Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes Film Festival is, if you don’t know already, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious film festivals. One of our very own, former Daily Cal arts and entertainment writer and UC Berkeley graduate Ryan Lattanzio, was able to land the coveted position of a jury member and critic for the movie fest this year.

The Clog sat down for an exclusive interview with him to dissect the adventures of a Cannes jurist — we learned a few things, including the process of getting there (which involves many brutal battles of bravery), the crazy Disneyland-like lines to get into film screenings, and Bill Murray’s camouflaging tendencies. Here’s his take on it:

The Clog: So how did you land the gig? Did you have to slay various competitors to get the job?

Ryan Lattanzio (RL): Only a few competitors were slain in the process of my getting here. I applied to a College to Cannes program through the San Francisco Film Society. It was also sponsored by the Consulate General of France in San Francisco, the French American Cultural Society and Semaine de la Critique. The latter is part of the Cannes Film Festival, and Semaine de la Critique showcases debut or second features by burgeoning international filmmakers. I was selected as a jury member and critic for La Semaine back in March. I’ve been here two weeks, and have finished up most of my duties.

The Clog: What kinds of films have you seen or judged? Were any films awarded glorifying prizes with your benevolent hand?

RL: I’ve been able to see a lot of films in the main competition, including Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg and Amour by Michael Haneke, but mainly I was judging films in the critics’ week. Along with three other international students, I selected the film Sofia’s Last Ambulance, a documentary about the health care system in Bulgaria, for the Visionary Award. This award distinguishes a young filmmaker of promise whose film is bold and revelatory, as stated in the name of the award.

The Clog: What were you looking forward to most at Cannes? Did anything blow you out of the water or disappoint you deeply?

RL: My most anticipated films were Amour (Haneke), and I loved it. I didn’t know the Austrian sicko could ever make me cry. I also anticipated Hong Sang-soo’s In Another Country, but since I foolishly did not apply for press accreditation, I was shut out from the screening after waiting in line for two hours. If you don’t have a press badge, it’s really hard to get into anything here unless you wake up at 7 a.m. and are the first in line.

The Clog: Personal question time — what’s your favorite film EVER?

RL: Best film ever is The Shining by Stanley Kubrick, or L’eclisse by Michelangelo Antonioni. This is a hard question though. I could go on forever …. and ever … and ever.

The Clog: Well anything by Kubrick is a good choice. All right, last question — were you able to come in contact with any famous actors/directors/filmmakers? Was it life-changing and paradigm shifting?

RL: I really wanted to meet Tilda Swinton but despite hours of attempted stalking, this didn’t happen. Apparently, Hong Sang-soo stays in the same hotel as me but I have yet to see him. I was lucky enough to interview Wes Anderson and was, in the process, tapped on the shoulder by Bill Murray. He said “hey” and was wearing camouflage.

Image source: soaringbird under Creative Commons


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