Concept morality drama. But as its movie shelflife suggests, its also much more. The timetable is tight and the metaphors are not in the verse but in the plot itself. Oh that Shakespeare...
M
O
R
E
M
O
R
E
CANNES 1991 AND ZENTROPA
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Lars Von Trier's film only won two prizes. He wasn't happy. But he gave us a great film in Zentropa.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 1991
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
At Venice, we spend our time jumping between unconnected items over impossible chasms and canals. You try it!
MICHAEL POWELL - THE BRILLIANCE OF THE IMPOSSIBLE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
See Sabu climb the giant spider's web to steal the jewel! Goggle at the sex-starved nuns teetering above the Himalayan abyss! Gape at the red-shoed ballerina twirling to. . .
WEREWOLVES COME NOT IN SINGLE SNOUTS BUT IN BATTALIONS
It takes more than a chance upsurge of jazzy FX genius in Hollywood's palpitating – pelt and elastic – nose departments to explain why so many screen stars are being pursued through the woods and streets by furry ravening mutants or red-eyed hand-held cameras. . .
MIKE LEIGH – ABOUT HIS STUFF
Mike Leigh makes some of the saddest, funniest films in the English language. Life is sweet.
What an eerie film this is. What a violent film.  What a haunting film, restoring the gospel story to its livid, vivid life even as it dwells on that story’s entanglement in pain, sacrifice, horror and death.  Martyrdom is not a pretty thing.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL - 1990
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The cold war is defrosting so fast that warm puddles of glasnost lie about the Berlin streets and the Filmfestspiele.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 1990
Gabbing in a gondola on the Grand Canal - and why not? After all it's Venice.
BRIT PACK - ACTORS ACTING
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Britain is the country of Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Bernard Shaw; of Garrick, Kean, and Oliver. It represents – at least in reputation – the aristocracy of theatrical tradition, the lawbook of theatrical style, and the yardstick of theatrical achievement.
M
O
R
E
DANIEL DAY LEWIS – IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
While training at the Bristol Old Vic "one wasn't allowed near a stage for the first year or so. We were like over-trained greyhounds straining in the slips. We worked on scenes from The Cherry Orchard or Romeo and Juilet but we never did. . ."
M
O
R
E
SIR ALEC GUINNESS – SUBSTANCE AND STYLE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Like a chameleon, moments of unbelievable inertia in Guinness alternate with equally unbelievable transfigurations. The colors change, the eye flickers, a new challenge is scented and the toung – snap! crunch! – darts out.
BOAT PEOPLE – CANNES 1983
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Boat People came to the 1983 Cannes Film Festival as the most highly classified film suprise of the festival's 36 year history. It is a survival story set in a tragic moment in history.
HONG KONG – BEYOND CHOP-SOCKY – 1983
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The best known product from Hong Kong is the Wu Xia Pian – the martial arts film. Who are their makers?
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1981
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Venice has been a place of idiot enchantment ever since Katharine Hepburn planted the Hollywood flag there in Summertime and cut across the sun-drowsed cadenzas of Italian parlato with her brittle Bryn Mawr yap.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1985
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Gallons of ink; a pantechnicon full of paper; a talking parrot "buon giorno"; pigeons falling from churches: It was the year of youth at Venice. But first, I'm going for a dip in the wine-dark Adriatic.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1984
Free views of bare-bottomed baboons and prowling bustards. What symbolism is this? Come to Berlin where all is revealed.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
Italian film festivals are one of the age's great gifts to mankind, welding the inspirational energy of the Italian Renaissance to the plug-in modernism of 20th-century technology. It's a union you find nowhere else. The different parts get sticky in the sun and you can't separate them; the place and the pictures snarl up together in an amazing knot.
TAORMINA AND VENICE FILM FESTIVALS – 1984
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1985
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Like your kilt. Why not tuck this haggis under your sporran? There, that's better. Welcome to Scotland.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1982
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1981
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Fassbinder, in his film Lili Marleen, weaves a fictional story around the famous song that leaped trenches and crossed battlefields working its magical sensucht on both Allied and Axis alike in World War II.
