Dance Me To My Song is certainly an ideal film for a major
festival premiere, with its shattering depiction of a love
triangle where one of the two women vying for the handsome young
man suffers from extreme cerebral palsy. The film was co-written
by Heather Rose, whose own experiences as a victim of the
condition provided some of the material for the film, in which
Rose also plays the central character, Julia.
While her presence as the central character makes the film
feel like a combination of drama and documentary, co-writer and
director Rolf de Heer is adamant that "it is a performance
not a recording."
And indeed, it’s quite a performance, matched by Joey
Kennedy as the carer who cares as much for her own love life as
she does for her client, and John Brumpton as the handsome young
man who triggers the love triangle. Rena Owen is terrific in a
support role as Rix, a lesbian who becomes a close friend to
Julia. For many, this film will be tough to watch: the brutal
reality of life in a wheelchair, reliant on others for every
basic function of life – even speech – is confronting.
Never sentimental, always powerful, the film will have Cannes in
Other competition contenders include The Idiots from Lars von
Trier, whose Breaking the Waves won the Grand Jury Prize at
Cannes in 1996; Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing; Hal
Hartley’s Henry Fool; Ken Loach’s My Name is Joe; Nanni
Moretti’s Aprile; Andre Technie’s Alice and Martin;
Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine; John Turturro’s
Illuminata; Lodge Kerrigan’s Claire Dolan; and Taiwanese
filmmaker Tsai Mingliang’s Hole.
UN CERTAIN REGARD
Ingmar Bergman’s, In the Presence of a Clown will attract
much interest, the grand master of Swedish cinema bringing his
latest feature film; Jeremy Thomas’ All the Little Animals;
Robert Duvall’s The Apostle; Iranian filmmaker Samirah
Makhmalbaf’s The Apple; John Maybury’s Love is the
Devil; Nick Caro’s Memory and Desire; Jean-Pierre
Limosin’s Tokyo Eyes; and Jake Kasdan’s Zero Effect.
The cinematic vision that propels Dark City is powerful and
cohesive: somewhere deep within Alex Proyas’ mind there
exists a fermenting pool of images which are fantastic and
splendid, even if they are at times incomprehensible. Its gothic
sensibilities – in every sense – make it perfect for a
midnight screening. Perhaps Cannes will arrange some atmospheric
rain to fall for the audience as it leaves the cinema at 2 am.
"Conceptually intriguing, Proyas’ fluid direction
evokes a comic-book feel to this noir sci-fi thriller," says
Louise Keller in her upcoming review. "What he manages to do
so well, is to create a mood which settles and filters through to
the subconscious, until we are immersed in this dark, mysterious
world. Much of the action is revealed cinematically with minimal
words - the effect being mesmerising."
Other films in this section include Roland Emmerich’s
much awaited creature feature, the remake of Godzilla; Martin
Brest’s Meet Joe Black; Mike Nichols’ Primary Colors;
Carlos Saura’s Tango; John Landis’ Blues Brothers 2000;
and the 1958 Orson Welles classic, A Touch of Evil.
This could almost be the Universal Studios section, with only
New Line’s Dark City and Sony’s Godzilla as the
There are still two dozen films in limbo, including; Peter
Weir’s The Truman Show; Johnathan Demme’s Beloved; John
Boorman’s The Generals; Shohei Imamura’s Teacher
Kankura; Arturo Ripstein’s Divine; Vincent Gallo’s
Buffalo 66; and Emir Kusturica’s Black Cat White Cat.
Three Australian films: Ana Kokkinos’ debut feature, Head On, the adaptation of
Loaded by Christos Tsiolkas, promises to be a raw, head on, full
on kind of film, and is almost certain to be in this section;
John Ruane’s film of Deb Cox’s screenplay, Dead Letter
Office is also a possibility; others might include Whit
Stilman’s new film, The Last Days of Disco; Korean filmmaker
Kwanngmo Lee’s Spring In My Home Town; Tony Bui’s Three
Seasons; Meg Richman’s Under Heaven; Rose Troche’s
Bedrooms and Hallways; finally Sam Miller’s Among Giants.