Cannes Film Festival 1986
Jury President: Sydney Pollack
Other Jurors: Charles Aznavour, Sonia Braga, Lino Bracka, Tonino Delli Colli, Philip French, Alexandre Mnouchkine, István Szabó, Daniele Thompson, Alexandre Trauner

Historical Tidbits: • Rumors circulate that Festival brass leaned on the jury to give the Palme to The Mission
The Sacrifice wins four major awards while Tarkovsky lies gravely ill in a Paris hospital
• Jane Campion's short-film prize for Peel makes her the first female recipient of a Palme
• Terrorist threats after U.S. bombings of Libya keep almost all American artists away
• Only time in Cannes history that Best Actress and Best Actor votes result in two ties
• Old wares: three of four U.S. Palme contenders are Stateside releases from 1985
• First time a single production company (Cannon Films) has three Palme contestants

Palme d'Or:The Mission, UK, dir. Roland Joffé
Grand Jury Prize:The Sacrifice, Sweden, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
Jury Prize:Thérèse, France, dir. Alain Cavalier
Best Director:After Hours, Martin Scorsese
Best Actress:Love Me Forever or Never, Fernanda Torres
Rosa Luxemburg, Barbara Sukowa
Best Actor:Ménage (Tenue de soirée), Michel Blanc
Mona Lisa, Bob Hoskins
Best Artistic Contribution: The Sacrifice, Sven Nykvist, cinematographer
Technical Grand Prize: The Mission, UK, dir. Roland Joffé
    Critics Prize:
The Sacrifice, Sweden, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury:The Sacrifice, Sweden, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
Camera d'Or (first feature): Noir et blanc, France, dir. Claire Devers

Competition Films I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
My Palme d'Or
The Sacrifice (Sweden, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky) - Triumph of lensing, earnestly apocalyptic, but scenario is dubious, acting very uneven (full review)

Fool for Love (USA, dir. Robert Altman) - Shepard's impacted portents thrive unexpectedly under Altman's ironic, distracted eye. (full review)

Mona Lisa (UK, dir. Neil Jordan) - Uneven in many respects but boasts thrilling sequences, peak Hoskins perf, gutsy conviction (full review)

Runaway Train (USA, dir. Andrei Konchalovsky) - Bonkers intro, wall-to-wall horrid acting through middle, but mad convictions rescue it

Ménage (Tenue de soirée) (France, dir. Bertrand Blier) - Cheerily amoral, sexually frisky at start. Gets nasty, messy, and chauvinist, but still nervy (full review)

After Hours (USA, dir. Martin Scorsese) - Visual, behavioral quirks keep scenes humming, but film turns dry, desperate. Flat soda. (full review)

Love Me Forever or Never (Brazil, dir. Arnaldo Jabor) - Cutesy-torrid-absurd lovers' duel unfolds over two arbitrary, jabbery hours (full review)

The Mission (UK, dir. Roland Joffé) - Dramatically stiff, politically misguided emblem of gorgeous but empty Reagan-era cinema (full review)

Max, mon amour (France, dir. Nagisa Ôshima) - Hedged, ill-lit, dully droll take on woman-chimpanzee liaison. Missed chances abound. (full review)

Sidebar Selections I Have Seen:
Ranked in order of preference
Hannah and Her Sisters (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Woody Allen) - As funny as the funniest Allen, but with an autumnal soul and melancholy intimacies that completely compel (full review)

Peel: An Exercise in Discipline (Short Film Competition: Australia/New Zealand, dir. Jane Campion) - My favorite modern short film, a hilarious and unforgettably tense family car trip, oddly and ingeniously composed (full review)

Two Friends (Un Certain Regard: Australia/New Zealand, dir. Jane Campion) - Working in reverse chronology, Campion captures the rue of failed friendships without losing thrill, humor, and color (full review)

Passionless Moments (Un Certain Regard: Australia/New Zealand, dir. Jane Campion) - Another sublime short, its Lynchian framings suffused with Campion's zig-zaggy humor and her distinctive warmth

The Color Purple (Out of Competition: USA, dir. Steven Spielberg) - For better and worse, a corker of thick-brush emotion via antique devices. Too glossy, but moving. Goldberg A+.

She's Gotta Have It (Directors' Fortnight: USA, dir. Spike Lee) - Frisky, funny, a clear calling card for Lee's talents and for some of his foibles (full review)

Cactus (Directors' Fortnight: Australia, dir. Paul Cox) - Delicate drama of blind lovers needs more muscle but Huppert, sound, and lensing are gorgeous (full review)

Esther (Critics' Week: Israel, dir. Amos Gitai) - Merging straight Biblical storytelling with modern gimmicks, Amos Gitai half-succeeds at both (full review)

The Decline of the American Empire (Directors' Fortnight: Canada, dir. Denys Arcand) - As is Arcand's wont, full of spry but smug chatter, only half-ironized (full review)

Ópera do Malandro (Directors' Fortnight: Brazil, dir. Ruy Guerra) - Comic-colored, Weill-ish street opera should delight but assembly verges on inept (full review)

Competition Films I'm Curious to See:
Ranked in order of interest; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
The Last Image, Algeria, dir. Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina
Down by Law, USA, dir. Jim Jarmusch
Thérèse, France, dir. Alain Cavalier
Scene of the Crime, France, dir. André Téchiné
The Fringe Dwellers, Australia, dir. Bruce Beresford
Genesis, India, dir. Mrinal Sen
Poor Butterfly, Argentina, dir. Raúl de la Torre
Rosa Luxemburg, West Germany, dir. Margarethe von Trotta
Boris Godounov, USSR, dir. Sergei Bondarchuk
I Love You, Italy, dir. Marco Ferreri
Otello, Italy, dir. Franco Zeffirelli

Sidebar Films I'm Curious to See:
Listed alphabetically; more on this year's lineup here (opens in a new window)
Un Certain Regard: Burke & Wills, Australia, dir. Graeme Clifford
Desert Bloom, USA, dir. Eugene Corr
The Human Promise, Japan, dir. Yoshishige Yoshida
Welcome in Vienna, Austria/Germany, dir. Axel Corti
Directors' Fortnight: Devil in the Flesh, Italy, dir. Marco Bellocchio
Golden Eighties, Belgium, dir. Chantal Akerman
Man of Ashes, Tunisia, dir. Nouri Bouzid
Sid and Nancy, UK, dir. Alex Cox
Working Girls, USA, dir. Lizzie Borden
Critics' Week: Sleepwalk, USA, dir. Sara Driver
Out of Competition: Absolute Beginners, UK, dir. Julien Temple
El Amor brujo, Spain, dir. Carlos Saura
A Man and a Woman... 20 Years Later, France, dir. Claude Lelouch
Pirates, France, dir. Roman Polanski
You've Got Beautiful Stairs, You Know, France, dir. Agnès Varda

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