Jonathan Romney

Jonathan Romney is the film critic of the Independent on Sunday and a contributing editor at Sight and Sound. His books include Atom Egoyan in the BFI World Directors series.

As If: ‘Cahiers du cinéma’

Jonathan Romney, 9 September 2010

In an essay on Avatar in the March issue of the French film journal Cahiers du cinéma, Slavoj Žižek wrote that, despite its superficial espousal of revolutionary action (by blue-skinned aliens rising up against earthling exploitation), the film was in fact entirely reactionary. In an interview in the following issue of Cahiers, Žižek cheerfully admitted that he had written his...

From The Blog
27 May 2013

The young French journalist at the next café table was moaning disconsolately into his iPhone. ‘C’est idiot! C’est superficiel! I came here for serious cinema – but there’s nothing here but le showbusiness!’ It was his first visit to the Cannes Film Festival, and two days in, he was shocked at the preponderance of glitter. I don’t normally make a big thing of playing the seasoned old hand on the Croisette – although this year was my 21st visit to the festival – but I couldn’t help leaning over and reassuring him that there was plenty of seriousness to be found in Cannes, despite the opening days’ obsession with glamour. In fact, there could hardly have been a more misleading opening film than Baz Luhrmann’s bling-laden 3D version of The Great Gatsby.

From The Blog
29 May 2012

On Sunday night, the Cannes competition jury got it right. It can’t have been a hard decision: the competition this year was filled with acceptable rather than outstanding films, and one work that was so clearly a great achievement that it would have been perverse to award the Palme d’Or to anything else. In recent years, I’ve grown slightly weary of the august, knowingly assured maestria of Michael Haneke. But in Amour, he has not only revealed an unsuspected tenderness, but also broken a significant cinematic taboo: old age.

From The Blog
17 February 2012

At many major film festivals, there’s a significant gap between appearance and reality – perhaps nowhere more pronounced than in Berlin. On the surface, this is as showbizzy an event as any.

From The Blog
7 September 2011

The Venice Film Festival still trades on its glamorous reputation, but the truth is a little more tawdry. The Lido’s legendary Grand Hôtel des Bains, where until recently stars would lounge on the verandas, is now boarded up, pending refurbishment as luxury apartments. The festival itself takes place in a decidedly unswanky enclosed compound, much of it sectioned off as a building project in never-ending progress. Nevertheless Venice sustains its prestige through stars.

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