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Cannesibles

grave04

At this year’s top film festival, people are served

IF you go to enough fancy film festivals, trends start to emerge. Some years, at some places, it is simply the same actress in every other film, or the same character actor. Other times, you see three set-ups that basically mirror each other, or four movies that are shot within the same couple of hip Brooklyn neighborhoods. In the worst case, a bunch of films, all premiering within days of each other at one of these impossibly hierarchical events, push the same social outrage, all before the makers and their friends get feted with champagne in a posh club, poorly tipping the mostly colored wait staff. On this beat, you can find yourself watching movie after movie with the same blind spot when it comes to what life is actually like. Can we really fit any more whiny white people into this apartment that’s too elegant for the characters to realistically afford?

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious motion picture competition which came to a close last month, cannibalism was the trend du jour. Paul Schrader — who wrote Taxi Driver and used to direct good movies — was in town with an energetic but largely unwatchable Guy Ritchie ripoff called Dog Eat Dog. Even though there a moments of startling violence in this slice of warmed over Tarantino-lite, no human flesh is eaten. But one knows from the moment it starts that the title of Dog Eat Dog is aiming for human metaphor, underlining the trend that, while obvious, no one seemed to be talking about in Cannes. In 2016, a year that seems to get grimmer by the day, cannibalism reigned at Cannes.

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