Fassbinder brought Veronika Voss to the festival and Herzog came with Fitzcarraldo. An exciting year.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1979
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Six communist countries (and two jurors) walked out, why? The Deer Hunter was playing in Berlin '79. Oh well.
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1979
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In the eighteenth century the Midlothian city of  Edinburgh was known for whiskey, medical research and body snatching. Today, it hosts Europe's largest cultural and artistic binge.
TAORMINA FILM FESTIVAL – 1985
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Nightly, American movies were skywritten on the giant screen of the 2,000 year old honey-stoned bowl in the outdoor Greco-Roman theater.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL - 1989
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
This is the year that Venice went officially Green: posters, flags, Greenpeaces Rainbow Warrior steaming to and fro, bunting, algae, my hair.   O my brothers  peace and harmony rules.   Except for
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1988
The Venice Film Festival, which can be as peaceful as its leafy, wave-washed setting on the Lido this year came on like gangbusters!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2005
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Festival took place within the square mile of Berlin heartland where history was made and unmade sixty years ago when conflict and division died in a death-doomed dictators’ bunker.
AUSTRALIA’S NEW WIZARDS OF OZ
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Australias historical-cultural affinity with America – a shared new world experience – presents a choice:  either control the fiercer bacterial trends from U.S. cinema or create an authentic Australian film culture
LONDON: GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL – 1989
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
New ways of looking – and listening and arguing – have always been the weapon of progress and the measuring stick of liberty. Only in a society where the Wise Monkey rules are the issues of good and evil banned from sight, sound, or speech. Only an ideologically obsessed state, determined to gather power to itself,  skywrites the commandments of censorship.
M
O
R
E
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 2005
Art is a protection racket.  It offers us insurance from terrors of art’s own devising – or at least its own exaggerating.  C’mon – Come to sunny Cannes, if you dare!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
ASIA HITS THE VENICE FILM FEST WITH A HOWL
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Generations war: Howl’s Moving Castle and The World battle it out on the Venice Lido’s fantastic fantasy island.
MICHAEL MANN – IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Im not interested in ‘passive’ filmmaking, in a film that’s precious and small and where it’s up to the audience to bring themselves to the movie.  I want to bombard an audience – a very active, aggressive type of seduction.  I want to manipulate an audience’s feelings for the same reasons that composers write symphonies.”
M
O
R
E
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1988
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Come to Edinburgh and be ministered to by Leprechauns.  Stay to see movies that can be mind-boggling, sporran-whirring fantasy-reality teasers.  And, if you’re quick, there are still a few tickets for my night of naked Shakespeare readings.  One night only!
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1986
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Nostalgia, dancing in the streets, bagpipes in the projection booth:  The filmfest at 40.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2005
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
There were rumors of a mosquito a-buzz in Venice this year – but nobody could find one on the movie-packed Lido.  Deliciously, the  Filmfest dazzled all comers with Ang Lee’s Golden Lion winner, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, and a-chuckle of starry celebrities were prancing about to boot.
THREE FUNERALS AND AN AVENGING – CANNES 2005
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is a new western with the charm of a rattlesnake.  It comes with castanets attached to its tail, clickety-clicking as if to mesmerize us with rhythm, repetitions and the ambient noise of desert life.  Then, when it chooses, it strikes: once, twice, thrice.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
The heart is a lonely hunter, but the screen is a miracle of grace and artistry, in Ang Lee’s Venice-prizewinning tale of cowboy passion. Saddle up and go see it! 
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
NOSFERATU BY WERNER HERZOG
The blood-sucking Count has become the archetypal emblem for the evil that lurks below the surface, for the compulsion that eats away at its victim from inside that eats away at our belief in ourselves as free agents in a moral universe. Nosferatu carries a plague; a spiritual one.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1985
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
At Berlin this was a year of fact, not fiction. Gone were the cuddly gusts of good narrative.  Instead, in were howling blasts of documentary truth.
ALEX AND ILYA SALKIND – IN INTERVIEW
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Metropolis and a hot-off-the-press Daily Planet Exclusive on the Salkinds. And you thought it would just be about Superman.
M
O
R
E
M
O
R
E
LONDON FILM FESTIVAL – 1980
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The big festival reached back in time to Abel Gance's Napoleonic France – then jumped around the globe ending up in the new world of Australian cinema.
