Only God Forgives director Nicolas Winding Refn. Photo: Irene Cho

In its 66th year, the Cannes Film Festival relished the epic, the extreme, and the unexpected. Some of the festival's most notable films had audiences talking about their explicit sex scenes, such as Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour, Palme d'Or-winning lesbian romance Blue is the Warmest Color, and Un Certain Regard Best Director winner Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake, about which Brian Brooks (FilmLinc Daily, Deadline) quipped, “There’s no way to cut out all the frontal nudity. Otherwise, the movie would go away. There would be no movie.”

Graphic violence was also on display in Jia Zhang-ke's Best Screenplay-winning A Touch of Sin, Best Director Amat Escalante's Heli, and Nicholas Winding Refn's notorious and divisive Only God Forgives. More restrained American films also proved popular, such as the Coen brothers' Grand Prix-winning Inside Llewyn Davis and Alexander Payne's Nebraska, which featured a Best Actor awarded performance from Bruce Dern.

Film Society's Daily Buzz with Eugene Hernandez was on the scene throughout the festival, speaking with directors, actors, composers, and critics about their work and their impressions of the festival. We spoke with three award winners, and three actors from award-winning films. Check out our collection of interviews below and experience the festival from beginning to end with the artists and commentators who make this one of the most exciting film events of the year.

Daily Buzz's Eugene Hernandez and Heli director Amat Escalante. Photo: Irene Cho 

Cannes Daily Buzz: The Responsible Violence of Escalante’s “Heli”

In Daily Buzz's first interview of the festival, Best Director winner Amat Escalante discusses the use of violence in his latest film, Heli, and his attmempts to capture present day Mexico. 

“I am curious about sex and death and violence. So that's all in the film… Sex is the last hope in the film. It's where everything can be saved or destroyed.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Like Flies to “Miele”

Actress-turned-director Valeria Golino discusses her film, Miele, and the lessons she's learned from American directors. 

“I took a lot of things for granted. I thought my youth and beauty and talent was enough. Good actors don't have only that.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Hot Topics Roundtable #1

Film Society's Daily Buzz sat down with Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune, Logan Hill of the New York Times, and Adam Cook of Mubi for our first Hot Topics roundtable from the 66th Cannes Film Festival. The three critics discussed their overall impressions, favorite films, and most striking movie moments from the first half of the festival.

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Stranger by the Lake director Alain Guiraudie. Photo: Irene Cho

Cannes Daily Buzz: Erotic Romp Meets Existential Thriller in Guiraudie’s “Lake”

Un Certain Regard Directing Prize winner Alain Guiraudie talks to Daily Buzz about his film Stranger by the Lake, juggling tones, and the film's notorious sexual content. 

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Meet Oscar Isaac

Oscar Isaac, star of Joel and Ethan Coen's Grand Prix-winning Inside Llewyn Davis talked to Daily Buzz's Eugene Hernandez about how he was cast and his affinity for the character Llewyn Davis. 

“There's very few geniuses that come and revolutionize everything. For the rest of us that want to be artists and have something to say, it's a lot of work and a lot of luck.”

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Discover: Jeremy Saulnier Hits the Target with “Blue Ruin”

Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier chats about his small-scale reveng flick, Blue Ruin, addressing the homemade nature of the project and the film's place in current gun control debates. 

“I wanted to construct a story out of elements that I had available so I designed it around my best friend, actor Macon Blair, and certain locations that I had at my disposal.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Hot Topics Roundtable #2

Critics Kenny Turan of the Los Angeles Times, Kyle Buchanan of Vulture, Jonathan Marlow of Fandor, and Stephanie Zacharek of Village Voice sat down with Film Society's Daily Buzz to discuss their Cannes experience so far. They discussed their most loved and most loathed films and individual aspects of films that made an impression.

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Alec Baldwin, James Toback and Thierry Frémaux in Seduced and Abandoned.

Cannes Daily Buzz: Money & Movies Mix at World’s Biggest Market for Film

In these Daily Buzz entries, Alec Baldwin and James Toback of the film Seduced and Abandoned and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics discuss the business side of the Cannes experience. 

“Why does one get involved with movies in the first place? The answer is sometimes quite simple: to get rich, to get famous, on one extreme; to do movies that I feel compelled to do would be at the other extreme.”

