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Editor's Note
I just got back from Cannes and I was planning to write this week's newsletter on the plane, but the guy in front of me tilted his seat back and slept the whole way and I couldn't open my laptop. So I'm writing it now, having been up for too many hours, and what was meant to be a sober recount of some artistic and business news out of Cannes has turned into a ramble about films and sleeping. Meaning: jet lag, racing up and down the Croisette, and the demanding nature of many of the films made filmgoing and sleeping allied activities in the South of France. I don't think there was a single film I attended in Cannes where one of the two people sitting next to me wasn't sound asleep for the majority of the movie. One friend and colleague told me he liked Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy by attesting, "I only dozed off for about 25 minutes in the middle." Another certified that Olivier Assayas's Carlos was a masterpiece, saying he only nodded off a couple of times during its five hours. I'm reminded of a quote by Raul Ruiz (a quote that I can't find now, so maybe I dreamed it), in which he said that he wants people to fall asleep during his movies and then wake up feeling as if they are in different movies. I had that experience myself during a couple of my brief nods. (Very brief, as my fear of snoring in a movie theater acts as its own biological alarm clock.) I'd start to doze, and the films would continue playing in my head, often generating new characters, storylines, dialogues. Seconds later I'd snap to and try to banish those errant ideas from the film I was watching again. Of course, some of the films encouraged this behavior, like what was perhaps my favorite film of the festival, Sophie Fiennes's documentary about the artist Anselm Kiefer, Over Your Cities, Grass Will Grow. Kiefer's work is often discussed in terms of German history, mythology and the apocalyptic traumas of World War II. But in her film, Fiennes eschews conventional biography, talking head art critics, or pedagogical voiceover. She simply travels to Kiefer's workspace in the French town of Barjac and, choreographed to music by Gyorgy Ligeti, snakes her camera around his dank industrial installations and observes the alchemical methods used by Kiefer to create his work. It's a hypnotic, entrancing, dreamy film that recalls a visit to the Zone of Tarkovsky's Stalker. I ran into Fiennes on the terrace of the Carleton a few days later and we talked about those viewers who might want more explanation about Kiefer from the film. "But you can just Google him," I said to her. She agreed. Facts are all around us, flowing from our laptops and handheld devices, but Fiennes's deep immersion into Kiefer's artistic environments and working processes is an experience that can only truly be felt in the theater.

More notes about Cannes to come on the blog in the days ahead. On another note, I hope you enjoy our new newsletter design.

See you next week.

Scott Macaulay
Upcoming At IFP
FINAL SUBMISSION DEADLINE THIS WEEK: NO BORDERS & SPOTLIGHT ON DOCUMENTARIES This Friday May 21 marks the final submission deadline for both Spotlight on Documentaries (for U.S. filmmakers in production or post-production) and the No Borders International Co-production Market (for U.S. and International producers with partial financing on new narrative projects seeking additional partners) of IFP's Project Forum. The Project Forum at Independent Film Week is a meetings-driven event connecting filmmakers who have new narrative and documentary projects in development, production, or post-production with key industry executives interested in identifying projects with which to become involved at the financing or distribution stage. Be sure to seize this opportunity if you have a project relevant for submission this year. Full details here .
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In This Newsletter
Editor's Note
Solitary Man
Two in the Wave
Racing Dreams
Holy Rollers
Blog: Dispatch from Cannes, Safdies talk
Koppelman & Levien, Solitary Man
IFP Deadline: No Boarders and Docs
Fest Deadlines, 10% Off tix to G4C
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New In Theaters
SOLITARY MAN Starring Michael Douglas as an ex-con car dealer Ben Kalmen, Solitary Man (directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien) uses Douglas's film reputation as a narcissistic jerk with a knowing self-awareness. After being arrested for fraud, Kalmen's car dealerships collapse, and now he's just trying to get back into the business by any means necessary. The problem is that the aging car man doesn't realize that he can't just get away with things with his charm and his smile. Surrounded by a stellar supporting cast (Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary-Louise Parker, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg), Solitary Man deliberately builds only a limited amount of sympathy for Kalmen. Interviewed for this week's Director Interviews, Koppelman tells us why Douglas was their first choice. "When I finished the script and gave it to Dave and said "let's try to make this movie," our list was Michael Douglas. We wanted the movie to be able to suck you in the way Ben Kalmen can suck the people in his life." Read our interview with the directors below. TWO IN THE WAVE For film buffs and Francophiles alike, Two in the Wave, from director Emmanuel Laurent, chronicles the long relationship between two of the most influential French directors ever: Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. They both wrote for Cahiers du Cinema, and when Truffaut reached critical success at Cannes in 1959 with The 400 Blows, he pushed his buddy to become a filmmaker. Of course, Godard would go on to direct the New Wave classic Breathless. Their friendship encountered much strife and turbulence as they matured and clashed on a whole host of issues . Two in the Wave is a fascinating look at two iconic directors who were at times the best of friends and the worst of enemies. RACING DREAMS Winner of the Best Documentary Award at 2009's Tribeca Film Festival, Marshall Curry's Racing Dreams centers on three adolescent racers who compete in the World Karting Association's National Pavement Series and dream of becoming NASCAR champions. The kids are focused and determined, and Curry's film follows them as they describe what the passion of race-car driving means to them. Viewing the film at Tribeca, Jason Guerrasio wrote, "Curry captures the intensity of racing in the small carts, making 80 mph look like they're going 200. But like most docs that highlight something competitive, it's the human interest story of the subjects off the track that is the most compelling. Curry finds remarkable kids to follow, all with interesting backstories and personal issues that they can escape from when they get on that track." HOLY ROLLERS Based on true events in Brooklyn in the late-'90s, Holy Rollers is the story of Sam Gold (Jesse Eisenberg), a young Hassidic man who splits his life between Orthodox Judaism and underground crime. While his family plans his arranged marriage, a neighbor (Justin Bartha) offers him a deal to transport medicine for a local Israeli drug dealer. During this time, Hasidic Jews were used as mules to carry ecstasy from Europe into the United States. Sam takes the risk, and gets absorbed into the seedy underworld, finding it much more exciting than his regimented Orthodox life. But like the Talmud quote goes, "Sin is sweet in the beginning, but bitter in the end." Directed by Kevin Asch and written by Antonio Macia, Holy Rollers is wonderfully carried by the talents of Eisenberg and Bartha.
Recent Blogs
This week on the blog, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new film, Biutiful {pictured left), stands out at Cannes; Robin Hessman's My Perestroika subverts the expectations of historical documentaries; and Josh and Benny Safdie discuss their new film, Daddy Longlegs.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
Newest Web Article
We only get so many chances in life. Perhaps getting more than one, whether it be to achieve your financial goals or to grow into a mature and loving relationship, could be considered extremely fortunate. For Ben Kalmen (played by a pitch perfect Michael Douglas) in Brian Koppelman and David Levien's new film Solitary Man, no matter how many chances he's given and despite his bountiful charm, he'll find a way to make the worst of his circumstances. read more

Festival Deadlines
New Jersey Film Festival
Next Deadline: May 28. Final Deadline: July 2
Festival Dates: Sept. 3-Nov. 7

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Next Deadline: May 28. Final Deadline: Aug 20
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Next Deadline: May 31. Final Deadline: Sept 20
Festival Dates: Nov. 19-21

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