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1983
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Andrzej Wajda's Danton persuades us of the terrifying fragility of freedom. For doubters, come to the Berlin Wall and see the Soviet guillotines.
NICHOLAS RAY & DOUGLAS SIRK – SOME NOTES
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Both Sirk and Ray honor noir by harnessing its opposite – the wild horses of chromatic hyperbole – and riding toward the critical truths of the human heart.
KING KONG – IN BERLIN
In Berlin to receive a reward for outstanding hairy thing in a movie, Mr. Kong made time for me.(I'm a blonde.)
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1983
And The Ship Sails On shows again that Fellini can turn a soundstage into an empire of the senses. A giant liner, carrying a gaggle of opera celebrities, sails off towards the painted horizon across a billowing polythene sea.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICEFILM FESTIVAL – 1982
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Fassbinder's films made us expect more from the cinema: more challenge, more color, more subtly delirious subversion. In Venice this year, Moviedom responded. Dullness sank of its own weight to the bottom of the lagoon, and the new films had a rare bounce and vitality.
M
O
R
E
GILBERT AND SULLIVAN – AND VINCENT PRICE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Nudging each other and doing musical battle for your vision field are such characters as Buttercup, Nanki-Poo, Mabel and Ruth, as well as Deadeye Dick, a gaggle of Pirate Kings, Major-Generals and Fairy Queens, Koko, Poo-Bah, Yum-Yum and, oh yes, Vincent Price.
FASSBINDER'S FOUR DAUGHTERS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Art gives the devil advocacy as strong as the saint's, and dandles its special charms more vigorously. We're taught to stay behind the front-line of the Good while recognizing the Bad from afar. Art teaches you to cross the war-zone: to know and empathize with the bad, and for a brief span to share its skin and soul.
If cultural identity has any meaning at all, or any hope of staying alive, it must be able to walk, talk, and function when not fastened to nationalistic subjects.
BRITISH CINEMA IS SPLIT
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
MOVIE MUSIC & MORRICONE
The patron saint of movie music is surely the Emperor Nero. With Rome blazing around him and homes and people crisping, he decided against calling the fire brigade. "Poppaea," he said, turning to his wife, "bring me my fiddle." The rest is history. Or at least waterproof legend.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Where are the movie queues of yester-year? Are film fans being taken over by alien machines? Strange black monoliths called VCRs are spreading their spores across the world.
VIDEO/MOVIES/VIEWERS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
LONDON FILM FESTIVAL – 1979
The screens were packed with films, the festival clubroom was jammed with filmmakers. There wasn't space to swing a catbut then, why would you want to?
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
LONDON FILM FESTIVAL – 1978
"Lost" cinematic countries were rediscovered, established directors pulled some rejuvenating surprises and unknown young filmmakers were blooded.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
TAORMINA FILM FESTIVAL – 1986
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In the sun-filled gardens of the 15th Century Palazzo Corvaja, there was a marathon talk-in about the publication of an Italian book on Brian De Palma. As the authors expatiated on in polysyllabic Italian, a tree visibly grew taller behind them and a dog, who had been listening intently from a nearby balcony, yawned and fell asleep. Meanwhile, at the movies...
RAGTIME – MILOS FORMAN
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
"We create institutions, governments, to help us live. But governments always have a tendency to dominate and control us rather than the other way around. We create something to help us, we pay for it, and we end up being owned by it."
M
O
R
E
AMAZON GRACE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The essential components of a religion are to offer stories about the source of life and the beginnings of a people, an ethical and moral matrix, and a communications network between the finite and the infinite by way of ritual. The noble savage movies provide all three.
Books are a continuous present, clothing a semantic notation in fresh subjective detail. Music is ever changeable, differently alive with each performance or interpretation. Theater (and opera, ballet) is self-proclaimed, evanescent, physically circumscribed artifice. Poetry, sculpture, and still photography are pieces of moment-in-time immobility, deep-frozen art to be thawed out imaginatively by each new spectator's response. Films alone – being at once animate, graphic, realistic, and unchanging – seem to have Time conquered.