Alec Baldwin and James Toback talk Seduced and Abandoned:

Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics on the Cannes marketplace:

Cannes Daily Buzz: Hot Topics Roundtable #3

In our third Hot Topics roundtable from the 66th Cannes Film Festival, Brian Brooks (Deadline/FilmLinc Daily), Eric Kohn (Indiewire), Jada Yuan (New York Magazine), and Nigel Smith (Indiewire) share their impressions of the festival so far.

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Jia Zhang-ke Takes on Violence in “A Touch of Sin”

Jia Zhang-ke discusses his Best Screenplay-winning film, A Touch of Sin. He addresses the film's multiple, connecting stories, its extreme violence, and the universality of its message. 

“Why does an ordinary individual suddenly start to act in a very violent way?”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Hot Topics Roundtable #4

Towards the end of this year's Cannes Film Festival, Film Society's Daily Buzz talked to Guy Lodge of HITFIX, Aaron Hillis of Video Free Brooklyn, Annette Insdorf of The Huffington Post, and Peter Debruge and Scott Foundas of Variety. They discussed their favorite films of the festival, debated the most talked-about films, and highlighted some overlooked gems.

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Waleed Zuaiter and Adam Bakri, stars of Hany Abu-Assad's Omar. Photo: Irene Cho

Cannes Daily Buzz: Bridging Barriers in Abu-Assad’s “Omar”

Waleed Zuaiter and Adam Bakri of Hany Abu-Assad's Jury Prize-winning Omar discuss the universality of the film's story and thier film's story, as well as their attempts to present well-rounded, sympathetic characters, regardless of political affiliation. 

“It was very important for us not to hit people over the head and to just make a very character-driven story where people are emotionally invested in the characters.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Col Needham Engages with Film founder Col Needham sat down with Daily Buzz's Eugene Hernandez to talk about his impressions of Cannes, the future of film viewing and reviewing, and upcoming IMDb features. 

“It’s at the point now where 50% of our page views are on mobile devices. So… literally, you can come out of a screening here [and] people will be voting and those votes are being tallied in real time to your app.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Refn’s Sound of Silence

Nicholas Winding Refn, director of the hotly debated Only God Forgives, discusses his use of silence, the commonalities between his three films, and the importance of provocation in cinema. 

“It can give them joy, frustration. They can hate it. But we’re fucking together, you know? And that, to me, is the joy.”

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Will Forte, star of Alexander Payne's Nebraska. Photo: Irene Cho

Cannes Daily Buzz: Forte Takes a Dramatic Turn in “Nebraska”

Will Forte, of Alexander Payne's Nebraska, discusses being cast in an unexpected role, his relationship with Bruce Dern, his admiration for Payne, and the being both a comedian and dramatic actor. 

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Cannes Daily Buzz: Cliff Martinez Scores Again

The composer sat dawn with the Daily Buzz to discuss his music for Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives, his approach to scoring films, and working with directors like Steven Soderbergh and Harmony Korine.

“So, a lot of directors use music sparingly, I would say, or they don’t use the music to tell the story so much. But Nicolas is really a bit of a music-ophile, and he’ll really cut things rather daringly, assuming that the music will come in there and help pull things together, which makes it a great gig for a composer.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz: James Gray Details “The Immigrant”

In our last Daily Buzz podcast from this year's Cannes Film Festival, James Gray talks about the extensive research that went into the period details of his new film The Immigrant and his popularity in France.

“We researched the film insanely, to the point where I think I drove everybody crazy.”

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Cannes Daily Buzz podcasts were made possible by:
Melissa Mobley (Associate Producer/Sound Engineer)
Brian Brooks (Guest Host, Deadline/FilmLinc)
Nick Kemp (FilmLinc)
Liz Ogilvy and Susie Gerhard (Fandor)
Wes Garrett (Cloud Electronics)
Meredith Borders and Roger Erik Tinch (Bad Ass Digest)
Gerald Duchaussoy (Cannes Film Festival Press Office)
Staff and Employees at Hotel Splendid
Rose Kuo, Lesli Klainberg, Tom Michel, Linda Yang, Michael Gibbons, Courtney Ott, David Nihn, John Wilde and Shelley Farmer (FilmLinc)
Ryan Werner
Cynthia Swartz
Claire Chen-Carter
Lansia Wann
Matthew Young