The Cannes festival commissioned 33 films from some of the world’s most renowned and respected filmmakers to craft their take on the nature of cinema. This mish-mash of styles can be quite energizing when done well, with each small film playing off one another in a collision of ideas.

Unfortunately, only a few films step up to the lofty task. David Lynch, for example, couldn’t get his in on time to screen as part of the main selection, so his ridiculous and incoherent mess is the first short, as a giant pair of scissors dominates the screen and other crazy crap goes on, seems even more rediculous than it normally would. This surreal and masturbatory offering still manages to be better than some of the more cloying and precious films included in the program.

Still, there are some true gems among the selection. Kitano’s One Fine Day is a delight, as is the similarly silly film by the Coen Brothers (another star turn by Brolin!). Walter Salles’ was joyful and exuberant, two people clapping and singing an ode to a land far away in a place called Cannes. Lars von Trier, meanwhile, shares the same dream of any serious festival filmgoer, to inflict violence on that person beside you who’s trying to make a deal and won’t shuttup to just enjoy the movie. As for Canadian inclusion, Cronenberg’s At The Suicide of the Last Jew in the World in the Last Cinema in the World was as enjoyably understated as its title is long, while Egoyan’s contribution was a pompous, self-aggrandizing mess.

In the end, this hit-or-miss format made for an overall positive experience, with the added benefit that those that were most egregious were bound to be over in only a couple minutes, a nice respite from normally future length atrocities that can populate the festival circuit in all their ponderous and pretentious glory.