THE TIME MACHINE – TRAPS IN TIME
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1987
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
For East Berlin, West Berlin is like a splinter under its fingernail. For West Berlin, the wall is like being marooned in a dancing hall where the only safe dance is the waltz – circle, circle, turn, circle (oops! bounced off the wall). Begin again.
GLASNOST – SOVIET SPRING
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In early 1987, millions of people could not tell a glasnost from a glockenspiel. Now it's all over the West. Glasnost: "openness".
M
O
R
E
The festival was held on the Lido di Venezia – with both indoor and outdoor screenings. Learning jostled with a gusty barbarism. Critics sat inside silently scribbling notes. Outside the Italians turned the Arena into a gladiatorial battleground, where some films were put to the sword, some fed to the lions, and a luckier few – like Gloria –  given a rapturous thumbs up. There is nothing like an Italian audience in full cry.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1980
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Almost every movie in Venice that wasn't about youth was about old age or death. John Huston's The Dead is a wonder: a last testament handwritten and vellum bound. Everyone is dead or dying, in James Joyce's story and Huston's movie, but the snow will never quite cover their memories, their loves, their hates, their joys. Huston, a man marinated in the Celtic twilight and ending up more Irish than the Irish, was moviedom's mission control: an ancestral storyteller building space-time contacts with the medium of the 20th century. Venice, by honoring him, brought honor to itself.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1987
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
This time around, the Berlinale's epicenter was not to be found in the competition but in the nocturne season of night sex.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1980
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Kubrick offers no easy job for theme-hunting critics. They can wheel and whirl around his films trying to spear a common theme, but the oeuvre won't yield one. What Kubrick's movies do have in common is not a theme so much as a method. He is a hunter in the atavistic jungle of human nature, an explorer set on discovering what happens to men and women when pushed to extremes in differing stressful environments.
THE SHINING – STANLEY KUBRICK
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
It was business as usual at the 36th Berlinale FilmFestspiele. Here in Europe's capital of culture shock, confrontations and crises – political, artistic, meteorological – meet in an eternal apocalypse.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1986
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
An Italian audience is the most honest I know. I would trust my life to them – and did. They cheer a good movie. And whistles, cat­calls, and boos are never far from their lips when a film is a pretentious stinker.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1986
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
While serving on the jury at the Venice Film Festival, Ustinov and I chatted about his love for Russia and his new six part series on that country for the BBC.
PETER USTINOV – IN CONVERSATION
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
A new film from James Dearden, scriptwriter of Fatal Attraction, makes its bow at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.
CANNES 1988 – PASCALI'S ISLAND
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
The Edinburgh Film Festival, spurred on by stern Cartesian traditions of self-examination and scholarship, has always been as keen on the motive as on the movie. And why not?
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1987
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The world knows Venice for the beauty of its palazos, paintings and waterways. Each year more know its Lido and the flickering, transient moments of films illusions. Come and see.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 1984
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Policemen are tarantara-ing, buccaneers are bucking, cutlasses are clinking and pirates abound. It has to be Gilbert & Sullivan.
PIRATES – DUST OFF YOUR PARROTS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Edinburgh has always been hotter after movie trouvés than prestigious big-budget cinema, and this year's lineup of shining dark horses was typically and wondrously eclectic.
EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL – 1980
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In Taormina, the films unfold nightly in the crumbly magnificence of a Graeco-Roman amphitheatre with a star-punctured sky overhead. In the slightly too near distance, Mount Etna's crater gurgles happily away like a giant pot of tomato soup.
TAORMINA FILM FESTIVAL – 1984
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
What better way to arrive at a film festival! Scrambling and turning in a wake of flying snow, a-top and suddenly a-bottom of a mountain sitting seven thousand feet high. Park City's whiteness sits at six thousand feet and you can ski right into Sundance (check your credentials!) to enjoy the latest in independent cinema, movies, flicks, documentaries, shorts...
