Only Cannes Forgives Only God Forgives

Let’s face it, if you can’t provide an out-and-out consensual masterwork (as most considered Michael Haneke’s Amour to be last year), the next best – perhaps even the very best – thing is to provide a scandal (from Madonna’s 1991 cone-shaped bra to Lars Von Trier’s 2011 Nazism ramblings). In all honesty, Cannes 2013 failed to provide much of a genuine cause célèbre. Early on, a man’s genitals were set aflame in Heli (sadly not scored to Kings of Leon’s 'Sex On Fire'); and Jia Zhangke pushed genre violence more than he’d ever done in A Touch of Sin. But other than that, nul. The real jewel thefts and minor shooting incident during a Christoph Waltz interview trumped anything onscreen.
So there was almost relief at the smattering of boos that followed the first screening of Nicholas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, his follow-up to / reteaming with star Ryan Gosling, following their 2011 award-winning Cannes success with Drive. Gratuitous, soporific, pretentious – yet somehow earnest and anguished – it’s the worst blend of grindhouse and arthouse and a blood-soaked V-sign to the Hollywood respectability offered Winding Refn following Drive’s acclaim. A beautiful travesty, then, and, nestled in beside po-faced auteurism and tacky showbiz, exactly what Cannes is all about.

Via The Quietus