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Film intelligence: Leaves of gold and a Lucas retirement

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]). This week: the French love Haneke, the Americans love Tatum, and George Lucas doesn’t love own his company.

1. Cannes Loves AMOUR

The 2012 Cannes Film Festival is history. This year’s top dog was Michael Haneke, whose film AMOUR won the fest’s top prize, the illustrious Palme d’Or. The story of an elderly man caring for his wife as she slowly dies connected with both audiences and critics and showcased a softer side of the notoriously provocative director, who won his second Palme in a row (his previous film, THE WHITE RIBBON, took home that hunk of golden leafy prestige in 2009). The second place Grand Prix went to Matteo Garrone’s REALITY and the Best Director award went, somewhat surprisingly, to Carlos Reygadas for his coolly received POST TENEBRAS LUX. Sundance Film Festival alum BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which played in the Un Certain Regard sidebar, won the Camera d’Or, the prize for the best first feature at the festival. The biggest award snub was the critically acclaimed weirdfest HOLY MOTORS, shut out by a jury presided over by Italian director Nanni Moretti. Ah well; there’s always next year — as long as Michael Haneke doesn’t have a new movie. [Indiewire]

2. Return of the Indie Filmmaker

For years and years, George Lucas has insisted that he’s only been making STAR WARS movies to complete the story he started back in 1977 and to his fulfill his obligations to the series’ millions of fans. Any day now, Lucas claimed, he’d get back to his true love: making the sort of boldly uncommercial experimental films that he made at USC and in the years before he broke through to the mainstream with AMERICAN GRAFFITI. Then he’d go and make a STAR WARS video game where Han Solo dances to the sweet sounds of Jason Derulo, but whatever; it looks like it’s Lucas’ time to start riding solo again. He told Empire that he’s really ready to hand off his duties as the head of LucasFilm. “I’m finishing all my obligations,” he said, “and I’m going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies.” Saw and hammer? I think he meant to say green wand covered in dots that the CGI wizards at Industrial Light & Magic will convert to a saw and hammer in post-production. Regardless, even without his company at his beck and call, I imagine Lucas will still be a box office force no matter how weird his movies get.[Empire]

3. G.I. JOE: The Rise of Tatum

He began his career as a punchline, proved his chops in a Sundance hit, and struggled in the spotlight. By late 2011, Channing Tatum’s career was looking as flimsy as my wife’s legs when she sees him with his shirt off. But 2012 has given Chan-Chan’s onscreen prospects a total 180, sort of like the way my wife spins in her seat when she sees him with his shirt off. He scored big in THE VOW and 21 JUMP STREET, cementing his status as a romantic leading man and proving himself a surprisingly affable comic foil. This week it was revealed that that audiences have started to Ratum the Tatum so highly that the brevity of his appearance in G.I. JOE: RETALIATION was one of the real reasons behind Paramount’s recent decision to yank the film from this summer’s schedule. While the film gets upgraded to 3-D for a March 2013 release, it’ll also get upgraded with additional Channing Tatum scenes. Hold on one second, I just have to go convince my wife she doesn’t need to get on line for tickets eight months in advance. [Deadline]

4. “Sir, I don’t care if you won the Battle of Helm’s Deep, You’re Gonna Need to Keep it Down.”

The next time you’re at the airport and some weird dude starts creaming “PEE-PEE!” don’t be freaked out — it might just be actor Viggo Mortensen watching soccer on his laptop. Yes, apparently the LORD OF THE RINGS star is such a fan of football that he can’t control himself or his outbursts: he got so riled up by a game last Sunday that he was stopped, warned, and searched by airport security. “The match ends and I want to scream for victory,” Mortensen wrote, “but I know that’s not a good idea right now with these guys searching me. Finally, they let me go and warn me that if I start screaming again I won’t be allowed to board and they’ll kick me out of the airport.” Oh and just to be clear: when I say he can’t control himself, I’m not referring to bodily functions. Apparently “PEE-PEE!” — actually spelled Pipi — is the name of a popular Argentine soccer player. Although that’s totally the excuse I’m going to use the next time I have to urinate in an airport so badly that I start screaming at the top of my lungs. [The Hollywood Reporter]

5. “One down, 103,679 hours to go…”

According to Gizmodo, an astounding 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. A lot of that is pirated copyrighted material. Current copyright laws protect YouTube and its parent company Google from liability for the illegal material that users post to the site as long as they remove the offending items once they’re alerted to their presence by the copyright holders, but what if they had to protect themselves from lawsuits by pre-screening every single uploaded clip for possible infringement before it made its way to the site? Again, according to Gizmodo: Google would need a team of some 199,584 testers working full-time to go through it all — at a cost of some $36.8 billion. Google’s total revenue for 2011? $37.9 billion. Damn. Google better hope that law doesn’t change. [Gizmodo]