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James Lattimer

James Lattimer is a film critic, festival programmer, and filmmaker based in Berlin.

Known Quantities: Cannes 2017

They say familiarity breeds contempt, which might explain why this year’s Cannes program was one of the worst received in recent memory.

Cannes 2018: No Miraculous Conversions

After the critical bashing suffered by last year’s Cannes selection, the consensus on this year’s edition was more positive, a perplexing conclusion given that the festival’s by-now well-worn curatorial recipe was once again followed more or less to the letter. For all the handwringing about Netflix withdrawing its titles after a spat with artistic director Thierry Frémaux over theatrical distribution, the competition slate offered yet another stolid blend of Cannes stalwarts, established names, and newer faces of questionable merit, with only the latter suggesting that slots needed to be filled

Cannes 2021: Tomorrow Now and Then

Absence makes the heart grow fond, but does that apply to Cannes? Returning to this biggest, most stressful of film festivals after a year’s enforced absence due to the ongoing pandemic was strangely ambivalent—the pleasure and privilege of finally seeing new films on the big screen tempered by the worry and uncertainty of the current situation.

Locarno 2019: Ample Opportunity for Daydreaming

For all the shifts in the festival landscape over the last year, the 72nd Locarno Film Festival proved far less of a departure than initially expected. With former festival head Carlo Chatrian and his programming team having moved to the Berlin Film Festival and the equally experimentally-minded Paolo Moretti now at the helm of Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, the question was how these curatorial changes might affect the traditionally cutting-edge Swiss festival.

Cannes 2019: The Push and Pull between Genre and Auteurism

Following a couple of less-than-stellar editions, the Cannes competition returned to a degree of form this year, finding not just a more effective balance between expected quantities and intriguing newcomers—but also managing to assemble them around a loose theme—namely, the push and pull between genre and auteurism and how one can often resemble the other.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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