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL – 2006
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2006
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Airborne charabancs and a giant german hot dog!.. And did that bear just salute me? Yes,  mein gott, it did.  It’s a time for  happenings.  It’s the 56th Internationale Filmfestspiele.  It’s the Berlinale in full, fine fettle.  Take a boat, take a train, take a plane, walk. Just come to Berlin.  You’ll be glad you did.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 2006
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Each May the sunny French Riviera gives us the champagne light of popping flashbulbs, red carpeted marble stairs ascended by beautiful people, and all the dazzling movies of the Cannes Film Festival.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
GENA ROWLANDS AT CANNES – 2006
Snipping away at the sprocket-holes and unsnapping the frame, the Cannes Film Festival does a great thing each year.  It frees a movie star from celluloid and presents him or her alive, well and, hopefully, kicking.
SUPERMAN RETURNS!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The human creative gene hates finality and the achieving of simple paradises.  It sees in cinema and the other arts the chance to mix it all up, mess it around and start all over again.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2006
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Now gather round.  Once upon a time tiny crinkly creatures emerged from the water.  Time passed, as it does.  Then much, much later they stood upright (who knows why?) and walked on two feet.  And just a teensy bit later they began going to movies.  In Venice...
WOMEN WIN SEX BATTLE AT VENICE – 2006
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
At Venice 2006,  the actresses ate up all the scenery in sight.  Then they came back for second helpings
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2007
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
If the 57th BERLINALE had a theme, it was the magic of aftermaththe sunsets of certainty.
AMERICA AT CANNES – 2007
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Two movies at the 60th Cannes Film Festival presented an impassioned, missionary finger at the state of our United States.  NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN was a fable:  powerful, oblique, reverberant.  The other. SICKO, was a diatribe: headlong, focused, unsparing.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 2007
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
It was sixty years ago today that Sergeant Pepper…” No, waitit was the first Cannes Film Festival and this one is big number sixty.  All that glitz, all that glamour, all those films.  Sixty festivals unspooling the great, the good, the controversial.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2007
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The dutiful and the beautiful jetted in to join the Mostras cinematic party.  The 64th edition celebrated the festival’s founding 75 years ago, its movies still blazing after the storms and stumbles of history.
CHINA IN VENICE – WU YONG ‘DESIGNS’
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Austere monkish tunics, cumbrous frocks with stiff toutou-style skirts, embossed giant cloaks in burlap, garments that could have been dug from some gigantic communal grave, caked and discoloured by mud and time.  Golly. Really gear stuff. I mean, wow!
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 1978
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
It was the time of terrorism, encircling walls and DEUTSCHLAND IM HERBST.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2008
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Beethoven, Nefertiti, new cinema.   The past collides with the present and sounds a cosmic shock.  All you can bear – and more! – at the 58th Berlinale.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL  –  2008
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
At the worlds first public movie show the Lumiere Brothers caused screams and havoc with their movie image of a train speeding smack head-on towards the audience.  It’s been all go ever since.  Welcome to Cannes.
GENIUS AT CANNES – 2008
A blur of wonder, like celestial omnibuses or traveling circuses passes through town at dead of night.  Its genius at work!  It’s the Ray and Terry show!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
TARANTINO TALES – CANNES – 2008
Quentin – wild and wired – talks the talk in Med Masterclass. Will the world ever be the same?
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE 2008 – UNGUARDED MOMENTS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In an age of proliferating fault-lines we looked into the heart of reality and discovered it was being bypassed.  Not for malign reasons but to sound and probe the very fault-lines of the seeming true and the seeming real.  You really should come to Venice!
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2008
A pride of lions flaunt the catwalks of the Mostra del Cinema each year a-flash with the first gold of Autumn.  And then we go to the movies.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2009
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Close encounters of the magical kind in that cultural beanfest we call the 59th Berlinale.  Look, listen, gaze and gawk – it’s all here.
VENICE – THROUGH A GLASS, BRIGHTLY
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
An extra layer of visual ravishment sparkled at Venice this year – two movies about misty water coloured memories.  Hop a-board for Varda and McElwee!
