A Tamil Filmmaker’s Diary From Cannes: Vignesh Shivn

Meeting Tarantino, watching arty zombie movies, taking notes for his new film with Sivakarthikeyan, Vignesh Shivn let’s us in on his visit to the Cannes film festival this year
A Tamil Filmmaker’s Diary From Cannes: Vignesh Shivn

I have always been wanting to explore and get exposed to things happening around the world 🌍, just to have a wider range of knowledge and get inspired from various things happening in various parts of the planet…Coachella , NAB and so on…They have always been such great experiences 🙂

When I met Rajiv Menon sir at his place to discuss a film, he suggested that I should attend the Cannes film festival. I didn't think for an extra minute but immediately fixed my mind that I should be there 🙂

In a jiffy, I was clicking my selfie with a large orange hoarding behind me. Where a Human tripod was lending his shoulders to a cameraman to get a shot! The people from various countries predominantly film lovers, their energy, the colours , the climate , everything around was so dreamy and enigmatic.

Film makers and film enthusiasts from various parts of the world were walking around in search of invites for their favourite films and you can always see them standing in queues for hours together to enter the theatres 🎭 to watch the unique set of films collected by the Cannes film festival.

The stalls, the market area where teams from different countries were exposing their film industries' ideas for collaboration and distribution of their films was so new to see! A film festival, a carnival 🎡, a party place, an educative forum? Oh! What is this? This question was slowly answered in instalments for me, day by day.

I got to watch great films and I met some great people:) Had amazing food and the way you have to be dressed was also very important. So some good shopping too. LOL. Everything that makes someone feel good was happening around.

I always had a feeling that festival films are meant to be on the arty side often considered slow and boring. But I was surprised and proven wrong when I saw a zombie film opening the festival! Anyway, I didn't enjoy the film as much as I expected. But the next day, Bacurau—a Brazilian film was actually the appetiser that set the mood for the festival for me. I knew I was in for a treat.

Walking the red carpet again and watching the premiere of The Wild Goose Lake where Tarantino came as a surprise guest to just watch the movie:) The film was brutal, interesting and racy too! Great filmmaking standards the film language of this particular one was so inspiring for a beginner like me.

As an ardent Tarantino Fan:), the main attraction for the Cannes festival was Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It was an amazing experience to see the stars close by and it was a great fan moment for me. But to top it all was being able to meet Mr. Tarantino sitting alone in Carlton's Coffee Shop. OMG, I can't believe I had the guts and the craziness to just walk up to him and introduce myself and my love towards his films:). After a few nice words of respect , a strong handshake 🤝, the moment I asked for a picture, he refused 😢! Heart broken I left from there but couldn't resist stealing a picture of him by sitting in the table next to him. I kept revisiting the same Carlton Coffee shop and saw him meeting people and having animated conversations with them:) I was checking to see if he was giving a photo to anyone else but, LOL, no he didn't. Silly of me to think so anyway:) 😇 Anyways the feeling was great to be inches away from your idol for so many days together. Cannes had made such a moment possible. A big winner—paisa vasool experience for me.

Then I was going at a good pace, around two to three films a day but nothing was as inspiring as I wanted it be. I even walked out of some films. Until I got bitten and later smitten by The Parasite 🦠. It was the film of the season for me. One of the best films I've ever seen actually. I personally like films with sensible humour, the kind that makes us think as well. This film was overwhelming with that mood throughout. It's amazing how a film works for audience from different countries, without them knowing the language. They laugh, applaud, emote, react for the same scene, same way together.

Bong Joon-ho's earlier films have also been inspiring but I would say that this is his best film and the Cannes committee also felt the same hence they sent him back to South Korea with the prestigious Palme d'Or . This was the main dish for me in and it's taste remained in me until I tasted the yummy desert, It Must Be Heaven by Elia Sulieman. Perfect finishing for the festival.

The film hardly had a page of dialogues but spoke books and books about the sense of belonging, nationality, identity and life away from your so called "home" wherever it is. We get to have an idea of the Palestine culture and livelihood 🇵🇸 in a pleasant and humorous way, conveyed with strong visuals and breathtaking wide shots along with simple expressions from Elia Suleiman himself conveying greater things :).

Cannes was a great experience for me:). I'm not going to get into make arty films and all 😬 :). But I've understood something very important about the standard of filmmaking…basically the quality and the strong film language. Hopefully I should apply what've I've learnt in my upcoming one with Sivakarthikeyan:)

To finalise I had an amazing time at Cannes and I am sure to come back here either with a film or just for the same experience again with some more of my filmmaking friends.

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