Raising money independently for something so experimental isn't easy, so I agreed to make Convenience for the absolute bare minimum that was physically possible - £80k. This meant negotiating on everything, including health, sleep and what flavour Pedigree Chum we'd be serving for lunch, but it also meant getting the actual movie made.
THE JUNGLE BOOK Jon Favreau / Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong'o / Adventure / 2016 / PG / 105mins Middle class mums everywhere ...
Occasionally, a mother will survive childbirth and middle age to attend their daughter's wedding but these characters have fairly minimal parts - see the interchangeable queens in Sleeping Beauty and Tangled who just stand around looking beautiful and worried. I can't ever imagine a Disney film where a 30 year old woman is the main character.
Sitting here, toasting both Lili and Gerda and the challenges they faced together, brought so beautifully to life in 'The Danish Girl', is a fitting reminder that, while Lili Elbe may have faced singular challenges ahead of her time, she was fortunate in one respect - that of being born in a country that can pride itself on its progressiveness, and a pioneering spirit she so evidently shared.
The other awards were even more surprising. In fact, most of them were odd enough to secure hearty boos from the journos sitting in the theatre next door to the main auditorium and watching the prizes on the video screen. Most astonishing was the lack of anything at all for Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann, a hit with almost everyone bar the jury.
What makes a man tick? For Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) it's screenwriting. He's a genius and proud of his job, earning big bucks and fame. However, as WWII draws to a close, Communist aggression leads to his arrest and exclusion from the big league studios.
Robert De Niro, receiving a special tribute for his career at Cannes this year, screened his latest film to some applause on Tuesday.
In this film, characters can't decide if they are good or bad and by the end, no one cares. Apocalypse himself looks ridiculous, as if he has badly made his own cosplay outfit by using images of Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. And, this incredible mutant, learns English in the same way as Daryl Hannah did in Splash!
You do not expect vampire movies and ghost stories at the Cannes Festival. But this time round we got both.
A colleague suggested that the best starting point would be to use a free online service to prepare 'auto-detect' subtitles, which could then be proof-read and edited before being exported and attached to the new version of the movie for Amazon. This seemed like a damn good starting point. It worked! Well, it sort of worked.
There are few certainties at Cannes. But one of them is that British veteran Ken Loach will get an ovation for any new film he cares to put before us.
We urgently need documentary films about events that took place in the 1940s, 50s and 60s globally and locally, now because of the threat to living memory. Soon we will only be able to document new information from the sons and daughters of the era. And if I can't even recall my actions or find my notebook from three years ago, what hope do we have on a national or international scale of remembering the past?
Flesh and pleasure made its name, but in 1956 there was a lot more to a place that, in modern times, has all but vanished.
If you never know what you are going to get from Woody Allen, a director who writes notes on an old typewriter which do not always translate into great movies, the same could be said for the Cannes Festival's opening films. Sometimes you just have to look away towards the bigger fish of the competition and hope like hell.
'Our Kind of Traitor', Susanna White's adaptation of the John Le Carre novel is an accomplished but predictable thriller...
Women make up around 50% of the film student population so women do want to make movies, however the release of the Calling The Shots report tells us that somewhere along the line we're getting shafted.