CANNES SCREENS 2009
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 2009
Cannes, like the heart, has its reasons.  Here on the French Riviera the sun sears the beaches, scalds the sidewalks and swocks down on the dark, ecliptic activity of movie-watching.  That magic doorway into the heart and mind.  The best films all had something to say about light and the manifold darknesses that fight it
The Cannes Film Festival brought to the Azure Coast intertextuality, metafiction, self-reflexiveness and any other word you want to hook – like a silvery leaping fish – from a sea of postmodernism.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2009
A construction site for the new Palazzo del Cinema?  Buildings razed, bosky woods gone, nothing is recognizable.  Yet we critics, with fantastic heroism, cut through alleys, down secret steps, across underground lakes, into and out of Middle Earth, up marble stairways and finally found the festival.  Glory.   (There was, we later learned, an easier way!).
M
O
R
E
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE 2009 – LEBANON – WINS THE GOLDEN LION
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
There has surely never been a film squeezed for so long into so confined a space.  The tank: we are tossed into this iron maiden and the hatch is slammed.  The outside world is seen only through gun sights.  It is barely heard at all.  The main acoustic is the turning, grinding, winching noise of the turret as it changes our viewpoint moment by moment: up, down, leftward, rightward, like some robotic madman dictating our world-view by an ear-tormenting semaphore of right angles. Tension, anguish, uncertainty, LEBANON.
Above the Croisette a nocturnal light show erupts: the evening seagulls wail like wandering comets, wheel in lyric and angelic torment.  Cannes megawatt illuminations cast an underglow; eerie, white-bright, incandescent. Oblivious to the glamour below they float like rags of purified, animated radiance, dancing in the midnight air.
CANNES 2009 – SOUND AND FURY
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
VENICE 2009 – WAR AND PEACE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Art thrives on tragic extremes and the culture of our globe is deeply troubled by the shape war will take in coming decades.  Will that shape be destruction by nuclear blasts?  Will it be an ongoing sequence of asymmetrical wars like those fought in the last half century?  Will it be war by military violence; will it be war by chemical virus?  The scenarios multiply.  So do the movies and Venice has captured them.
M
O
R
E
SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL – 2010
You’ve got to do something to celebrate the 125th birthday of a historic silver-mining town in snowy Utah.  Do you party in Park Citys streets?  Dance on its ski slopes? Place 125 giant candles on nature’s frosted hills and hire a giant to blow them out? Or….
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL - 2010
They were like fiery parentheses or blazing brackets.  Two films, one from the ex-Allies, one from the ex-Axis, prove something odd and hypnotic.  Nazism and its heritage still haven’t climbed out of the collective world Alpentraum, or nightmare.  They still haven’t puffed their way up to Lucidity Peak, from where the view is clear and the past is spread cleanly below us.  We are still – seven decades on – writhing a little in our sleep, trying to process the un-processable.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL – 2010
I see a French village.  A sky of azure hangs above.  A thousand people bustle below.  The sun burns on the boulevards; the town twinkles.  And a Riviera runs through it.  My aircraft makes its turns and groans, then with a sigh of envy deposits me in Cannes for my annual feast of films, parties, dinners and fun.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
CANNES REALS – 2010
The Cannes Film Festival celebrated by showcasing three films about human beings who invent,create or reconstruct the real.  In all three movies the characters manufacture actuality, or a likeness of it, from the projections of their wills and imaginations.  Its an act of faith in human potentiation.
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
CANNES SURFING – 2010
A demi-century after A Bout De Souffle, the first surfing challenge of the French New Wave, we still pant in the wake of Jean-Luc Godard.  We are blinded by spray, wobbling and puffing in the masters wake, while Godard stands proud on his speeding surfboard.  His new movie,
Film Socialisme….
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
M
O
R
E
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2010
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Winds howling across the lagoon.  Lion statues tumbling down steps. Festival guests tossed about like balloons.  Rain descending like giant combs to sleek and slick the hair of hurricane-lashed trees.  Tempest began the festival….
VENICE 2010 – STORMY WEATHER
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
It’s Tempest time.  The “vexed Bermoothes” are a long way from the Venice lagoon.  But our festival island, the Lido, has some little kinship with Shakespeare’s.  We come; we see (movies); we are conquered by enchantment.
VENICE 2010 –  “DIRECTORS’ STATEMENTS”
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Each year in the festival’s catalogue directors are encouraged to make a statement about their movie wares, in much the same way an executive at a board meeting might have two minutes to make a ‘presentation’ about their mad, brilliant or revolutionary new idea.
