film festivals

Cannes film festival: Top awards for Ruben Ostlund’s ‘The Square’ and Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’

The second prize goes to Robin Campillo’s ‘120 Beats Per Minute’.

The Palme d’Or award for best picture at the Cannes Film Festival has been awarded to Ruben Ostlund’s The Square. The Swedish satire, in which an art installation project goes badly wrong, is set at the intersection of art, politics and national identity in the Scandinavian country. Ostlund has previously directed four films, including the critical favourite Force Majeure (2014), about a marriage that breaks down after an avalanche.

The 70th edition (May 17-28) saw 19 titles in the prestigious international competition, including Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck, Michel Hazanavicius’s Redoubtable, Hong Sang-soo’s The Day After, Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Michael Haneke’s family drama Happy End, set against the backdrop of the European refugee crisis, was a leading favourite in the competition section, but Haneke missed his chance to win three Palme D’Or awards after The White Ribbon (2009) and Amour (2012).

Ruben Ostlund’s The Square.

The Grand Prix, the event’s second most important award, was handed over to 120 Beats Per Minute, Robin Campillo’s chronicle of the AIDS crisis in France in the 1980s.

Robin Campillo’s 120 Beats Per Minute.

The Russian film Loveless by Andrey Zvyagintsev, director of the celebrated Leviathan, was given the Jury Prize. Zvyagintsev’s latest exploration of the cracks in Russian society is about a son who disappears in the middle of a family argument.

Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless.

Sofia Coppola won Best Director for The Beguiled, an adaptation of the Thomas P Cullinan Civil War-era novel of the same name. A previous screen version, starring Clint Eastwood, was released in 1971. In Coppola’s film, starring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Colin Farrell and Elle Fanning, a wounded soldier takes shelter in an all-girls school and disrupts the order. She is only the second woman to get the honour after Yuliya Solntseva, who won in 1961 for the Russian film The Chronicle of Flaming Years.

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled.

The best screenplay prize was shared by Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos’s dysfunctional family drama The Killing of a Sacred Deer and British veteran Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, about a war veteran’s attempts to rescue a young woman from a sex trafficking ring. Joaquin Phoenix won the Best Actor prize for You Were Never Really Here. The Best Actress award went to Diane Kruger for Fatih Akin’s terrorism-themed revenge drama In The Fade.

Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.

The Camera D’or, or the prize for the best debut feature, was bagged by Leonor Serraille for Montparnasse Bienvenue. The movie traces the efforts of a young woman to fit in with the culture of the titular Left-Bank neighbourhood in Paris. The crew almost entirely comprises women.

The jury of the Un Certain Regard sidebar section, which was headed by American actress Uma Thurman, awarded the best film to Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof’s Lerd (A Man of Integrity). The film explores corruption in Iran, and cements Rasoulof’s reputation as a combative filmmaker who is unafraid to take on contentious subjects.

Mohammad Rasoulof’s Lerd.

Michael Franco’s Spanish-language April’s Daughter won the jury prize in the Un Certain regard section, while Taylor Sheridan was named best director for Wind River. Jasmine Trinca, who stars in Sergio Castellito’s Lucky, won best acting prize. French actor and director Mathieu Amalric bagged a best screenwriting prize for Barbara.

Qui Yang’s A Gentle Night won the best short film award, while Teppo Airaksinen’s Katto got a special mention in the same category.

Nicole Kidman, who had three films at the festival (The Beguiled, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and the television series Top of the Lake, was given the 70th anniversary prize.

Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer.
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.


2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.