Totally Illegal


My film CRY FOR BOBO plays another film festival, more than eleven years after it was made. Feels good that I’m about to have another movie on the festival circuit…

The fest is this one, The Totally Illegal Film Festival, curated by Scout Tafoya, who has had the brilliant idea of not only programming my short, and Mark Cousins’ charming, personal flaneur-film WHAT IS THIS FILM CALLED LOVE?, and Dan Sallitt’s delight THE UNSPEAKABLE ACT, but of reassembling the programme of the 1968 Cannes Film Festival — the one which didn’t happen due to Les Evenements.

So residents of Pennsylvania and visitors to that great state can have the pleasure of seeing what the residents of 1968 missed. I gather Scout has scouted up practically everything, save for the Menahem Golan entry, which even Menahem Golan himself couldn’t supply a copy of.

(Interesting to think of young Golan in those days as a budding arthouse director, and interesting to speculate that the festival’s cancellation may have cut short this career, leading instead to his becoming an exploitation maven and short-lived movie mogul. When Golan was co-running Cannon films, he produced Jean-Luc Godard’s KING LEAR: FEAR AND LOATHING, with a deal memo signed on a restaurant napkin — perhaps he was grateful for JLG’s intervention sending him off in this direction.)

The ’68 festival would have included Richard Lester’s PETULIA, whose commercial prospects were dunted by the resulting damage to its release schedule, along with fascinating rarities like Frank Perry’s TRILOGY, Alain Resnais’s JE T’AIME, JE T’AIME, and Miklos Jancso’s THE CONFRONTATION, plus numerous movies that have fallen out of the collective critical consciousness altogether. Should make for a fascinating time capsule.

4 Responses to “Totally Illegal”

  1. Nagisa Oshima R.I.P.

  2. This spoils my plan to hold a multi-film face-off to determine whether Suzuki or Oshima holds the title of My Favorite Living Japanese Filmmaker. It doesn’t seem fair to pit poor Kiyoshi Kurosawa against Suzuki, since KK releases placeholders like Retribution and Bughouse in between masterpieces.

    I partition out my Oshima movies slowly, about one per year, because each requires a couple of viewings (the first to boggle at the audacity, the second to straighten out story/characters) plus about six months of stewing the images in my brain afterwards.

    Congrats on the continuing life of your great short.
    Sounds like a super fun festival.

  3. Oshima was certainly a determined filmmaker, bouncing back from a severe stroke which damaged his ability to speak: he kept his illness secret until he was well enough to seek work again, and only revealed how ill he’d been when he was reestablished. His death does mark some kind of end of an era, though Suzuki’s continuing existence is heartening.

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