A well-rounded individual whose interests include movies, cinema and film, Chicagoan Lisa Nesselson contributed to Variety from Paris from 1990 through 2007 and now writes for Screen International. From 1986-2001 she wrote the irreverent monthly film pages of the Paris Free Voice. A contributor to the BBC World Service and a former Radio France International anchor, her book-length translations from French to English include biographies of Clint Eastwood, Simone de Beauvoir and Cinematheque Francaise founder Henri Langlois. In a shameless ploy to pad her resume, Nesselson performed the role of Lucy in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown for a 6-month run in English at the Galerie 55 in Paris and, from 1983-1987, completed the annual New York Road Runners Club invitational Run-Up the Empire State Building. Having served on over two dozen film...

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15blog entries
We're in the home stretch to the 69th Cannes Film Festival, with the program line-up now set.
Paris -- It's difficult to think of another country where the "boss" -- Festival de Cannes president Pierre Lescure -- would jovially give disgruntled underlings the floor. But before the running-late press conference at which the 49 films...

Roger and me

France-based American film critic Lisa Nesselson reflects on what it meant to be named "Senior Paris Correspondent" for RogerEbert.com by the man himself.
You didn't have to know American film critic Roger Ebert in person — as I was fortunate enough to do for some 20 years — in order to feel as if you knew him. Although Roger was a rather extraordinary fellow, he had the common touch.  As fa...

Cannes blog: Day 1 & 2

Moonrise Kingdom kicks off the festivities, while the new French President has a close call.
The 65th Cannes Film Festival got underway on May 16th with the world premiere of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. The day before, freshly elected French president François Hollande was sworn in. The artificial ruckus about how there are –...
The four Australian films in competition have more than nationality in common.
When individuals travel outside their home country, they represent not only themselves but all their countrymen, like it or not. Are Americans really loud? Are the French really rude? Are Germans really efficient? Received wisdom and nati...

Clermont-Ferrand 2011

Two local shorts screened in competition to packed houses at this year's installment of the celebrated film festival.
One can devote a portion of February to guessing which films are likely to win heavy golden statuettes of streamlined naked men in Los Angeles, or spend that time more profitably at the world's most noteworthy festival devoted entirely to ...

Cannes blog: Days 7 & 8

Monks, poetry and terrorism prove a worthy combination for our Cannes correspondent.
Things picked up on the 7th and 8th days of the festival in that stony silence or pained winces no longer meet the conversational query "What have you liked?" Xavier Beauvois' Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men) is the numinous, be...
The world's documentary makers provide some much-needed perspective to the madness of Cannes.
As of Sunday, Day 5, two American documentaries -- Inside Job by Charles Ferguson, a brilliantly distressing primer outlining why the recent financial meltdown "was not an accident," and Countdown to Zero (pictured), Lucy Walker's spooky a...

Cannes blog: Day 1

Breaking with Cannes tradition, Robin Hood and Maid Marion (a.k.a. Cate and Russ) do the official honours, and the character's ethos extends to real estate prices on the Croisette.
The 63rd Cannes Film Festival opened on Wednesday 12 May with Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. The reception was mixed, but those who liked it (including your humble correspondent) liked it a great deal. In keeping with the title character's bel...

Bragging rights

Australian shorts were big hits at the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival.
They call the annual festival in Clermont-Ferrand "The Cannes of Short Films" — which means that, as the saying goes, it's an honour simply to be invited to compete. Need we add that it's a brag-worthy accomplishment to win a prize? Which ...
American films and actors are embraced by the French audience at the Deauville film festival.
Andy Garcia was so moved by the tribute paid him by his "Modigliani" co-star Elsa Zylberstein and the clips reel of his long, distinguished career, that he choked up several times during his acceptance speech. And while we all relish the ...