In what could very well be foreshadowing of the next global war, this year’s Cannes festival was dominated by the current superpower (that’d be the good ol’ U.S. of A.) and the superpower on the rise (China, of course). Unlike the coming conflict, this fight features lots of arty close-ups and metaphorical subtext rather than tactical nukes and space-based weapons platforms. This naturally makes the experience much easier to enjoy.
Westword brings you coverage of this clash of superpowers as J. Hoberman looks at the big guns on both sides, alongside potent weapons from smaller powers including Romania and France. China unleashes Wong Kar-wai’s English-language debut My Blueberry Nights, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon and Li Yang’s Blind Mountain, among others. Salvos from the American side include familiar names such as David Fincher, the Coen brothers, Quentin Tarantino and Michael Moore. Meanwhile Rob Nelson takes a close look at the American special forces in the form of Savage Grace, the first feature film in 15 years from Tom Kalin, a key player in the New Queer Cinema movement.