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2011
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Infernal investigations !  Two films jumped out at Berlin, dazzling in their admonitions to us and our future, and their echoes of Berlins own haunted history.
M
O
R
E
CANNES 2011 – LIGHTING THE DARKNESS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Its heaven on the Med and every paradise has its starry stairway.  This year the stars were all there sparkling on the red carpet, from Brad to Bobby (deNiro), from Ange to Johnny (Depp) on Cannes 64th birthday.
CANNES CLOUDS – 2011
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
A seismic showdown at Cannes.  Two great directors, Lars Von Trier and Terrence Malick, duke it out on screen as Creation and Cataclysm vie to have the worlds last word and gain a golden palm.
M
O
R
E
CANNES 2011 – FICTIONS AND AFFLICTIONS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The Cannes Film Festival has often focused our minds on the human body.  But the bodies you think of first are semi-nude ones draped over golden sands.  Ah, the pulsating beguilements of youth. But then…..
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2011
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Every September golden lions are shooed onto the Lido di Venezia to be fought over by filmmakers.  This year it was a spectacle fit for an ancient arena.  A massive space and depth groined from the earth girdled the Mostra buildings.  Whatever was it?  It was….
VENICE  2011 – TEXTUAL PASSIONS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Scanning the Mostras movie line-up it was clear that libraries had been ransacked on an Alexandrian scale.  Novels and plays were busy clattering into screen incarnation and filling the festival.
VENICE  2011  – MOLTEN MEDIA!
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
In the visual arts world all is flux, and the flux capacity increases year by year.  Painters become video artists.  Video artists become filmmakers. Filmakers become – what?
M
O
R
E
BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL – 2012
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Families in focus. You recognize a global anxiety from its reflection, vivid or premonitory, in art and cinema.
CANNES  2012  –  WELL MET BY MOONRISE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Never mind the weather, feel the wonderful movies.  It was mighty wet this year – thunder and asymmetrical warfare between brollies and cloudbursts.  But Cannes was still Cannes, a meteorology-defying marvel of a film fest.
CANNES  2012  – ‘TALKING PICTURES’
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
HOLEY MOLEY,”  we all thought at once.  The talkies are talking to each other
M
O
R
E
CANNES  2012 – NORMAN LLOYD’S RIPPING YARNS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Cannes was ringing with approbation at the end of this 97 year old actor’s two hour masterclass.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2012
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Touring the works of cinema at Venice seldom ends in tragedy, but is a lot like touring houses in a shared vehicle.  We learn about each other as well as….
VENICE 2012 – THE MASTER AND THE MARGHERITA
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
The festival movie gala is the most fascinating pas de deux between the clamour of fame and the longing of the celebrity recluse.  So when Robert Redford was decanted from a black festival Lancia onto the steps of the palazzo I….
VENICE 2012 – MICHAEL CIMINO’S ‘HEAVENS GATE’
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Michael Cimino came to Venice to receive a Silver Lion for Lifetime Achievement – and a standing ovation for Heavens Gate’, restored and reshown at a gala event. Way to go, Michael!
CANNES 2013 – THE NUTTY PROFESSION
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Jerry Lewis and Kim Novak cause fan madness and vertigo in Cannes
CANNES 2013 – THE BIG BLUE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Cannes is the only town in the world where the sun and the stars come out at the same time
CANNES 2013 – PICTURES FROM HELL
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Banned in Iran, burned by Cambodia two filmmakers cry their beloved countries
Click here for
'MOVIE POPS'
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL – 2013
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Bang! Smash! Pow! Venice reached 70 this year and Reloaded its Future”.  The good times are here, and there’s more coming
VENICE 2013 – DESIGNER SHORTS
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
You dont expect hot pants at a film festival but you do expect shorts
M
O
R
E
VENICE 2013 – DEEP SPACE & AMAZON GRACE
©Harlan Kennedy. All rights reserved.
Kissing a girl in the backrow while wearing 3D glasses is like the osculation of aliens in deep darkness
  Film  --  Criticism  --  Festivals  --  Interviews  --  Comment