Category: Amanda Chen

Lifestyle, Entertainment


I can’t get away from the Cannes Film Festival without watching a Canadian flick. And what better film to check out than the young Brandon Cronenberg’s first movie, ANTIVIRAL. If you’re expecting something like CONTAGION, get ready. You’re in for a surprise. Set in a vastly unreal world where people take celebrity obsession to the millionth degree, you can literally purchase a herpes injection on your mouth as if the star actually kissed you in real life. Whether you’d like to admit it not, I don’t think we’re too far away from this sick fantasy.


Are you going some place or just going? I want an escape. I want to just get away and be anywhere but here. But more importantly, I want to belong somewhere. With so much accessibility for this generation’s group of delinquents, it’s refreshing to take a step back and look at how the Beat Generation found meaning to life at a time of dark despair. If you have a thirst for adventure and a loose line of morality, you will enjoy all that Walter Salles has to offer in his cinematic interpretation of Jack Kerouac’s novel, On The Road.


Is it just me or are we all dressing like these crazy hicks down in Franklin County, Virginia in the 1930s? It’s like this whole movie was sponsored by Rag & Bone with those denim shirts, khakis and construction boots. John Hillcoat’s LAWLESS shares a very modern interpretation of Matt Bondurant’s memoir, ‘The Wettest County in the World,’ a tale about three brothers smuggling booze throughout town. These trendy hunks are prancing around with their bad selves, beating people up with brass knuckles, wearing clothes with the price tag still on (or wait, wasn’t that in the ‘90s?).


The East End Film Festival is definitely different from any other film festival I’ve attended. First of all, the screenings are scattered in over five different theaters rather than having all the films in one spot. There aren’t any red carpet premieres, but the wide-eyed directors and cast members attend with humble low shoulders as they quietly answer questions about their first features. There’s this sense of community that I’ve never experienced in most international-status film festivals that makes me feel like I’m not just a journalist at work.


Ladies, leave your men at home. MAGIC MIKE is only for lovers of men in uniform, leather chaps and elephant-earred thongs. The guys are topless for the entire duration of the film and Channing Tatum makes a remarkable comeback to his STEP UP days with an entourage of mixed male delights that literally makes it rain on stage. Don’t expect any truly enlightening life-changing drama here; this is pretty much director Steven Soderbergh’s version of BOOGIE NIGHTS in HD. Just don’t scream too loudly after the first five minutes into the movie. It only gets better.


Sometimes we need a bit of fantasy for reality to beat us on the head. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD revisits the whole ‘if the ship sinks, the captain goes with it’ philosophy, where a troop of lonely outcasts ferociously fight against modern civilization. Now that’s something to talk about! Who’s right and who’s wrong? Benh Zeitlin makes you reconsider what survival of the fittest is all about.


If you’re going to visit a foreign country during an international film festival, I guess Cannes would be at the top of the list. I mean, who isn’t in Cannes during those two weeks in May? This year Kanye West and Kim Kardashian even made their way over just to participate in the glory of Cannes. But watch out. It’s not as glossy as it may seem. However, if you must make yourself go over to the event, here’s a little survival guide from yours truly.


There’s no better way to end another Cannes Film Festival than with a classic adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner Francois Mauriac. Paying tribute to the late Claude Miller’s last film, THERESE DESQUEYROUX plays with the idea of a bored French woman who wastes her life toying with family affairs. Audrey Tautou plays the miserable protagonist that has all the elements with a typical classic; a lesbian crush, a selection of lies, isolation, fear and self-destruction. And, a little bit of scandal, of course. But not too much, we’re French.


If watching Johnny Depp as a vampire wasn’t your only inclination for watching Tim Burton’s DARK SHADOWS, just get excited about the fact that you’ll be hearing about an age-old story of the Collins family, and yes, we’re not talking about the glistening Cullens and their stupid obsession with the neighbor chick and her werewolf friends. If you’re a vampire fan, you’ll love DARK SHADOWS.